Final Baltimore Ravens 7-Round Mock Draft
With the 2014 NFL draft one day away, the Baltimore Ravens find themselves in a great situation with the 17th overall pick. With plenty of team needs on both sides of the ball, the Ravens will be able to draft the best player available, or move back and acquire more picks in later rounds.
Let me preface this mock draft with the notion that I believe the Ravens will trade back with a team such as the San Francisco 49ers or Denver Broncos. Both teams have limited room on their rosters and are rumored to be in the market of moving into the middle of the first round, making the Ravens an ideal trade partner. General Manager Ozzie Newsome loves picks and will be hard pressed to turn down a deal.
However, there are a few players that, if still on the board at 17, the Ravens will sprint to the podium for: Notre Dame OT Zack Martin, Alabama FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and North Carolina TE Eric Ebron. All three of these players are the best at their position, with Zack Martin projected at right tackle.
For the purpose of this mock draft, I have the Ravens trading their first-round, 17th overall, pick to the 49ers for their first-round, 30th overall, second-round, 56th overall, and fourth-round, 129th overall, picks.
San Fransisco 49ers Get: 17th overall pick
Baltimore Ravens Get: 30th, 56th and 129th pick
After this trade, the Ravens will have plenty of picks to find great value in the later rounds and fill out their roster with one of the deepest draft in years.
Let's take a look at who the Ravens should take in the 2014 NFL draft.
Round 1, Pick 30: Jimmie Ward, FS, Northern Illinois
With the Ravens trading their 17th overall pick to the 49ers, GM Ozzie Newsome is freed up to acquire picks and still get one of the best players in the draft. Jimmie Ward is the clear-cut second-best free safety prospect in the draft, with outstanding coverage and playmaking ability.
Ward is undersized at 5'11" and 193 pounds, but has great range and can protect the back end of the Ravens defense. After the season, Newsome said that the Ravens were in the market to add an athletic, rangy safety to complement last year's first-round pick, Matt Elam. During the offseason, the Ravens signed former Ram Darian Stewart, but this shouldn't stop the Ravens from picking Ward.
Although the Ravens did draft Elam in the first round a year ago, Ward can offer stability in the secondary for years to come. Ward plays great in space, is a ball hawk and is also effective in stopping the run. With the biggest knock on Ward being his size, that certainly will not deter the Ravens from picking him in the latter part of the first round.
Round 2, Pick 48: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
In this mock, the Ravens miss out on the top tight end in the draft, Eric Ebron; however, they get the next best thing with Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The former Washington Husky, Seferian-Jenkins is a beast, at 6'6" and 262 pounds, and could provide the Ravens with a red-zone threat they desperately need.
Seferian-Jenkins would complement Dennis Pitta extremely well in Gary Kubiak's two-tight end offense. While the Ravens did sign former Texan Owen Daniels, he is on the wrong side of 30, and Seferian-Jenkins gives the Ravens a long term answer at tight end.
In 2010, the Ravens missed on TE Ed Dickson, and won't make that mistake again. Seferian-Jenkins has some of the best hands in the draft and also played basketball at Washington, which we have seen correlate well at the tight end position in the NFL. If the Ravens take Seferian-Jenkins, expect him to have a big impact on the 2014 season.
Round 2, Pick 56: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
The Ravens continue to add weapons for Joe Flacco in the 2014 NFL draft, this time selecting LSU WR Jarvis Landry. While it has been Landry's college teammate, Odell Beckham Jr., who has been getting all the pre-draft hype, Landry comes in as one of the most pro-ready receivers in the draft.
Landry isn't the biggest receiver, but he certainly is the toughest. At 5'11", 205 pounds, Landry compares favorably to new Raven WR Steve Smith. Both play with a nastiness and are very sure-handed receivers. In such a deep WR draft, Landry, a first-round talent, falls to the Ravens in the second round, and Newsome couldn't be happier.
Landry would have the luxury of learning from Steve Smith while not being forced immediately onto the field. Adding some bulk during the 2014 NFL season should be Landry's number one priority, allowing him to be a cornerstone in the Ravens' passing attack down the road.
Round 3, Pick 79: Keith McGill, CB, Utah
Utah's Keith McGill is one of the biggest and most physical cornerbacks in this year's draft. It's no secret that the Ravens love to stockpile cornerbacks, and, in the third round, value meets need with McGill. The Ravens are high on McGill and brought him in for a private workout.
