With the NFL Draft only two days away, the Internet is filled with rumors. Everyone at the top of the draft wants to trade down. Everyone at the bottom wants to trade up. Surefire top 10 picks now have holes being shot in them.
Welcome to draft week.
As the Ravens prepare for the draft, I have three scenarios that could play out April 25 during the first round.
1. Trade Down
The Ravens have traded down before. In 2012, they moved down and still got Courtney Upshaw, and with the picks obtained then moved up to get Bernard Pierce earlier during Round Three. In 2010, they moved down as well and took Sergio Kindle and picked Ed Dickson with the extra third-round pick they had. Kindle is now out of the NFL, and Dickson has been fair.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. This year’s draft is either deep or poor, depending on your view. My view is there are fewer surefire starters at the top of the draft, but many players graded out in Rounds 2-4 that make day two fascinating to me.
If players such as Kevin Minter, Jonathan Cyprien, Keenan Allen, Arthur Brown, Menelik Watson, Matt Elam and others fall during the draft and the Ravens can trade back within the top five picks of Round Two, this could be an enticing move.
2. Trade Up
The Ravens moved up for Michael Oher in 2009 and Kyle Boller in 2003, and in 2008 they moved down, then up for Joe Flacco. Arthur Brown is a name to remember here. If he gets past Cincinnati at No. 21, I think the phones start to get warm. The Ravens have extra picks during rounds 4-7, thanks to the compensatory picks, so they can and will use their picks as an advantage to get who they want. Guys such as Brown (LB, Kansas State), Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee), Jonathan Cyprien (S, FIU) and Jarvis Jones (OLB, Georgia) could slide into the mid-20s and prompt the Ravens to move up.
3. Stay Put
This would be the most boring of the scenarios. The Ravens can do what they seem to do as well as anyone and let the draft come to them and take the best player available. Kevin Minter (ILB, LSU) seems like a perfect fit and a need for them. There will be a player who falls. They do every year, and the Ravens will scoop them up by being patient.
So there they are: the three ways the first round of the NFL Draft could unfold for the Ravens. Whichever way it turns out, we won’t know anything until well after 9:30 p.m. April 25 as the draft will or should be halfway through Round One by then. My final mock will be out around 7 p.m. April 26, so make sure you track what I think will happen as well.