Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft: 7-Round Predictions, Post-Scouting Combine
He could trade the pick, but prevailing wisdom suggests this year's top selection doesn't merit what it has in years past.
Now that the NFL Scouting Combine has concluded, teams have much more information to pair with a particular players' tape. With pro days still to come, the process isn't finished, but coaches and executives got a personal look at players they've seen from afar over the past few years.
Who will the Chiefs take? Who will make trades in the first round? Is there a consensus best overall player?
Fortunately for the Ravens, if they didn't draft anyone, they'd still have a very good roster. With Ray Lewis and Matt Birk retiring, the Ravens got younger while maintaining a high level of talent, athleticism and experience.
Here's a look at a practical seven-round mock draft that would fill many needs the Ravens have, as well as yield a group of very talented, football-passionate players.
*Most information acquired from NFL.com's combine tracker
Round 1: Arthur Brown, Inside Linebacker, Kansas State
Arthur Brown NFL Player Comparison
Weight: 241 pounds
Best combine stat: 116" (9'8") broad jump
NFL grade: 90.3
NFL comparison: NaVorro Bowman
Analysis: Arthur Brown is a lot like his brother (Eagles' running back Bryce Brown): a former player at a traditional football power that ended up at Kansas State and looks to make an early impact in his NFL career.
Now in the running to be the first inside linebacker taken in the draft, Arthur is making people realize what he's all about.
Brown possesses everything you'd want in a "Mike" linebacker: strength, sound tackling, football IQ, passion, above-average pass defense and sideline-to-sideline hustle.
If he's available (and even if they have to trade up a couple of spots) the Ravens would be well served to select Brown.
Round 2: Tony Jefferson, Free Safety, Oklahoma
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Weight: 213 pounds
Best combine stat: 4.62 seconds in the 40-yard dash
NFL grade: 73.2
NFL comparison: T.J. Ward
Analysis: Even though Ed Reed hasn't retired, it's clearly time to start preparing his successor. Whether Baltimore has seen enough from Christian Thompson (second pick, fourth round, 2012 draft) or not, Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson is certainly worth a second-round selection.
Jefferson is an explosive playmaker. He's a fierce hitter and blitzer, and can make an impact in just about any coverage or scheme. He's gained experience and has proven his ability to be an impact player against very talented opposition.
In addition to all that, he's a leader and turns his doubters' criticisms into motivation to get better. An All-American that's isn't satisfied and wants to get better is the type of player the Ravens would love to have.
Round 3: Brandon Williams, Defensive Tackle, Missouri Southern State
USA TODAY Sports
Weight: 335 pounds
Best combine stat: 38 reps (tied for most at combine) of 225 pounds (bench press)
NFL grade: 73.15
NFL comparison: Brandon Thompson
Analysis: Besides inside linebacker, defensive tackle is the most pressing position the Ravens need to address this offseason. If you saw the first half of Baltimore's season, you saw games against Kansas City and Dallas where the Ravens got absolutely gashed on the ground.
In Weeks 5 and 6 (at Kansas City, versus Dallas), the Ravens gave up 441 rushing yards and lost the time of possession battle, 74:13 to 45:47. Having a dominant defensive tackle is key when trying to reverse that kind of foreign ineptitude.
Brandon Williams is a player you might not know about now, but he has the makings of a player you will hear about often throughout his career. Sure he has prototypical size for the position, but he's also played nose tackle and the five-technique (defensive end, lining up on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle).
Not only does he fill a need, but Williams benched 225 pounds 38 times, which was tied for the most reps by any of the combine participants. That kind of strength is a necessity if you're going to play defensive tackle in the NFL, especially in the AFC North.
Round 4: Sanders Commings, Cornerback, Georgia
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Weight: 216 pounds
Best combine stat: 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash
NFL grade: 68.6
Of course, he went on to pursue football, which proved to be a wise decision. Still, anyone who is drafted by a professional sports team and is going pro in a different sport in quite an athlete.
And to be an athletic player at the cornerback position is a must. Commings is large as far as cornerbacks go, which is a good thing. Look at Seattle's secondary. Those four players' (Chancellor, Thomas, Browner, Sherman) average height and weight is 6'2", 213 pounds.
They are the model that NFL teams are looking to replicate. If quarterbacks and receivers are getting bigger, faster and stronger, your defensive backs should be doing the same. Enter Commings.
Early in his career at Georgia, he got the privilege of going against A.J. Green in practices. If he were to get drafted by the Ravens, he'd see Green at least twice a year when they play the Bengals.
Commings is a physical, rangy player who may have to move to safety at some point. He's had injuries and off the field issues, including an arrest for domestic violence on January 21, 2012, which resulted in him pleading to simple battery and disorderly conduct two months later.
At this point, the Ravens would only use Commings on special teams. That might be the best thing for both parties as Commings could utilize his physicality while learning humility and the importance of earning playing time.
If he straightens out, Commings could do some big things in Baltimore.
Round 5: Xavier Nixon, Offensive Tackle, Florida
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Weight: 321 pounds
Best combine stat: N/A
NFL grade: 67.2
Ramon Harewood (6'6", 340 pounds) could be the man for the job, but like the center and free safety positions, the left tackle position is more up-for-grabs than most.
Xavier Nixon is a big, lengthy tackle who's started a lot of big games for the Gators (mostly at left tackle, sometimes at right tackle). He's a good player on the move and uses his big 33.5" arms to keep blockers at bay.
His problem is inconsistency. If Nixon is going to be a full-time NFL starter at left tackle, he's going to have to realize his potential on a consistent basis. He has the size and ability to big a good left tackle, but that doesn't matter unless he actually shows it on the field.
Round 6: P.J. Lonergan, Center, LSU
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Weight: 304 pounds
Best combine stat: 25 reps of 225 pounds (bench press)
NFL grade: 58.4
NFL comparison: Jeff Faine
Analysis: The Ravens are in similar situations with regards to their free safety and center positions. They have a second-year player in place to take over, pending their preseasons. Still, Baltimore should look to back up their backups, because the last thing you want to do after winning a Super Bowl is get complacent.
At LSU, Longeran took on the best defensive lineman that college had to offer, both at practice and in games. He plays with (good) violence and fearlessness. He's a quick, tenacious mover and knows where to help out and where to direct his offensive lineman.
The knock on Lonergan is that his technique is, at times, sloppy. He will need to tighten things up before he sees NFL snaps. But at the end of the sixth round, you're hardly risking anything at all.
Round 7: Ryan Otten, Tight End, San Jose State
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Weight: 230 pounds
Best combine stat: N/A
NFL grade: 62.2
NFL comparison: John Phillips
Analysis: According to spotrac.com, all four of Baltimore's tight ends will become free agents on March 12. While the Ravens are likely to retain Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, you never know for sure.
Even if the Ravens did hold onto their two young talented tight ends, drafting another one like them couldn't hurt.
Ryan Otten isn't particularly big or fast, but he's savvy in tight spaces and maximizes yardage. Since 2011 (24 games), Otten has made 99 receptions for 1,481 yards (15.0 yards per reception) and nine touchdowns.
He's a smart receiver from snap to whistle. He understands where to position himself in order to defeat coverage.
Otten isn't a great athlete or blocker, although he gives a lot of effort. While it may take time for him to acclimate to the NFL, it's better that he's willing to work to improve than having loads of athleticism and being lazy.
This pick would be near the very end of the draft and would cost the Ravens, as NFL contracts go, almost nothing.
Otten wouldn't be counted on to contribute much on offense, but if he did, he could turn into yet another red-zone target for Joe Flacco and yet another player opposing defenses need to worry about.