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 each round—so we’ll see who is available when the Ravens are projected to select their upcoming stars. This will make it easy for you the fan to look at what the Ravens are seeing in future NFL prospects.
Let’s take a look at a few late-round prospects that the Ravens may target on Day Three of the draft. We’re just about 10 days from the big day, and Ozzie and his staff are surely preparing to find their diamond in the rough this season.
James Hurst, North Carolina
If it weren’t for a broken leg that has kept him on the sidelines during the time leading up to the draft, Hurst might have been viewed as a Day Two pick. Now that the injury is a bit of a concern, it appears many rankings have him potentially falling into the 4th round.
I have always been a big fan of Hurst. His ability to make a difference in the Tarheels’ rushing attack was evident on tape, and he clearly has an understanding of his role on the O-Line. I like that he was a four-year starter at UNC and believe he has the potential to be one of the real “sleeper” linemen of this draft.
As much as he would add a devastating presence in the run game, I am worried a bit about Hurst’s impact in pass protection. While he is a natural mauler on running plays, at times he doesn’t seem to have enough initial impact to keep his man away from the quarterback. He showed some flashes of brilliance in college, but too many plays stood out where he wasn’t in the right position to handle an edge rusher.
Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State
If you like size, Lucas is your guy. Standing at 6’8” and weighing around 320 pounds, the former Wildcat will be an enormous presence on any NFL offensive line.
What I like about Lucas is his athleticism despite his monster build. Many big guys aren’t able to “play small” and lack agility, wherase Lucas has the ability to be fluid in most things he does. He’ll sometimes prove to have too much weight on him, but overall, I’m impressed.
The knock on Lucas is his strength. Last season, the Ravens brought in big Joe Unga to take some pre-season snaps – snaps that he was absolutely plowed over on. With a guy like Lucas, I feel that something similar can happen. He doesn’t bring strength to every play, and he can sometimes look incredibly overmatched. To thrive at the next level, he’ll need top-notch coaching and some elite strength training.
Still, Lucas’ size alone makes him a candidate for the Ravens to take a flier on with one of their final selections.
Matt Patchan, Boston College
While a bit smaller than Lucas, (6’6”,~ 300lb.) Patchan also brings a large presence to the offensive front.
I like his game a lot, particularly his athleticism. He has the ability to stun defenders with his quickness, and he is rather smooth in pass protection. He has a few things he’ll need to iron out, but I think he’ll be a starter in the league some day.
Here’s the knock: injuries/accidents. This guy hasn’t been able to stay out of harm’s way, something noted by CBS analyst Rob Rang. Here are a few lines from his analysis:
Has been unable to remain on the field, mostly due to a maddening array of injuries. In May 2008, he was shot in the left shoulder as a bystander at a park in Brandon, Fla. He later injured his left knee in the first of two scooter accidents while at Florida, one of which also led to his being hit by a car. Missed all but the first four games of the 2009 season with a torn ACL (right knee), all of 2010 with a fractured right wrist and all of 2012 with a torn pectoral. On the field, Patchan is a relatively clean prospect.