With just about two weeks left until the highly anticipated NFL Draft, final mock drafts are coming into place and final projections and team needs are being constructed. This is a draft that can be very tough to cover from every angle, as there is no true “locked-in” pick with any team. This close to the big day, this is indeed a unique scenario.
For the Baltimore Ravens, much will depend on the possible trades and moves in front of them. While Ozzie Newsome is the only one who really knows his big board, the players most likely to be available could be taken anywhere from the top-15, to the end of round two.
There has been a great amount of speculation that the Ravens could be looking at a receiver with their first pick. This is a class where wide-outs are spread all across the board, but very few guys have the talent to be a first round steal.
Several teams will go after receivers in the first round, but these teams need deep threats that can go “north-south” quick. Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson are the players like the Vikings and Patriots are looking for.
There might be a player that has arguably the best talent in the draft falling to the Ravens. That player—Keenan Allen.
Now, you have certainly seen Allen go fast in mock drafts, but there is a likely chance he falls to the end of the first. It’s a fact that the teams ahead of the Ravens want a speedy playmaker, and choosing Allen to fit that mold would be a big risk. The 6’3” receiver from Cal has the potential to be a deep threat, but with his recent injuries and poor pro day times, his speed does not to compare to other guys in this draft like Justin Hunter.
He is an athletic and quick player, but his speed isn’t where you would like to see it. Marc Sessler of NFL.com wrote that Mike Mayock clocked Allen in the mid-4.7 range in his 40-yard dash. Allen couldn’t work out at the combine, so he displayed his talents at his pro day.
He showed everything I saw on tape—quick feet, tremendous route running, and solid hands—the intangibles that propel him ahead of everyone else in this class.
I don’t think his 40-yard Pro Day numbers resemble what he is on the field. He is certainly quicker when he hits the gridiron, like Anquan Boldin, who interestingly enough is the person Mayock compares the Cal product to.
The key is the Ravens spot in the first round. Many have Allen going just ahead of Baltimore with a pick late in the 20’s. If the Ravens really have an interest in Allen, they could consider moving up a few picks when the Texans are on the clock at 27. If he fell to Houston, they would be a very likely suitor.
For a guy that would start day one in the slot, we have to look at Keenan Allen as a possible fit in Baltimore. Let’s just say if he slips down to 32, don’t expect him to go any further!