5 Players Baltimore Ravens Should Target on Day 2
With the 32nd overall pick in the first draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected Matt Elam. Rated as one of the top safety prospects in the draft, Elam now looks to be the heir apparent to Ed Reed.
Elam is the only new Raven so far, but Friday's draft action has the Ravens currently slated to make two more picks. It's entirely possible that they could trade down or even make the unlikely move of trading up for a player that they really like.
Despite the offseason purge in early free agency, the Ravens have made it clear that there is a plan to retool and stock up for a Super Bowl repeat with a largely different roster from last season. The missing pieces could come into play in the next six rounds of the draft.
Here's a look at five prospects that the Ravens should consider at No. 64 and No. 94 on Friday night.
Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida
Wouldn't it be something if the Ravens get Florida Gators with both of their first two picks?
The consensus was that the Ravens' first-round pick would come down to either a safety or a linebacker. They chose to go for a safety, so barring a trade-up or a player dropping, the Ravens won't be in a position to get someone like Kevin Minter or Manti T'eo in the second round.
They still need a middle linebacker, especially since Rolando McClain seems determined to get cut before even playing a down in Baltimore. Courtney Upshaw could move to inside linebacker, but his strength is playing on the outside and it seems like he'll be shuffled around in lots of different packages.
Jonathan Bostic would be a great value pick in either the second or third round. He provided veteran leadership for his final year at Florida where the Gators finished with an impressive 11-1 record. He was also voted second-team All-SEC, an impressive award considering how stacked the defenses are in that conference.
Bostic's strength is as a downhill Mike linebacker who is ferocious in defending against the run. That is a definite need for the Ravens, whose 20th-ranked run defense looked very ordinary and even embarrassingly bad at times in 2012.
Bostic also has decent speed for an inside linebacker and strong tackling ability. At this point, he could very well be the top linebacker prospect that the Ravens have a realistic shot at drafting.
Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State
Although some mock drafts had Arthur Brown going late in the first round or early in the second round, it's looking like a slide downwards could be possible. Brown's slide would come not from off-field issues, but basically just because of the fact that he's a shorter player with less bulk.
Brown comes in at 6'1'' and 227 pounds. His smaller bulk makes him less of a run-stuffer, but it does assist him when dropping back into coverage. His 40-yard dash time between 4.58 and 4.62 seconds at his pro day would have been the fastest among inside linebackers at the combine.
Similar to other linebackers like Curtis Lofton, Brown plays bigger than he looks. Other than not having the ideal size, he is ranked by multiple experts as one of the surest picks in this year's draft.
David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado
The Ravens' offensive line is still in a state of limbo now with uncertainty surrounding the tackle positions. Bryant McKinnie is currently getting humbled by the lack of interest he is receiving on the open market, so it's possible that he could still return to the team.
Even if McKinnie comes back, his days as a Raven are numbered. It would not hurt at all for the Ravens to go younger at left tackle while keeping Michael Oher at his ideal position of right tackle.
Bakhtiari could also project to move to guard due to his somewhat light size for an offensive lineman. Still, with a nasty style of play and his ability to close off the inside, Bakhtiari could be a good depth signing for the offensive line, even if he does end up being a guard in the NFL.
Jordan Mills, OT, Louisiana Tech
Another tackle that the Ravens could consider looking at on Friday is Jordan Mills from Louisiana Tech. Though he hails from a more obscure school, Mills is actually somewhat familiar to the Ravens since his play is somewhat reminiscent of Michael Oher's.
Like Oher, Mills shows tremendous hustle and he keeps going until the whistle is blown. He has a great first step and frequently uses his flexible hips to generate good leverage at the point of attack. Unfortunately like Oher, Mills also has a propensity for getting called for holding.
The major thing with Mills is that it's uncertain which tackle position he would be better for. He has never played at left tackle, but scouts do view him as a versatile prospect who could play at tackle or at guard.
Khaseem Greene, ILB, Rutgers
Khaseem Greene actually has a lot of similarities to Arthur Brown. He's another one of those hybrid linebackers that has the speed and the size needed to keep up with athletic tight ends and running backs. Greene is actually a former safety and does a good job keeping his eyes on the quarterback when dropping back into a zone.
When it comes to tackling, he has the technical aspect down well, wrapping up on his tackles and showing no fear of going for violent hits or the strip.
Like Brown, Greene could also struggle when matched up against bigger linemen. He'll need to get stronger if he's to successfully take on blocks against the typical NFL lineman.
If he can't bulk up, Greene could be limited to being a situational player who only comes in on passing situations. If he can improve though, he's got the potential to become a solid weak-side linebacker, maybe even better than current starter Jameel McClain.
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