Ravens’ draft priorities don’t include center

Gino

The NFL Draft is a little more than a week away, and most teams are having their pre-draft press conferences, affectionately known as the “liars’ luncheons.”

The Ravens held their version this week, and here are some of the conclusions you could draw from what team executives said — if you think they were telling the truth.

1. Kelechi Osemele might be the starting left tackle; Michael Oher won’t be.

2. The Ravens would love to pick Manti Te’o.

3. The free-agent moves they made will have no impact on the draft.

4. The Ravens are happy and set at center with Gino Gradkowski (I actually believe this one).

5. Cats and dogs living together is total chaos … just making sure you are paying attention.

Elsewhere around the league, other general managers were saying similar things.

Buffalo general manager Buddy Nix said, “There is a QB worth taking with the eighth pick.” He also said the 2013 quarterback class is better than people are giving it credit for. He went on to say there were up to seven quarterbacks that could be solid NFL players.

With all due respect to Nix, this quarterback class is weak at best. If any of them came out last year, none would be considered a first-rounder, and many could go as low as the third round. Sounds like a GM talking players up so his team can trade down.

***

The draft seems to be coming down to three players and where they go will truly determine the shape of the draft.

Player A: Geno Smith – He could go as high as second to Jacksonville, but he could also see an Aaron Rogers-type fall and go in the 20s. This is the first draft domino to fall. If he gets past the Bills at No. 8, Smith may have a long night.

Player B: Tavon Austin – Does a team think the Bills will take him and try to jump ahead of them? Is the latest Tampa interest a smokescreen? Must the Rams take him if he is on the board? Austin might be the next Percy Harvin…or the next Dexter McCluster. To me, he is valued too highly.

Player C: Arthur Brown – Yes, Brown is my 2013 NFL Draft man crush. One scout said Brown could go anywhere from 15-45 in this draft. I have heard some teams consider him a top 10 talent this year. I can see Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver and maybe Houston as landing spots for him. In my latest mock I have him still there at No. 32 and the Ravens taking him.

The Offensive Tackles
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Menelik Watson, OT, FSU

I think they all go during the first round, and in that order. Three for sure go in the top 10. How high Fluker goes will be a real key during the draft.

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About Ken Zalis

Ken Zalis
Ken Zalis (KZ) is the creator and editor for FansFantasyFootball.com, a site created by fantasy football fans for fantasy players. The site provides pre-season and in-season fantasy football rankings, weekly analysis and boasts that it offers the fastest advice on the web. Zalis is also a weekly NFL contributor to...more

4 Raves on “Ravens’ draft priorities don’t include center

  1. Dave on said:

    Hopefully the Ravens have no interest in Fluker because he’s not a good fit. He’d probably be a better guard than tackle judging by his phenomenal run blocking and his unimpressive pass blocking. If he sticks at tackle, it sure as heck won’t be as a left tackle.

    Joeckel and Fisher will almost indefinitely go in the top 5, and rightfully so. Both have the potential to be All-Pro caliber left tackles. Some team will reach for Lane Johnson because of his impressive combine stats, but he really didn’t impress me that much on game tape. Watson is very intriguing, but he’s also quite raw.

    I’d go with Armstead in the second round. Then again, I’m not Ozzie Newsome.

  2. Mook on said:

    Ravens are the super bowl champs! The post season went the Ravens way but the regular season 10-6 Statistically 2012 they’re 14′th Offensively, 16′th Defensive, 11′th overall.
    Last five years (13.6 Ave.) Offensively, (6.2 Ave.) Defensive, (6.4 Ave.) overall.
    Any given week any team can beat any team.
    So we still go best player available on the Ravens board , Fill needs with free agents?

  3. Big C on said:

    You never know with the Ravens…. They truly draft best player at a time. They trade down if no one is good enough to draft at that pick. They’ll move up if a player starts to fall and they want to grab him. If you’re good at grading players, it’s the way to go. We’ve been really good at drafting the past 2 years… 2 dynamite drafts back to back… 12 picks… I see them grabbing 8-9 players and trading up. I see a CB, Pass rusher, Safety for certain… Would like to see a LT, it’s hard to not grab and O-lineman. Pugh in round 2? Maybe Sweringer? Lots of good players in this draft, a lot of athletes. Can’t wait to see who we get undrafted too. 1 always seems to make the 53 at least every year…

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