Ravens’ draft priorities don’t include center

Street Talk Ravens’ draft priorities don’t include center

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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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Ken Zalis

About 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 Pressbox and Pressboxonline.com and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. More from Ken Zalis


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