The Seattle Seahawks have changed the way that cornerbacks are perceived. McGill is an imposing 6'3", 211 pounds, and a converted safety, but has the ability to play press coverage and thrive. The biggest concerns for McGill are that he will be a 25-year-old rookie, and he has only played one season at corner, but he is worth the risk.
The Ravens are definitely in need of adding cornerback depth, with the departure of Corey Graham, and adding McGill would allow the Ravens to play a lot of man coverage and get after the quarterback.
Round 3, Pick 99: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
This pick would be the best-case scenario for the Ravens. I'm not sure if Hill will make it to the bottom of the third round, but, if he does, the Ravens' war room will be ecstatic. Hill is exactly the kind of running back the Ravens are looking for: A Big-bodied, downhill runner who will always fall forward.
At 6'1", 233 pounds, Hill had a very productive redshirt sophomore year at LSU and showed that he can be a starter in the NFL. He has very soft hands, making him a threat out of the backfield and also a valuable third-down back. Hill's stock has been rising, but with the devaluation of running backs, seeing Hill slip into the third round would not be surprising.
Another option for the Ravens, if Hill is taken, is Towson University running back Terrance West. West is a local prospect who has worked out and met with the Ravens multiple times. The Ravens like West, and, while it seems likely the Ravens are taking a running back in rounds 2 or 3, West is a very viable option in the third round.
Round 4, Pick 129: Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State
Turner fits the mold as a late-round Ravens selection. He comes from a small school, North Dakota State, and he has the versatility to play four positions on the line. While drafting Turner might involve a slight move up from the Ravens, he has tremendous upside and would compete right away at the right tackle position.
Turner is still raw, as far as technique and footwork, but is very athletically gifted. He had impressive tape against Kansas St. this past year, which could allow one team to fall in love with him early on. The Ravens definitely need to add offensive line depth in this draft, and I believe that this is the round and pick to do that in.
Round 4, Pick 134: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
With current Ravens backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor's contract expiring at the end of this season, the Ravens are in a market for a new backup QB. At 6'6", 254 pounds, Thomas is a converted tight end who has a monster arm. He is definitely a developmental QB, and the Ravens are a team willing to develop.
Thomas has great mobility in the pocket and is a threat to run. However, he must become more consistent with his accuracy if he wants to be a starter in the NFL. He is very similar, stature-wise, to Joe Flacco, which is something that the Ravens could be attracted to with Thomas. Thomas makes for a good insurance policy for the Ravens if anything were to happen to Flacco.
The Ravens will be drafting a quarterback, they have said that they like AJ McCarron a lot, but he is likely a second- or third-round prospect. Other quarterbacks to keep in mind are Keith Wenning, Jimmy Garoppolo and Zach Mettenberger.
Round 4, Pick 138: Mike Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest
Mike Campanaro is an intriguing prospect for the Ravens. He is a local product and was extremely productive at Wake Forest, finishing his career as their all-time leader in catches. At 5'9", 192 pounds, he is similar to Landry, however, he is much more of a short-route runner who looks to make plays after the catch.
It might be far fetched, but I feel as though Campanaro's ceiling is similar to Wes Welker, if he's in the right system. Because of his size, he is limited to the slot. However, he is a very intelligent football player and always finds a way to get open. Campanaro impressed at the combine, running a 4.45 and doing 20 reps on the bench press.
While Campanaro did battle through some injuries during his college career, he plays tough and would be an excellent value pick for the Ravens, who should add receiver depth.
Round 5, Pick 175: Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
South Florida defensive end Aaron Lynch has the ability to shine in the NFL, much like his freshman year at Notre Dame. Lynch transferred to South Florida to be closer to home and was never the same. He has the ability to be a late-round steal for the Ravens on the defensive line, where they have a history of finding talent.
With Lynch comes a large boom-or-bust factor, but, in the late stages of the fifth round, it is worth the risk. Lynch would be entering a veteran locker room with established players at the position in Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. Lynch could be mentored and revert back to his playing days at Notre Dame.
The Ravens love to add depth along the defensive line late in the draft. Lynch has potential, but will need to be motivated, making the Ravens an ideal landing spot.
Round 6, Pick 194: Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty
The Ravens have maintained interest in Walt Aikens throughout the entire draft process. Aikens comes from a small school, Liberty, and we know how much the Ravens love small school prospects. Aikens is another big corner at 6'1", 203 pounds and performed well at the Senior Bowl.
The Ravens, especially Newsome, love to have a plethora of cornerbacks who will compete for a special teams job. Aikens ran a 4.49 during workouts and will look to be a contributor on special teams as early as 2014. If Aikens is still on the board in the sixth round, expect the Ravens to call his name.