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.
If the Ravens decide to go elsewhere in Round One, they’ll most likely target a potential right-side starter. Rick Wagner appears to be the current favorite to start, but most believe that John Harbaugh and his staff will bring in young competition. Might they find their future starter in Round Two? Let’s take a look at a few potential options.
Morgan Moses, Virginia
Moses’ stock went up significantly in 2013 due to a great senior season. I personally grade Moses as a solid 3rd-round pick with the potential to be drafted late in the second due to team need. The Ravens are one of the few teams that are in a spot to potentially grab the big-bodied tackle early.
Moses has many traits to like. His strong legs help him effectively stick with elite pass-rushers and hold his spot on the outside. His big upper body is impressive and helps his stock. Against Clemson, the 6’6″ lineman held his own against pass-rusher Vic Beasley. While he struggled to shift outside a bit, he was able to have a respectable performance against, arguably, the nation’s best edge-rusher.
Someone who has been very high on Moses is former Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah. He said of Moses: “Moses has excellent size and length. He isn’t a great athlete, but he stays on his feet and rarely gets beat in pass protection. He is a Day 1 starter at right tackle.”
Jeremiah has Moses going to Seattle at #32 in his latest mock.
JuWuan James, Tennessee
While many label Antonio Richardson as the best tackle coming out of Tennessee, James clearly has the edge in my mind.
What I like about James is his quickness for his size. He is huge, but he excels coming off the snap and can win with his initial quickness. Of all the tackles in this draft, James might project best for the right side – something that works out perfectly for the Ravens.
STRENGTHS: Surprisingly quick off the snap, showing the ability to slide to protect the edge against the variety of speed rushers he has faced in the SEC. Plays on the balls of his feet but with his knees bent and his butt down, putting him good position to shuffle laterally as well as anchor against a quality bull-rush. Surprisingly light feet also stand out while run-blocking, as does his competitive spirit.
Powerful at the point of attack and can drive defenders off the ball. Not shy about peeling off of them to target would-be tacklers at the second level, as well. A plug and play candidate, James looks like a solid bet to crack the first 100 picks of the 2014 draft.
WEAKNESSES: Like most blockers with his frame, James occasionally struggles with pad level. When he drops his head, he can be beaten with a swim move over the top. This occurs most often while run blocking.
I see James as a potential 3rd round pick, but much like Moses, he could be taken earlier due to team need.
The Ravens can hope that someone like someone like Cyrus Kouandjio falls to them here, but if they want to lock down a tackle in this draft, they might have to reach a bit.