Carroll County Times

Three-round Ravens mock draft

First Round (17th overall pick):

Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Pittsburgh


North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron will likely be gone by the time the Ravens pick. Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin likely will be as well. And it's possible that Donald falls to this pick due to concerns over his lack of ideal size.

He is not an ideal fit for a 3-4 defense like the Ravens run. He is just 6-foot-1, 285 pounds. But he may be too talented to pass up if he does fall to Baltimore at pick 17.


The size may be a concern, but there was not a defensive lineman in college football last year more consistently dominant than Donald, and he followed that up by dominating at the Senior Bowl.

Does he have prototypical size? No. But neither did Geno Atkins, and Atkins is now arguably the best defensive lineman in all of football.

Many pundits feel like Donald has similar potential.

He would also represent more than just a value pick for the Ravens.

Nose tackle Haloti Ngata is 30 and defensive end Chris Canty will be 32 in November, and Baltimore would like to add another young defensive lineman to its current group.

Donald could also help the Ravens replace defensive tackle Arthur Jones, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent.

If Donald, Ebron and Martin are all gone, Baltimore will likely look to trade back.

The Ravens could take Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix if they are unable to move back, but some people around the league feel like Clinton-Dix would be a better value later in the first round.


Baltimore also likes inside linebackers C.J. Mosley and Ryan Shazier, and both are among the players the Ravens would consider taking with their top pick.

Second round (48): Jimmie Ward, free safety, Northern Illinois

Baltimore wants to add an athletic, playmaking free safety to pair with last year's first round pick, Matt Elam.

Ward is that kind of player.

He is instinctive. He is versatile, and he is a playmaker. One member of the Ravens' organization went as far as to say that Ward has some Ed Reed-like characteristics as a playmaker.

At 5-foot-11, 193 pounds, Ward lacks ideal size, but he was productive at Northern Illinois with 95 tackles and seven interceptions last season, and he was named the top defensive back for the week of practice leading up to the Senior Bowl.


He was also a productive special teams player in college and had four blocked punts during his college career.

Ohio St. running back Carlos Hyde is another player that would make a lot of sense for Baltimore in the second round if he is still there. The Ravens could also take an offensive lineman like Joel Bitonio from Nevada, and a wide receiver like Kelvin Benjamin or Cody Latimer would also likely be of interest if they are still available at that point.

Benjamin and Latimer both had official visits with Baltimore during the pre-draft process.

Third round (79): Jeremy Hill, running back, LSU

The Ravens want a power back to go along with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, and Hill is arguably one of the top two power backs in this year's NFL draft.

Hill had two off-field situations at LSU, which is likely a concern for teams. He was arrested on sexual assault charges in 2011 and was arrested last year for allegedly punching a man outside of a bar. But he is talented, and he fits what Baltimore is looking for in a running back.


He was suspended the first game last season after being arrested, but he ran for 1,401 yards and 16 touchdowns in 12 games after returning while averaging 6.9 yards per carry.

Third round (99):

Walt Aikens, cornerback, Liberty

The Ravens are in the market for a cornerback after losing nickel back Corey Graham during free agency, and they were in touch with Aikens throughout the pre-draft process, according to the

Baltimore Sun.

Aikens was dismissed from Illinois in 2010 after he was arrested on felony possession of stolen property, but he resurfaced at Liberty and was selected all-conference during each of his three years there.


He has great size at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, impressed at the Senior Bowl and also has experience on special teams.

Former NFL safety and current Bleacher Report NFL analyst Matt Bowen thinks Aikens has a chance to be a productive NFL player.