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Mel Kiper Jr. thinks the Ravens will have at least three good options for the draft

The two-time consensus All-American didn't match his 13.5 sacks from 2014 this season, but with five in his junior year, finished with 26 career sacks and 51 tackles for loss in this three years with the Buckeyes.
The two-time consensus All-American didn't match his 13.5 sacks from 2014 this season, but with five in his junior year, finished with 26 career sacks and 51 tackles for loss in this three years with the Buckeyes. (Jay LaPrete / Associated Press)

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. thinks that there will be a minimum of three "really good options" for the Ravens when they prepare to make the sixth overall pick on April 28. That's why he doesn't think it is practical or probable that general manager Ozzie Newsome will trade the selection and move back in the first round to accumulate more picks later.

"It's a possibility, but I don't think it's going to happen because I think there's going to be some big-time players staring them in the face," Kiper said today in a pre-NFL scouting combine conference call. "Think about this organization: Jonathan Ogden, you got Jamal Lewis. You go back to Peter Boulware. You go back to all the great players – Chris McAllister, Duane Starks, Terrell Suggs, all top-10 picks.

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"They built these Super Bowl teams back in 2000 and [in 2012] based on what happened in the top 10. With [Joe] Flacco, remember they traded from eight down into the 20s, back up into the mid first-round to get Flacco. They did it that year. … But all those other picks were in the top 10. Look at the benefit that they got from those players. They were the cornerstones of Super Bowl teams, the key entities on Super Bowl teams."

In his most recent mock draft, Kiper has the Ravens selecting Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa, who was once viewed as the consensus No.1 overall pick. However, Kiper believes that the Tennessee Titans will choose between Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey and Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner with the top pick.

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Kiper thinks at least one of those players could still be available to the Ravens when they are on the clock. He also mentioned Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves as quality options.

"When you have a Ronnie Stanley, when you have a Joey Bosa, when you have a Vernon Hargreaves, a DeForest Buckner all in the mix, you know probably two to three of those players I mentioned are going to be there," Kiper said. "Trading out of there? That's going to be far too good of a player there, I think, at six for the Ravens to trade out."

The Ravens have a couple of clear needs: They are looking to add a pass rusher and a cornerback on defense, and an offensive tackle and wide receiver on offense. Newsome and the Ravens' front office adhere to the philosophy of taking the "best-player available," which is why Kiper wouldn't rule out the Ravens taking UCLA do-it-all linebacker Myles Jack, who is still recovering from a knee injury.

Still, if he was available, Bosa would be pretty tough to pass up for a Ravens' team looking to add more disruptive players on the defensive side of the ball.

"He's a pass rusher and that's what they need," said Kiper when asked about how Bosa would fit with the Ravens. "I don't think it would certainly be a guarantee. At that point, if it goes the way I ... have it, you'd have Myles Jack still there. Myles Jack is a great linebacker who can play a variety of roles. You'd have Ronnie Stanley. … You'd have Vernon Hargreaves, a really good corner out. That would not be easy.

"Jalen Ramsey could possibly still be there – maybe a 10 to 15 percent chance. If he's there, I think that's an easy call. You go Ramsey. I don't think he will be though. Buckner would be in the discussion if he were there. There are a lot of players. You can't say for sure that it will be anybody. There's going to be a minimum of three really good options for the Ravens at pick six."

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