Mel Kiper Jr. is conducting a pre-draft press conference today and said that the Ravens' "most pressing need" is at quarterback. And the quarterback whose name he mentioned was Boston College's Matt Ryan. Kiper has Ryan going to the Ravens in his own mock draft but, of course, Ryan may be gone by the Ravens' No. 8 pick.

Baltimore has a reputation for being faithful to its draft board and not succumbing to the temptation of drafting for a specific need but Kiper believes that the Ravens' needs are so varied this year that they have a great deal of flexibility in either using their own high choice or trading down.


The positions that Kiper mentioned (in order) were offensive tackle (obviously left), cornerback and linebacker (for the future).

Players that Kiper mentioned relative to the Ravens were:

* Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib (Kiper describes him as the most talented corner in a group of four that could all go first at that position).

* Virginia offensive lineman Branden Albert (played at guard but projects as left tackle).

* USC linebacker Keith Rivers (Ray Lewis' age and always the possibility of losing other players in free agency).

* Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco, of course, would be a candidate at the top of the second round.

Kiper said that if Flacco had played in a major college program, he would be in the same discussion with Ryan and that if the Ravens don't land Ryan and Flacco is still available at No. 38 overall, he is a strong candidate for Baltimore at that spot.