Brace yourselves, the post-NFL scouting combine mock drafts are here.
Part overreaction to a few days of workouts and part justified analysis of prospect performances, the recent mock drafts can shed a light on some potential options for the Baltimore Ravens with the 16th overall pick.
Much has changed since we tracked the first round of mock drafts, and the slew of options for the Ravens are looking positive as we head into free agency.
Let’s take a look at which prospects drafniks are linking to the Ravens in the first round.
CBS Sports’ Rob Rang: Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
With starting safety Matt Elam a pending free agent and Eric Weddle poised to enter his 11th NFL season, the Ravens may very well be looking for help in the secondary in the 2017 draft. Peppers starred as a linebacker in 2016 but possesses the agility and speed to handle coverage.
RSR analysis: Peppers continues to be a hot choice for the Ravens, but he poses a high risk as he lacks a positional identity and is not a can’t-miss athlete. In Baltimore, Peppers would likely settle in as a safety, but his lack of big-play ability on defense at Michigan is a concern.
NFL Network’s Charley Casserly: John Ross, WR, Washington
Joe Flacco gets much-needed speed at receiver.
RSR analysis: Thanks for the in-depth analysis, Charley. Anyway, Ross displayed transcendent speed at the combine, but he has one quality season of college play to show for it and inconsistent performance. Ross is as explosive as any player in this draft, but would be a risk at 16.
For more on Ross, check out today’s TALE OF THE TAPE.
CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The Ravens have a stable of average backs on the roster, which is one of the reasons they ranked near last in the NFL in rushing in 2016. Cook would help change that and open up the offense.
RSR analysis: Cook had a concerning combine performance in terms of lack of athleticism, but his on-field performance at Florida State was arguably the best of any running back in the country over the last two years. He would provide an instant impact for Baltimore’s offense.
USA Today’s Nate Davis: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Baltimore certainly needs to get younger on the edge as OLBs Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil continue to wind down. But it might be awfully tough for GM Ozzie Newsome, with the Crimson Tide coursing through his veins, to pass on Foster, despite his recent shoulder surgery and an incident at the combine that earned him an early ticket home. Still, the thought of teaming Foster with fellow ‘Bama alum C.J. Mosley — especially after ILB Zach Orr was forced to prematurely retire — would be awfully tempting for a defense that would become quite imposing with this duo covering the field in nickel packages.
RSR analysis: Well, no prospect had a more odd combine experience than Foster, who was sent home before he had even got started. On the flip side, Foster is a pro-ready linebacker with Grade-A instincts who would complement C.J. Mosley well. The red flags are there, as are the intriguing positives in his game.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
With Ricky Wagner leaving this offsesaon, the Ravens’ large list of needs now includes the offensive line. Bolles and his nasty demeanor are a nice fit in the AFC North and would give Baltimore a player who should be able to play either side.
RSR analysis: Selecting Bolles with the 16th pick would be an incredible risk as he has just one year of FBS experience and turns 25 this year.
CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
They have to get more weapons for Joe Flacco. With Steve Smith retiring, it makes sense.
RSR analysis: Where can I sign up? Williams is a dominant, physical receiver who may lack top-end speed, but wins in ways that would complement Flacco well.