It’s about damn time! The NFL Draft is just one day away, and you’re probably just as tired of the mock drafts as I am. Recently I saw a mock draft put out by ESPN that predicted trade scenarios for each team in the first round. How ridiculous is that?
The Ravens hold the 16th pick in Thursday’s draft, and there’s a number of things Ozzie could do with that pick. This draft is so deep and loaded with talent that it’s almost impossible to screw it up. Unless you’re the Browns…I’m sure they’ll find a way to blow it. Anyway, here are five players the Ravens should consider taking if they’re available.
MIKE WILLIAMS, WR, CLEMSON
If Williams is available, there’s no doubt in my mind that Ozzie pulls the trigger on this selection. The Ravens already have the speed to stretch the field in Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. At 6’4, Williams is the big-bodied sure-handed receiver the Ravens have been lacking since the departure of Anquan Boldin. Williams has proven that he’s capable of making big time catches in traffic. His ability to work the middle of the field is something the Ravens will need after Steve Smith’s retirement. Williams has the height, weight, and speed to be a big time receiver in the NFL.
COREY DAVIS, WR, WESTERN MICHIGAN
One glance at the film and it’s clear Corey Davis has plenty of talent. After all, he is the FBS all time receiving leader. Because he played for Western Michigan, the skill level of his opponents has been questioned. However, he has all the skills that make for a great NFL receiver. Like Williams, he has a big frame and makes tough catches in traffic. He’s a solid route runner and is able to accelerate away from defenders after the catch. Davis is already familiar catching passes from a Flacco. Joe’s brother, Tom, is the quarterback at Western Michigan. Davis met with several teams before the draft and said he felt most comfortable with the Ravens. There should be no complaints from Ravens fans if Davis or Williams are taken with the 16th pick.
OJ Howard, TE, ALABAMA
Yes, the Ravens already have a plethora of tight ends. However, they don’t have one as talented as OJ Howard. Ozzie Newsome has been known to take the best player available, and if Howard falls to the Ravens, he may be too tempting to pass on. Everyone knows Ozzie LOVES his Alabama players. Howard is a dynamic pass catcher with the ability to block. With this pick the Ravens would give Flacco an offensive weapon and protection in the pocket. Howard is a match-up nightmare for defenses and has shown flashes of speed that allow him to runaway from safeties and corners after the catch. If Howard is available, I would be more than satisfied with this pick.
REUBEN FOSTER, LB, ALABAMA
Reuben Foster is a monster; there’s no doubt about it. Foster is a hard-hitting linebacker with attitude. Pairing him with CJ Mosley would make for some entertaining football. In previous mocks, many didn’t have Foster slipping past Cincinnati at pick 9. A shoulder injury and a diluted drug test at the combine, however, have caused his stock to slip a little. In most cases, I think the Ravens would stay away from a player like Foster, but once again, the Alabama ties make me think Ozzie could take a chance on him. Foster isn’t the pass rusher the Ravens are looking for, but his intimidating hard-hitting style is perfectly suited for the Ravens defense.
HAASON REDDICK, LB, TEMPLE
Last year the Ravens struck gold with Temple cornerback Tavon Young. They may very well do the same again with Haason Reddick. Reddick is an explosive linebacker with the ability to drop in coverage and provide pressure of the edge. He may be slightly undersized, but so was Ray Lewis. And I am by no means comparing Haason Reddick to Ray Lewis. Reddick was responsible for 21.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks with Temple last season. With his speed and athleticism, Reddick could fit into the Ravens 3-4 scheme as an inside linebacker. Reddick has a high ceiling, but because he his relatively unknown and played at Temple, Ravens fans will complain about this pick.