The final week before the draft is chaotic for every NFL office around the league. Teams are finding out who might want to deal, which players will fall, and every detail will be ironed out.
This year’s class has been highly scrutinized for a “lack of superstar talent.” Although this is a deep draft, it is true that standout players are going to be hard to come by.
As the Ravens sit at #32, they will have to anxiously await 31 other picks before seeing if a projected top-10 pick will fall to the end of the round (barring a trade, of course).
Here is a look at some of the final mock drafts around the league and who many have the Ravens taking at #32.
WalterFootball.com: Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, California:
This pick is all about figuring out which player will fall to the Ravens. Ozzie Newsome frequently scoops up plummeting prospects, and there’s no reason to believe that this year will be any different. The tumbling prospect could easily be Keenan Allen because he ran a 4.7 at his Pro Day, which was very Anquan Boldin-like.
Speaking of Boldin, Allen makes a ton of sense for the Ravens, as he would fill the void created by the Boldin trade to the 49ers. It’s also worth noting that Daniel Jeremiah, who used to work for Baltimore, listed Allen as a top option for the Ravens on Path to the Draft.
Joe’s Take: I really like Allen. I previously listed him as a viable option and believe if he plummets to the end of the first, the team could snatch him. As Walter said, he would fill the void of Anquan Boldin starting day one.
Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com: Kevin Minter, Linebacker, LSU:
The Ravens are world champions, but they also have needs all over their defense, including at middle linebacker where Ray Lewis leaves a gaping hole. Minter will never be the fastest athlete on the field, but he plays smart, alert football with a nose for the ball in the run game.
Joe’s Take: Minter has been a name linked to the Ravens for a while. I do have a high appreciation for the way Minter plays, but the recent signing of Rolando McClain lowers the chance of Ozzie Newsome taking a linebacker in the first round. If Minter or even Manti Te’o slips to the team’s second round pick, they will be considered and likely taken.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Matt Elam, Safety, Florida:
Elam might lack ideal size, but he’s an instinctive and explosive football player. The Ravens lost both starting safeties this offseason, and Elam seems like their type of defender.
Joe’s Take: Elam is another guy that has been on the radar of many heading into next week. I think the chance of taking a safety is greater than linebacker at this point. Pairing Elam with Michael Huff would be a pretty nice comeback in the defensive backfield after the losses of Reed and Pollard.
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: Justin Hunter, Wide Receiver, Tennessee:
They get a replacement for Anquan Boldin.
Joe’s Take: As Prisco stated shortly-and-sweetly, this does fill the need for Boldin. However, this has to be a last resort pick for the team. Hunter is a tremendous talent, but reaching this far for a player like Hunter wouldn’t make much sense.
When the Ravens are put on the clock, they will look for one of their targeted players to be sitting in position to be in the purple and black. Don’t be surprised however if the Ravens trade back into the second round.
There is a deep pool of talent, and the Ravens could move back into round two, gain a few more picks, and use those to move up in the second or third rounds.