Tag Archive | "DeForest Buckner"

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Predicting the Ravens’ 2016 first-round pick

Posted on 27 April 2016 by Luke Jones

We know the names.

We’ve read the mock drafts — all 3,742 of them.

It’s time to go on the record as I offer a dream pick, the unexciting choice, a trade-down scenario, the safe selection, and my official prediction for the Ravens as they are slated to make their earliest pick since the 2000 draft.

The dream pick: Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey
Reasoning: The debate over whether he’s better suited to play cornerback or safety continues, but maybe Ramsey is simply meant to be a Swiss army knife around which you build an entire secondary. He’s a bigger, faster version of Tyrann Mathieu who can be a game-changing talent at a position of need. It’s difficult imagining him falling to No. 6, but the Ravens would jump at the chance to take him if they can.

The unexciting choice: Mississippi LT Laremy Tunsil
Reasoning: Tunsil has great physical gifts and might be the long-term answer the Ravens have lacked at left tackle since Jonathan Ogden’s retirement, but the track record of first-round tackles coming from spread offenses over the last several years is worrisome. Those touting Tunsil as the replacement for the oft-hurt Eugene Monroe seem to overlook the number of injuries he sustained in college.

The trade-down scenario: Clemson DE Shaq Lawson
Reasoning: It will be interesting to see if a quarterback-needy team is willing to trade up as high as No. 6 for Paxton Lynch of Memphis, but don’t sleep on Chicago at No. 11 attempting to jump up for Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner or Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Ravens could add an extra pick or two and walk away with Lawson, a good story and the draft’s second-best edge defender.

The safe selection: Oregon DE DeForest Buckner
Reasoning: The Ravens have depth at the 5-techinique defensive end spot, but neither Lawrence Guy nor Brent Urban have shown enough to suggest you shouldn’t take a dynamic talent at the position. He isn’t the edge rusher Baltimore needs, but a starting base defensive line of Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, and Buckner would easily be one of the best young units in the NFL.

My official prediction: Ohio State DE Joey Bosa
Reasoning: We regularly hear that Bosa is no J.J. Watt, but who exactly is? His body of work in college had many projecting him as the top pick in the draft a few months ago, but underwhelming workout numbers turned him into the popular top prospect to bash since the combine. He might be better suited to play in a 4-3, but the Ravens will gladly take a high-motor player with his pass-rushing capabilities.

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Options aplenty, but no perfect prospect for Ravens at No. 6

Posted on 25 April 2016 by Luke Jones

We’re a couple days away from the paralysis by analysis finally coming to an end.

As it stands, the Ravens will make their highest pick in an NFL draft since 2000 when they’ll be on the clock sixth overall. Or, they’ll trade up or down, which certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility with three first-round trades having already been consummated long before teams arrive in Chicago.

But the Ravens are guaranteed to have a shiny new toy by the time the first round concludes late Thursday night.

To no one’s surprise, general manager Ozzie Newsome and the organization have been very quiet while everyone else tries to figure out exactly what the Ravens want to do. The good news is that when you’re coming off a 5-11 season and have multiple needs, you don’t have to be too desperate for the draft board to fall a certain way.

But that doesn’t mean a perfect prospect exists, either, as months of analysis and over-analysis have proven.

Mississippi left tackle Laremy Tunsil was considered the favorite to be the No. 1 pick before Tennessee traded out of the top spot two weeks ago, but a few are now speculating that even Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley could pass him in the draft rankings despite neither having played a game since January. Even with Tunsil’s impressive physical gifts, Ravens fans salivating over the thought of him replacing the oft-injured Eugene Monroe could be looking past the lineman missing time with a knee injury, a torn bicep, a dislocated ankle, and a broken leg during his collegiate career.

With the injuries, some off-field concerns, and the underwhelming track record of top 10 offensive tackles making the difficult transition from college to the pros in recent years, Tunsil doesn’t quite feel like the “safe” pick many project him to be — even if he realizes his immense upside and winds up being much closer to Jonathan Ogden than Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher in his career.

Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey has the size and speed to play anywhere in the defensive backfield, but his underwhelming hands led to few game-changing plays in college and some believe his unspectacular change-of-direction skill suggests he’s better suited as a safety in the NFL, which isn’t generally what you’re looking for with the sixth overall pick.

Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa was regularly listed as the No. 1 pick in mock drafts before his stock took a dive in the pre-draft process with him lacking great straight-line speed and freakish athleticism. He’s a high-motor player and fits Baltimore’s pass-rushing need, but he doesn’t show great speed off the edge and is a little more of a question mark as a 3-4 outside linebacker than as a 4-3 defensive end.

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack is a phenomenal fit on paper and would be the cover linebacker the Ravens need to pair with C.J. Mosley, but there’s just too much noise concerning his knee to not feel nervous about picking him so early. Baltimore cannot afford to have another Breshad Perriman situation play out if the medical team has any legitimate concerns about Jack’s knee.

