As a part of our coverage here at Russell Street Report, we’ll be featuring the best prospects all across the board in any situation the Ravens might come across. Whether it’s a receiver in the first round, a quarterback in the sixth, or a guard in the third, we’ll cover the Ravens best options in any scenario.
Barring any trades, the team will pick in the middle of rounds 1, 2, 3 and 6 and then again with four compensatory picks to be announced this week at the Owners’ Meetings —so we’ll see who is available when the Ravens are projected to select their upcoming stars.
Protecting Joe Flacco is a top priority in this offseason, and signing Eugene Monroe was a big step in the right direction. The first round is full of incredible talent, but there are several tackle-needy teams ahead of the Ravens in the first round. Here are few players that might fall into the Ravens’ lap at 17.
NOTE: Expect Greg Robinson from Auburn and Jake Matthews from Texas A&M to be off the board well before the Ravens pick.
Taylor Lewan, Michigan
While some project him to be a top-10 pick, Lewan might end up falling due to his off-the-field issues.
On the field, Lewan plays a hard-nosed game. He has great strength and the ability to be effective on the left side at the next level. While there are a few little things in his game to clean up, I think he’ll be very effective with great NFL coaching.
According to multiple media outlets, Lewan will face charges in a fight that occurred in December. Coaches might not appreciate what comes with this pick, but it’s hard to pass in the middle of the first round if Lewan is available.
From what I saw, Lewan can get off the ball very well. His positioning isn’t perfect, but he has initial quickness, something more important than positioning. NFL coaches can teach fundamentals, but they can’t teach the overall ability that Lewan has.
Zack Martin, Notre Dame
I have never been a huge fan of Martin due to where he projects at the next level.
You’ll hear a lot about his lack of size and length – something concerning – but I’m more worried about how he’ll handle elite pass-rushers in the NFL.
There’s no doubt that Martin has the talent to start on an NFL roster. He sticks with defensive linemen well and he has shown on tape that he can play an elite game at the college level. His problem is the high-level competition he’ll face on the big stage.
I don’t feel Martin has the necessary traits to handle the outside speed edge rush.
Here’s what CBS Sports had to say on this matter:
With less than ideal length and lateral range, Martin’s NFL future may lie inside at guard, where he never played in college. The move to guard is necessary because Martin does not possess great height, arm length or foot speed. He chucks his way back (rather than sliding) for an effective if not aesthetically-pleasing form of pass protection.
Cyrus Kouandijo from Alabama and Morgan Moses from Virginia are other potential options, but you could consider it a reach if Ozzie Newsome takes a shot at one of these guys.
If the team feels comfortable to grab one of these players in the first round, they should at-least trade back and pick up another pick or three.
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