Just like last year, the Baltimore Ravens are stuck smack dab in the middle of the first round of the NFL Draft. With the 16th overall selection for the second straight year, it can be hard to predict just which prospects will be available for the Ravens when they are on the clock in April.
Could top receiver Calvin Ridley drop to 16? Could an elite defensive prospect such as Roquan Smith fall in Baltimore’s lap? It really is hard to tell since how the first half of the first round will play out often relies on how many quarterbacks are selected.
A run on quarterbacks would make it feasible for Baltimore to land a better-than-expected prospect midway through the first round. But with that said, the draft is still three months away, and quite frankly no one can predict what will happen this far out.
Taking a look at a diverse set of mock drafts, however, paints a better picture of which players could be available for the Ravens in the first round.
Let’s take a look at which prospects are being linked to Baltimore as potential round-one options.
Last year’s draft was about building strong depth on defense, and this year’s should be about surrounding Joe Flacco with some young weapons. Guice isn’t that far away from Barkley as a prospect, with a three-down skill set that balances power and explosiveness.
The Ravens like what Alex Collins brings to the field, and with Guice, Baltimore would have a powerful duo in its backfield. Wide receiver could be considered as well, but Guice is too talented to pass on here.
RSR analysis: Some fans may be turned off by this on the surface, but the reality is one good season from Alex Collins should not allow the Ravens to make any adjustments with their offseason plans if given the opportunity to upgrade the running back position. Guice would more than upgrade the position, as he is not far off from Penn State’s Saquon Barkley as a prospect.
Every year we suggest Ozzie Newsome could select an Alabama player. Sometimes that statement is met with an eye roll. But then it happens, and this is a position of need.
The Ravens have only two wideouts with 20-plus catches this season (Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin) and need to add a young playmaker to help quarterback Joe Flacco. Ridley offers NFL-ready route-running and the play speed to create — both before and after the catch.
RSR analysis: In an uninspiring receiver class compared to recent years, Ridley stands out as the most complete prospect at the position. It is no secret that the Ravens need to make multiple moves at the receiver position, and Ridley could be the first domino to fall.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar: Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU
If two wide receivers are gone by the time Baltimore’s pick is up, the Ravens could look for Terrell Suggs’ heir apparent. That could be Key, who has incredible athleticism and length.
RSR analysis: In terms of pure athletic potential, Key figures to test out as one of the draft’s most enticing athletes. With a Baltimore pass rush defunct of game-changing athletes, Key could be the difference maker the defense needs. However he played in only eight games in 2017.