And that brings us to Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner, who probably feels the most like a “Ravens” pick despite there being little noise about the sides having much communication in the pre-draft process. Buckner might have the lowest bust rate of any of the aforementioned names, but the 5-technique defensive end spot isn’t a major need and he may not have as much upside as the others, which is a very fair concern when you’re making your first top 10 selection in over a decade.

In short, you can poke holes in any of these prospects if you want to, which is exactly what happens over the exhausting pre-draft process.

Of course, these are the names discussed most often by the outside world as the consensus top five non-quarterbacks in this year’s draft. We can’t be sure where the Ravens stand with the likes of Stanley, Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, and Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson as any could be rated higher on Baltimore’s board than we anticipate.

After years of watching the Ravens pick toward the end of the first round — which is where you want to be — we should be reminded that there’s no such thing as a perfect prospect, no matter how high a team is choosing. If the Ravens did their homework, they’re all but guaranteed to come away with a really good starting player for years to come, barring injury. If they are really smart and lucky, they’ll turn in a card with the name of a multi-time Pro Bowl player written on it. And if Newsome and the Ravens hit the lottery jackpot as they did twice in their first ever draft 20 years ago, they’ll come away with a player who will be enshrined in Canton one day.

There isn’t a single pick they can make on Thursday that will make everyone happy. Every possible selection can make you take pause to some degree, but there may also be more than one correct answer from which to choose, which should ease concerns for Ravens fans.

As assistant general manager Eric DeCosta likes to say, the draft is more art than it is science.

With Thursday night almost upon us, the fun part is about to begin.

And the Ravens will officially take their shot at finding a game-changing player.

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Baltimore Ravens 2016 Mock Draft by Dennis Koulatsos

Posted on 13 March 2016 by Dennis Koulatsos

 

 

DeForest Buckner

When the Baltimore Ravens are on the clock in this year’s 2016 NFL Draft, GM Ozzie Newsome and his scouting department will be under tremendous pressure to select players that can come in and contribute right away.  With the Ravens missing the playoffs 2 out of the last 3 years, and sporting just a 23-25 regular season record since their Super Bowl victory over the 49ers, owner Steve Bisciotti has to be running out of patience.

Along with the Ravens faithful fan base, he has watched an unusually high number of draft picks play way below their draft grade/position.  Players such as Sergio Kindle, Terrence Cody, Matt Elam, and Arthur Brown quickly come to mind. Even last year’s top draft pick WR Breshad Perriman has yet to see field action in an NFL game.  In fairness to Perriman he did suffer a knee injury in training camp, but the bottom line is that has not been able to contribute, and even more disturbing is that the team has been awfully quiet in regards to how well his recovery is progressing.

The Ravens cleared up a bunch of cap space by releasing several players (Daryl Smith, Chris Canty) and restructuring the contracts of others (Marshal Yanda, Jimmy Smith).  They are currently $12.5 million under the cap, and are in talks with players such as WR Mike Wallace.  No doubt Ozzie Newsome will also fill some holes after the June 1 cuts.

With the signing of Shareece Wright to a new deal, I don’t think that CB is the Ravens top priority.  Putting pressure on the QB is still the best way for a team to improve their pass defense, which is why I think DeForest Buckner, the 6’7″ 290 pound DE from Oregon makes sense for the Ravens with the 6th pick in the first round.  He is a capable replacement for Chris Canty, and he is built like an AFC North defensive end.  If he is gone by the time it’s the Ravens’ turn to pick, Ohio State’s Joey Bosa would be a solid option.  Bosa plays the run better than Buckner, but does not get after the QB as well.  Buckner is also a better fit with the Ravens from a scheme-fit standpoint.

Hopefully the rookie QBs will shake-up this year’s draft and make the Ravens an attractive trade partner. It would be great to see the team trade back – even one spot to the QB needy 49ers – and pick up another 2nd round draft pick.  That would present the ideal, best case scenario. But if the board holds true and there are no trades, here are 9 players that could be Ravens at the conclusion of the draft:

First round: No. 6 -DeForest Buckner, DE Oregon

Second round: No. 36 – William Jackson III, CB Houston 

Third round: No. 70 – Le’Raven Clark, OT Texas Tech

Fourth round: No. 101 – Tyler Matakevich, ILB Temple

 No. 127 – Spencer Drago, OG Baylor

No. 132 – Harlan Miller, CB NE Louisiana

No. 134 – Malcom Mitchell, WR Georgia

Fifth round: None (swapped picks with Denver in Gradkowski trade)

Sixth round: No. 182 – Justin Simmons, FS Boston College

No. 209 – Yannick Ngakoue, OLB Maryland

Seventh round: None (traded to Miami for cornerback Will Davis)

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