With the first-round of the NFL draft taking place tonight, Ravens fans are anxious to finally find out who the Ravens will select. Picking at 16, there’s a million different scenarios that can change the direction that Ozzie Newsome and company take. A player that they didn’t expect to be there may fall down the board, opting the team to trade up and grab a player that’s just too good to pass up. They could stay put and draft the best player available (or Calvin Ridley, if you ask most casual Ravens fans). My favorite option would be to go vintage Ozzie and trade back and acquire extra day two draft capital. Let’s take a look at 10 potential fits in the first round for the Baltimore Ravens.
Dallas Goedert, TE, S. Dakota St.
It’s my opinion that tight end is the Ravens biggest need heading into the draft, narrowly beating out offensive tackle. There may not be a better one in the draft than Dallas Goedert. Considered more of a pass-catching tight end, he has the size to be a competent blocker too. He can attack all three levels of the field and would become Joe Flacco’s favorite target instantly. Scouting report here.
Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
It’s defintely not one of the bigger team needs, but if a prospect as physically gifted as Davenport falls to pick 16, he will have to be given serious consideration. At 6’7″ with 33 5/8″ arms, he’s a tall, long limbed edge rusher that can wreak havoc in the backfield. He’s still a raw prospect and will rely on athleticism alone in his first season or two. Scouting report here.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The prospect linked to Baltimore the most this offseason has been Calvin Ridley. And for good reason, I might add. He’s probably the most NFL ready pass catcher in the draft. He’s a gifted route-runner, capable of running the full route tree. Doesn’t have blazing speed, but ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine. Scouting report here. (By the way, for those of you enamored with Ridley, read this article.)
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
An undersized hard-hitting linebacker that has high football intelligence and great instincts. Sound like anyone you might know? He hasn’t tapped his full potential yet and I see him as a Pro Bowl player in the NFL. Scouting report here.
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
My top choice for the first round. Can the Ravens really trust James Hurst at right tackle again? I think not. Couple that with the fact that this is a thin class at offensive tackle, and this pick almost becomes a necessity. McGlinchey is a mammoth of a man at 6’8″, but needs to add a little more mass to his 309 pound frame. Interesting note: his first cousin is Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan. Scouting report here.
Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
This is not a name or position you have seen associated with the Ravens this offseason. But with cornerback being such a premiere position in the NFL, you can never have too many of them. Especially when factoring in Jimmy Smiths struggles with staying healthy and Tavon Young returning from a torn ACL. Jackson is a ball-hawking corner with the size that NFL teams covet. He had a mind-numbing 27 passed defensed and 8 interceptions… last year. That’s awesome. He doesn’t possess elite speed (4.56 40) which is a concern. Scouting report here.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
I’m not big on Jackson with the first pick, but I’m not against drafting him altogether. He is a nightmare to gameplan for with his ability to make plays with his legs. There’s a lot of debate about whether his game translates to the NFL, but it’s a gamble that could pay off big. In his last two seasons at Louisville, he averaged 3,601 yards, 28 TD and 9 INT passing as well as 1,586 yards and 20 TD rushing. Craziness. Scouting report here.
Derwin James, S, Florida St.
The Ravens already have their starting safeties set going into the season, but think of James as a jack-of-all-trades. He can be used in so many different situations and formations, which would give new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale a lot of flexibility. Not only can he be an in-the-box safety, providing excellent run coverage, but he can also play man coverage against an elite pass-catching tight end and render him obsolete. James can become an All-Pro type player. Scouting report here.
DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
DJ Moore would be my choice at wide receiver in round one, slightly edging out Calvin Ridley. He is still a bit raw, but his play style is similar to Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, a former Terp. He possesses really good hands and is the type of high character prospect the Ravens like. Scouting report here.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
I would be estatic with this pick. He’s probably my favorite defender in this draft. Edmunds is the kind of player that makes his presence felt in all phases of the game. Plays sideline to sideline but isn’t an “instinctual” player. His elite size (6’5″, 253 pounds) and explosiveness paired with his 4.54 speed has scouts drooling. And ladies and gentleman, the kid is only 19 years old. He’s gonna be a force in the NFL for the next decade plus. Scouting report here.