Ladies and gentlemen, today is Thursday, April 19th. It is the day that the NFL will release the schedules for each team – it’s also the one week mark until the 2018 NFL Draft. With that in mind, I want to give you a glimpse into my mind, as far as my optimal 7 Round Mock, complete with trades. I will also do two different scenarios in a couple of the rounds. Let’s do it.
Round 1: Pick 16 (Scenario One)
In this scenario, the Ravens stand fast at the dead center of the first round – not because they can’t find a trade partner, but because the pick makes too much sense.
- What Most People Think: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
- What Some People Hope: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
- What Wouldn’t Shock Me: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
The Pick: Mike McGlinchey, Tackle, Notre Dame – The Ravens get their bookend RT with a pick that’s almost too easy. Pairing Ronnie Stanley with his former teammate shores up a line that has a couple of holes, both protecting Flacco, and giving Collins the blocking that he needs to open up the run game. It’s not a ‘sexy’ pick, but it’s a necessary one.
Round 1: Pick 23 (Scenario Two)
In this scenario, the Ravens do business with their out-of-division rivals, the New England Patriots. The Hoodie wants to jump up and grab his guy, and the Ravens have their eyes set on more draft capital. They land the 23rd pick, as well as NE’s 3rd round pick (95th overall).
- What Most People Think: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
- What Some People Hope: Leighton Vander-Esch, LB, Boise State
- What Wouldn’t Shock Me: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The Pick: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State – There’s a steep talent drop-off after the first three or four tight ends in this draft. The Ravens will need to be aggressive to get one of the premiere pass-catching TEs, so they work out a deal and get their guy. Flacco is at his best with a TE that he trusts, and Goedert has drawn comparisons to Zach Ertz and Todd Heap.
Round 2: Pick 52 (Scenario One)
- What Most People Think: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
- What Some People Hope: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
- What Wouldn’t Shock Me: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
The Pick: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA – This is, of course, assuming that scenario two from Round 1 is the reality. Miller projects to be a starting RT at the professional level, and given that he has bounced in and out of the first round, snagging him at 52 would be great value.
Round 2: Pick 52 (Scenario Two)
The Pick: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State – This is assuming that scenario one from Round 1 is the reality. Right now, people are either salivating at this pick, or thinking I’m crazy, that there’s no way he makes it to 52, after his combine. But that’s all it is, folks. A combine. With this pick, the Ravens get their pass-catching TE in the purest sense – Gesicki doesn’t lend help in any other aspect. But hey – that’s why we have Boyle.
Round 3: Pick 83
- What Most People Think: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
- What Some People Hope: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
- What Wouldn’t Shock Me: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
The Pick: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State – By now, the fanbase is screaming about drafting wideouts, but the Ravens just had one with potentially the highest ceiling drop into their laps. Gallup’s floor is a good WR2, and his route running is outstanding.
Round 3: Pick 95 (From Scenario Two, Rd. 1)
The Pick: Mike White, QB, WKU – You guys know that I’m high on the signal caller out of Western Kentucky, so it makes sense to use a ‘free’ draft pick on him. The Ravens land a good developmental QB that fits their ‘mold’, and he has the opportunity to sit behind Joe for a year or so, while learning from a combination of him, James Urban, and Greg Roman.
Round 4: Pick 118
In these rounds, I’ll skip over the three-option bullet points, and give deeper paragraphs about the picks, as the players are lesser known.
The Pick: Mason Cole, C, Michigan – The Ravens are known for finding gems on the offensive line in the later rounds, and Cole is no different. They lost his pro comparison (Ryan Jensen) earlier this off-season to a hefty contract, and Matt Skura doesn’t exactly inspire hope. Cole is insanely durable (started every game since his freshman year, 104 starts), which is great news for the oft-injured Baltimore Ravens, and has the flexibility to move up and down the line, with starts at both center and tackle. Cole shores up the center of the line, after the Ravens get their new starting RT earlier in the draft, resulting in a very happy Alex Collins.
Round 5: Pick 154
The Pick: Josey Jewell, ILB, Iowa – I have been advocating taking a coverage ILB since about.. oh, Week 3, when I realized that Peanut wasn’t capable of covering TEs, and we were asking too much from CJ. In Round 5, the Ravens get an undersized (heard that before – Lewis, Suggs) LB that has insanely reaction speed, and a motor that seems like it’s powered by the Tesseract (for the non-Marvel fans, it’s an infinity stone that possesses unlimited power). He’s a tackling machine, and has the speed to chase down TEs and WRs over the middle.
Round 6: Pick 190
The Pick: Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State – The Ravens get more receiving help in the first-team all-conference wideout. Make no mistake, Scott is a project that needs work, but has a great foundation to build upon. He’s athletic, with very strong hands (proven by an insane one-handed catch against ASU this past year), that can play through contact. He’d be down the depth chart, which is good for him, as he’d be able to learn from Crabtree and James Urban.
Round 6: Pick 215
The Pick: Bo Scarborough, RB, Alabama – Collins gets a running mate in the late rounds. Scarborough has bounced around between rounds 4-7, so this pick makes sense, for the value. Running back isn’t a big area of need, but Scarborough is a freight train when he gets rolling – a true old school, smashmouth running back. The run game could be frightening with he and Collins coming out of the backfield.
Round 7: Pick 238
The Pick: Mike Love, DE, South Florida – Defense has been largely ignored in this draft, but the Ravens do need some depth at the DE position, so they grab Mike Love with their final pick. Love is quick, has great size, and a high motor, but is overall very raw. He has the foundation to be molded into a very good backup, or even a solid starter in the NFL.