It’s almost that time of year, when owners, coaches, general managers, and the rest of the front office lock themselves in a room and heavily debate which players to draft to improve the team. This room is called the “War Room” for a reason. Everyone in this room is heavily opinionated and has become attached to a prospect that they don’t believe the team can do without.
In this segment, we will put ourselves in the war room and go over the picks we believe teams need to make when they’re on the clock. We’ll cover all 32 teams, but today’s segment is dedicated to the: Baltimore Ravens.
The running back position may be a target later in the draft as the Ravens look for a replacement for Willis McGahee, who many do not expect to return next season. The wide receiver position is in need of a big-play, deep-threat guy that can stretch the field, while some help along the offensive line will also be a goal in this year’s draft. The Ravens will likely look to find a tackle to play opposite Michael Oher and a guard opposite Ben Grubbs if Marshal Yanda and/or Chris Chester leave via free agency. Even if they stay, they could look to add depth or possibly improve the position.
One of the Ravens’ biggest needs heading into next season is at cornerback. I expected Baltimore to target a corner early last year, but they came away without drafting any defensive backs. Expect the position to be a priority early in this year’s draft. A defensive end will likely be a target at some point as well, as should an inside linebacker with Ray Lewis turning 36 next month. Free safety may be a surprise pick on the second day as the Ravens search for Ed Reed’s eventual successor.
Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft
Round 1 (#26): Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado Buffaloes: This is an area Baltimore needed to address last season. He’s a first round talent that somebody will take in the late first round despite concerns about character.
Round 2 (#58): Titus Young, WR, Boise State Broncos: Young would give the Ravens a big-play type of guy that can stretch the field. They need to inject some speed into that receivers corps.
Round 3 (#90): Jarvis Jenkins, DE, Clemson Tigers: Jenkins would play the end spot in the Ravens’ 34 defense. An upgrade at the position could be something the Ravens consider in the early rounds.
Round 4 (#123): Jason Pinkston, OT, Pittsburgh Panthers: The Ravens will look to bolster the offensive line in the middle rounds.
Round 5 (#164): Demarcus Love, G, Arkansas Razorbacks: Baltimore needs to keep Flacco safe and even if Chris Chester is resigned, they could look for depth along the line of scrimmage.
Round 5 (#165): Shareece Wright, CB, USC Trojans: The Ravens could lose a few corners via free agency and even if they’re all retained, the position needs help.
Round 6 (#180): Akeem Dent, ILB, Georgia Bulldogs: With Ray Lewis turning 36 soon, the Ravens should consider bringing in a young pupil for the future Hall of Famer. Tavares Gooden is a restricted free agent, but adding another young inside linebacker like Dent could be a goal.
Round 6 (#191): Mistral Raymond, FS, South Florida Bulls: Similar to the Lewis situation, Reed is nearing the end of his career and has been marred by injuries. The Ravens could consider Rahim Moore in an earlier round, but if they wait this long a guy like Raymond could come in and learn under Reed. He’s a former walk-on who played two years at USF and didn’t blow it up in the interception department, but he’s a leader and should be effective in the NFL.
Round 7 (#225): DeAndre Brown, WR, Southern Miss Golden Eagles: Brown has his concerns, but somebody is going to take their chances on him. Baltimore could look at a couple of receivers in this draft.
That’s how it played out in our Mock of the Baltimore Ravens “War Room”
Please Note: We will be Hosting a LIVE CHAT during the 2011 NFL Draft. Please join us and take part in the discussion in the room. We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions as the 2011 NFL Draft progresses in real time.