Baltimore Ravens: With Evans off the Board, WR No Longer a 1st Round Priority

Michael Natelli@@MichaelNatelliCorrespondent IMay 8, 2014

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) lines up for the play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2012, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Early on in the draft process, seemingly every draft analyst from every network and website was sending Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans to the Baltimore Ravens in their mock drafts. With Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones both impending free agents, Torrey Smith's contract situation up in the air and Baltimore lacking another reliable pass catcher, the fit made perfect sense.

Since then, the Ravens have resigned Pitta and Jones and added Steve Smith and Owen Daniels to the mix. But with Smith entering his age-35 season and Daniels on only a one-year deal, the Ravens could still use another wide receiver.

Evans, perhaps the most physical receiver in the draft, would've gone a long way in replacing Anquan Boldin. However, he is now off the board and heading to Tampa Bay. So while the Ravens should still look to bring in a receiver this weekend, wide receiver should not be a priority anymore Thursday night.

I wrote earlier that the Ravens should consider Eric Ebron if he falls to the 17th pick because Daniels will be a free agent after this season. However, Ebron is now off the board (10th overall to Detroit), and unless the Ravens have a strong feeling about Texas Tech's Jace Amaro, they can postpone their search for a tight end until Friday or even Saturday.

So, with Evans off the board, the Ravens can now wait until Friday night to go after a receiver. This draft offers so many talented options that will presumably fall into the middle rounds of the draft, and the Ravens have other needs to address, namely linebacker and safety. With the likes of CJ Mosely, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor still on the board, Baltimore has plenty of options that will address more pressing needs than a receiver would at this point.

The Ravens always go after the best player available, and if Evans had managed to fall all the way to 17, chances are he would've fit that bill. But at this point, a receiver no longer does, so the Ravens can now look elsewhere with the 17th pick.