The lopsided Super Bowl marked the end of the 2013 season, and what better way to bring in the new football year than with a Baltimore Ravens mock draft?
Only one year ago, it was the Ravens that were basking in the post-championship high, but their championship defense came up just a tad short. To avoid the sting of losing in 2014, here's how the Ravens need to attack this draft.
Before we talk prospects, here is some key information for you to keep in mind as you're glancing through this mock draft.
For starters, as much as I'd like to nail every one of these picks, it's not going to happen. We generally get caught up in the accuracy of mock drafts, but that's not what they're about.
This mock draft aims to give you an idea of the Ravens' biggest needs and some of the best players available that will catch the eye of general manager Ozzie Newsome.
In addition, the Ravens only have four draft picks—right now.
There are, however, 32 compensatory picks to be handed out around the league. The Ravens figure to benefit from those, just as they normally do—fun fact: the Ravens have received the most compensatory picks in the NFL since the league started awarding them.
Baltimore lost free agents Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams—since Ed Reed was cut by the Houston Texans, he won't factor into the formula—to relatively lucrative contracts and all three players saw significant playing time for their new clubs.
On the other hand, the Ravens didn't sign any unrestricted free agents so they should receive at least three compensatory picks from the league.
Given the uncertainty of the picks, this mock draft proceeds with the assumption that the Ravens will have a pick in every round and doesn't factor in trading picks—something Newsome has shown a fondness for.
Now, to the podium where the Ravens are on the clock!