By Matt Vensel
The Baltimore Sun
10:40 AM EDT, April 17, 2013
Here is a roundup of which first-round draft prospects the Ravens are linked to in 2013 NFL mock drafts.
--- Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports predicts the Ravens will take LSU inside linebacker Kevin Minter at pick No. 32.
“Some believe Manti Te'o is a better pick for the Ravens,” Kirwam wrote. “But I studied both and prefer Minter because he has better pass-drop awareness and plays under more control.”
--- Don Banks of Sports Illustrated also thinks the Ravens will draft Minter -- unless they trade the pick to someone else.
“If the Ravens don't choose to replace one of the inside linebackers they lost (Dannell Ellerbe and Ray Lewis) with LSU's Minter, they could address their need at receiver (Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins?) or put this pick up for auction to a team eager to get back in the first round and select a quarterback such as E.J. Manuel, Ryan Nassib or Matt Barkley,” Banks wrote.
--- Russ Lande of National Football Post believes the Ravens will draft Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te’o.
“The Ravens have no returning starters at inside linebacker after Ray Lewis retired and Dannell Ellerbe left as a free agent,” Lande wrote. “So while Te’o is not a rare athlete or elite prospect, he is a good, solid football player with the athleticism to be a three down linebacker.”
--- Rob Rang of CBS Sports sees the Ravens drafting California wide receiver Keenan Allen to replace Anquan Boldin.
“Ravens' general manager Ozzie Newsome has made a career out of landing falling talent on draft day and due to a poor showing at his April 9 Pro Day, Allen could be the latest star to wind up slip-sliding his way into Baltimore,” he wrote. “Tennessee's ultra-athletic Justin Hunter may also be a consideration for this pick but with vertical threats in Torrey Smith and free agent addition Jacoby Jones already on the roster, Baltimore might see Allen as the better fit to fill the spot left with the trade of Anquan Boldin.”
--- Charles Davis of NFL.com also mocked Allen to the Ravens.
“Allen is the receiver prospect most often compared to the recently traded Anquan Boldin,” Davis wrote. “His time in the 40-yard dash was slow at his pro day, but he's coming off knee surgery. Coaches who went against Allen all vouch for him in a big way.”
--- Peter Schrager of FOX Sports thinks the Ravens will address their offensive line with Syracuse lineman Justin Pugh.
“The Ravens' defense will look different in 2013, with new additions like Elvis Dumervil, Marcus Spears, Rolando McClain, and Chris Canty joining the 2012 Super Bowl winners,” he wrote. “The offensive line stepped up in the playoffs after a late-season shakeup. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ozzie Newsome went with a tackle like Pugh at 32.”
--- Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has the Ravens taking Florida safety Matt Elam in his latest mock draft.
“Elam might lack ideal size, but he's an instinctive and explosive football player,” Jeremiah wrote. “The Ravens lost both starting safeties this offseason, and Elam seems like their type of defender.”
--- ESPN’s Todd McShay is sticking with Te’o as his Ravens pick.
“The retirement of Ray Lewis leaves a huge void in the middle of the Raven's defense, and Te'o's overall skill set could help offset that loss,” wrote McShay, who said they could go with a safety or wide-out instead.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun