Ranking the Ravens' first-round draft possibilities by YouTube splendor

In 2011, Grantland inaugurated its YouTube NBA draft. The criteria were simple: "We considered the following factors: the editing quality, the choice of music, the overall production value, and whether or not it made its subject look awesome."

The NFL draft's potential is largely capped by its dearth of European prospects and attendant absence of random Latvians getting dunked on. No matter. With a number of prospects in the mix for the Ravens at No. 6 overall next week, I scoured YouTube, searching for the Internet stars of tomorrow. Here are my unscientific rankings.


1. Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey 

Here are some of the things Ramsey can do, according to Sport Science:

  • Accelerate faster than Antonio Brown
  • Cover more ground than Richard Sherman
  • Write better prose than Ernest Hemingway
  • Jump higher than 99.9 percent of the NBA
  • Rap better than Kendrick Lamar
  • Dance better than Jared Nickens
  • Make America great again sooner than Donald Trump

2. Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa

In the 1993 dystopian novel "The Giver," author Lois Lowry conceives of a world devoid of color. It is only until the protagonist, Jonas (no relation), meets the Giver that he begins to embrace the possibility of a world beyond his own, one where memory and music, warmth and love are possible. Bosa is the Giver of the 21st century. (Or Kylo Ren, whose voice we hear in the beginning. It's unclear.) His bull rushes enliven a monochromatic world. Every sack spreads a little color, a little joy. Without Bosa, there is only darkness. With Bosa, the promised land is only a shrug celebration away.

3. UCLA linebacker Myles Jack

It makes sense that the Ravens signed Trent Richardson, because Jack might not last to pick No. 6, and then what would they have done about their running back depth? The former Pac-12 Conference Offensive Rookie of the Year is built like a stevedore but runs like a sprinter. Taking a running back this high is always risky, especially given the concerns over his knees, but few prospects have his size-speed combination. Play Justin Forsett and Buck Allen until he's 100 percent ready, then turn him loose. Plus, it looks like Jack can play a little linebacker, too.

4. Mississippi left tackle Laremy Tunsil

What this Ole Miss-produced tribute lacks in truthfulness — the NCAA suspended Tunsil for seven games last season after an investigation into alleged improper benefits — it makes up for in soundbites. "Almost, almost," Tunsil needles a teammate after he almost makes him break a sweat in pass protection. "I knew you would, I knew you would," he tells another teammate after handling an outside rush, before bear-hugging him and skipping merrily downfield. "Get 'em out the club," he says after a big play, because what is a franchise left tackle if not a bouncer for your quarterback?

5. Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner

The first minute of this video is worthy of the No. 1 overall pick, maybe even a lifetime contract. The slow build of a quickening heartbeat ... the synchronized mixes in between shots ... the soaring lens flares ... the haunting Lauryn Hill vocals ... the too-perfect-for words lyric-sack arrangement. It's a masterpiece. Put it in MoMa. Then we fade to a rap song called "The Greatest" (OK, good start ...) by someone called Futuristic (wait, not even Future?). It all goes to crud. The sacks, quarterback pressures and downfield tackles all feel inessential, confoundingly out of step with the song's beat, which is, like, Sports Highlight Creation 101. When the highlight reel ends and it mercifully fades to black, Futuristic is nowhere close to finished rapping. Whatever. Good riddance. Bring back the Fugees next time.


6. Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley

There are 11- and 12-minute videos out there of Stanley showing good feet and solid push, but they may literally bore you to death, and I don't want that on my conscience. So here's the best alternative available: Ronnie Stanley, high school basketball player. Hey, did you know he played with Minnesota Timberwolves wing Shabazz Muhammad on what some consider one of the best teams in Nevada history? Stanley wore No. 23, because nothing evokes Michael Jordan like a future NFL left tackle, but you can see why he nearly averaged a double double in his junior year at Bishop Gorman. Strengths include a soft touch, the ability to finish with either hand, good rebounding instincts and overpowering strength. Weaknesses include handshake creativity and a desire to play football in college.