Today is finally the day that all of us self proclaimed draftniks and football fanatics worldwide have been waiting for! Your Baltimore Ravens are sure to come away with a nice haul of players, considering the 10 picks that Ozzie Newsome, Eric Decosta and company have at their disposal. Here’s what I think the Ravens have a chance to come away with:
1. Landon Collins, SS, Alabama – The best safety in the draft, I have Collins as a top 10 talent based on all of the game film I’ve watched on him. My feeling is that there will be about a half a dozen trades made ahead of the Ravens’ pick, which will push a talent like Collins down the board and right in to the Ravens’ lap. After 20 years of watching Ozzie Newsome’s work in the draft, we know that he has an affinity for players from his alma mater (I for one see nothing wrong with that, particularly with the outstanding program that Nick Saban has put together over there. Year in and year out he produces NFL caliber players).
2. Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State – I’ve been saying all along that no one tracks the deep ball better than this young man, and he is a bona fide replacement for Torrey Smith – and then some. Better hands, better instincts, better routes, better high point, and a gunner on special teams to boot. He is more football player than wide receiver, and definitely a John Harbaugh type of a guy.
2 (trade two 4th round picks to move up) Clive Walford, TE, Miami – The Tight End from the U is a perfect fit for the Ravens, and fills a definite need as he is the pass catching TE that will compliment the rugged Crockett Gillmore. Ravens scouts like him more than Maxx Williams, and will trade up to get him. I also expect the Ravens to trade for the Lions’ Brandon Pettigrew, which will give them another inline mauler, a road grading TE to give the Ravens a formidable threesome at that position, as my gut feeling is that Dennis Pitta is going to retire (if he doesn’t he really should; that his hip has popped out of it’s socket twice now – without contact. Love the guy but his health is more important than the game).
3. Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami of Ohio – By now it is well documented that it was at the suggestion of the Ravens’ scouts that this 4 year starter at point guard gave football a shot. Due to his slow 40 time at the combine (4.57) I expect him to drop from a 2nd round prospect down to the 3rd, where the Ravens are sure to pounce on him. He had 7 picks his senior year, fluid hips, great instincts, and will play nickel corner and/or safety in the NFL. Hard-nosed kid that the Ravens are really high on.
4. David Cobb, RB, Minnesota – He’s not my favorite back in this round, but the Ravens are really high on him. At 5’11 and 230 pounds, he looks very much the part of an AFC North running back. He had a good Senior Bowl, but the frequency that he puts the ball on the ground with is alarming to me. Buck Allen and TJ Yeldon are better options in my opinion.
5. Darren Waller, WR, Georgia Tech – He is 6’6″ 238 pounds – no folks, that’s not a typo. Waller didn’t have the best receiving stats as he was primarily used as a blocker in Tech’s run heavy Flex-bone offense. Still, with his immense dimensions, he is a very intriguing prospect.
5. Robert Myers, OG, Tennessee – I’d be surprised if Myers doesn’t end up in a Ravens uniform. One publication described him as being ideally drafted with a developmental year in mind, which actually fits the Ravens m.o., particularly with Yanda’s and Osemele’s contracts coming up. At 6’5″ 326, he is very much the road grader that the Ravens like at the guard position.
5. Max Garcia, C/G, Florida – He had 37 career starts at Maryland and Florida, at center, guard and left tackle. Ravens value that versatility that this senior brings to the table. Garcia is all business on the field, a Harbaugh type of a guy as he never takes plays off, and is a highly competitive individual. The Ravens get stronger up the middle and add depth and versatility to their offensive line.
6. Ryan Delaire, DE, Towson – He is 6’4″ 250 pounds. Pulled a groin running the 40 at the combine, but still got an interview by the Ravens. Long arms, and very productive career from this UMass transfer. He has a shot at making the roster as a developmental player behind Dumervil and Suggs.
That gives the Ravens 9 picks and they are at SS, WR (2), TE, CB, RB, OG, C/G, DE. No matter the outcome, this promises – as always – to be a fun draft full of surprises. I expect lots of wheeling and dealing (yes, I fully expect Marcus Mariota to end up with Chip Kelly and the Eagles) and lots of analysis from everyone. Can’t wait for the process that is the draft, as well as the aftermath.