The mock draft speculation has nearly reached fever pitch, but because this year’s draft has been moved to May, it will only continue for another couple of weeks. Are the Ravens going to take Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin? Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan? Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix?
Does anyone really know?
Let’s face it: Not really.
We went back and checked out how some of the top national pundits fared with their final 2013 mock first-round draft pick for the Ravens. Of course, the Ravens were drafting at No. 32 last year, so a lot more variables were in play last year than this year, when the Ravens, barring a move up or down, will draft at No. 17.
A couple of national writers correctly linked the Ravens and Florida safety Matt Elam, but many did not project Elam as a first-round pick. Here is what some of the national draft gurus predicted the Ravens would do with their first pick would go last season:
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Jonathan Cyprien, safety, Fla. International
Florio had the Ravens taking a safety, just not the right safety. Cyprien was still on the board when the Ravens chose Elam. In fact, Cyprien was the very next player taken, by Jacksonville with the first pick of the second round.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Jeremiah, a one-time Ravens scout, correctly read Ozzie Newsome’s mind on this one. “Elam might lack ideal size, but he’s an instinctive and explosive football player,” Jeremiah wrote. “The Ravens lost both starting safeties this offseason, and Elam seems like their type of defender.”
Peter King, SI.com: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
King got the player right, if not the round. The Ravens indeed did get Arthur Brown, who appeared on several mocks as a first-round pick. But he lasted all the way until the 56th pick, and the Ravens moved up six spots to make sure they got him.
Mel Kiper, ESPN: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
Minter was still on the board when the Ravens took Elam; Minter went to Arizona in the second round. Kiper did not have Elam as a first-round pick.