With the comparatively early end to the Ravens' season, and the prospect of a high draft pick looming, it's never too early to see what the early batch of mock drafts has in store.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti rattled off four positions -- tackle, pass rusher, safety and cornerback -- that needed to be addressed in the April draft, and many early mock drafters have those positions represented for the Ravens at No. 6 overall.
Here's the first of many mock-draft roundups for the Ravens' selection at No. 6 overall in the NFL draft, which is a mere 99 days away.
* As noted here last week, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has the Ravens selecting Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley. Same goes for CBSSports.com's Rob Rang and Dane Brugler. Brugler wrote Stanley "not only adds instant depth, but gives Baltimore a long-term plan at a position of need."
Analysis: Yes, the Ravens got a cornerstone tackle early in the draft two decades ago with Jonathan Ogden, but it doesn't seem to me this is where they take one this year. As hard as it is to count on Monroe being healthy, he and the team brass weren't wrong in saying he played well when he did play in 2015. Stanley might be the best tackle available when the Ravens pick, but it would be difficult in their cap situation to both move on from Monroe and use this prime asset on his replacement.
* Among the non-Stanley mockers is NFL.com's Bucky Brooks, who has the Ravens selecting Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
"The Ravens' cornerback woes could lead Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh to grab the confident playmaker with exceptional cover skills," Brooks wrote.
Analysis: One of the consensus top cornerbacks in the draft, Hargreaves has a lot of the tools the Ravens would want in a player at this position, most notably his cover skills and tackling ability. Both have failed the team's defensive backs recently. Hargreaves was challenged all year in the SEC, so there's certainly enough film on him to decide to pull the trigger if this is the direction they want to go in.
Analysis: A versatile defensive back who can cover and play anywhere on the field would be music to defensive coordinator Dean Pees' ears at this point. Ramsey has been an impressive piece in the Seminoles defense for a long time, but it's worth noting that the Ravens took two Florida State products early recently — defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and safety Terrence Brooks. Both have had to learn not to just get by on their athletic abilities, with Jernigan needing to be coaxed into raising his effort level this season and Brooks unable to get on the field after two seasons because he can't earn the coaches' trust. Ramsey might have to prove he has the football smarts for such an investment.
* Likewise, SB Nation's Dan Kadar has the Ravens bolstering the defensive backfield with shutdown Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander. A round later, Kadar has the Ravens taking a local product, cornerback Kendall Fuller (Woodlawn, Good Counsel) out of Virginia Tech.
"Everyone, including me, seems to be giving the Ravens Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley. What if the Ravens don't want a tackle this high because of some of the flops from the position?" he wrote. "If that's the case, and the board falls like this, the obvious move is to trade. Since that's not an option here, the choice is a cornerback. Alexander could get drafted higher than Florida's Vernon Hargreaves because he's bigger and arguably better."
Analysis: Of all these cornerbacks, Alexander has been the most impressive in my nonprofessional college football viewing. Clemson's defense was successful all year because you could count on him to shut down whoever lined up across from him, and such a complement to Jimmy Smith -- if Smith plays like he did in 2014 -- would be formidable for the Ravens. Whether Alexander is there or not might be a question, but if he is, this might be my favorite of the bunch.