Ravens draft: Here’s their top 5

April 21, 2009 | Drew Forrester

None of these names will come as a huge shock, of course, since nearly every team probably covets all five of these college players. 

That said, here’s a peek at the Ravens’ draft board and the five names that stand alone on top.

Brandon Pettigrew (TE, OSU) — They’re “enamored” with the talented tight end who would clearly be coming in as the heir apparent for Todd Heap.  If the Ravens could land Pettigrew, would that pave the way for a possible deal for Anquan Boldin that would send Heap back to his old stomping grounds in Arizona?  A deal to send Heap to the Cardinals (and one other small – but salary cap-significant – player transaction) could help Baltimore squeeze Boldin and his new deal within the confines of the team’s $127 million cap number.

Rey Maualuga (ILB, USC) — Trying hard not to compare him to #52, the Ravens are licking their chops at the thought of bringing the hard-hitting USC linebacker to Baltimore for the chance to enjoy a multi-year study-session under “the other Ray” in purple. 

Larry English (DE, N. Illinois) — Again, the team is particularly excited about the prospect of bringing on a high-energy player like English and giving him a “professor” on the position like Trevor Pryce to learn from over the next year or so. 

Hakeem Nicks (WR, UNC) — “Has it all” and “a perfect fit for Flacco” — but they’re concerned he won’t be around at #26 with his stock rising just about every day.  This is the one wide receiver they’d take if given a “free pick” of all the pass catchers in the draft.

Kenny Britt (WR, Rutgers) — Not as much of a complete player as Nicks, but the team’s still confident he can be a prime-time pass catcher in the NFL.  Wouldn’t go ahead of any of the others listed above…but he WOULD be of interest to the Ravens if he’s still on the board at 26.

Drew’s take:  If Pettigrew is available at #26, the Ravens will take him…above everyone else.