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With the Draft looming, what will the Ravens do?

With the Draft looming, what will the Ravens do?

Photo courtesy of Connor Turner via

With the NFL Draft less than a month a way, the Baltimore Ravens will soon be on the clock. With a 5-11 record in the 2015-2016 season, the Ravens are clearly hurting in some positions. But don’t let the record fool you; the Ravens still have a lot of overall talent. With the talent exceptions being in the positions of offensive tackle, defensive end andcornerback.They have already gotten better at wide receiver with the acquisition of Mike Wallace, along with Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman coming off injury. In the secondary, they acquired Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle and moved Lardarius Webb to strong safety.

With the sixth overall pick in the draft, the first option for the Ravens could be at defensive end. Out of Ohio State, Joey Bosa is a sure thing — that is if he is available. The best overall at his position, the five teams ahead of Baltimore may take him. Bosa is being compared to the likes of Jared Allen in his Minnesota days. If Bosa is not up for grabs and defensive end is still the main focus, DeForest Buckner and Noah Spence would be on the Ravens’ radar.

Buckner is a physical specimen at 6 feet 7 inches and 290 lbs. He is able to stop the run and was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year with 10.5 sacks. Spence, on the other hand, is looked at as the best pure pass rusher in the draft. This pick would only make sense if the Ravens traded back in the draft to gain an extra pick, ideally a mid-round pick. Spence is not a top-six talent, but is surely talented for later on in the first round. His off field issues may be the only red flag the Ravens need to pass on Spence. If still available for the sixth pick, outside linebacker Myles Jack would be another great choice for Baltimore. Jack could play along C.J. Mosley, which would make for a dominant linebacker core for the next decade. General manager Ozzie Newsome has been stressing the need for a pass rusher, considering the aging of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.

If the Ravens focus on cornerback rather than defensive end, look out for Jalen Ramsey from Florida State University. If Ramsey lasts until the sixth overall, he would be the steal of the draft for the Ravens. Ramsey could be the playmaker Baltimore has been lacking ever since the retirement of Ed Reed, and you can’t pass on such a talent.

If Ramsey doesn’t go to the Ravens, other options include Vernon Hargreaves III and Mackensie Alexander. Hargreaves has all the tools a corner needs in the league: speed, instincts and he is a tackling machine. A downside of Hargreaves is his small frame, yet the talent should overcome his size. Out of Clemson, Alexander is said to be the best man-to-man cover in the draft. A similar situation to Spence, Alexander is not a top-six talent, but someone to keep an eye on late in the first round if Baltimore trades down.

The only offensive tackle the Ravens would bother to pick at number six is Ronnie Stanley out of Notre Dame. More of a finesse tackle as opposed to a mauler, Stanley is a day-one NFL starter. However, the Ravens claim that Eugene Monroe is their starter for next season, which implies that Stanley will not end up in Baltimore. Another possibility, which would come later in the draft, is Jason Spriggs from Indiana University. A former tight end player converted to tackle, Spriggs has remarkably maintained the athletic prowess he had as a tight end while bulking up for tackle.

With the plethora of talent up for grabs, the Ravens have many options. With the sixth overall pick, look for Baltimore to choose from Ramsey, Hargreaves III, Bosa, Buckner, and Jack. One of them will definitely fall to sixth and any of them would make an instant impact in the 2016 season. Until then, we have to just wait and see.

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With the Draft looming, what will the Ravens do?