The NFL scouting combine is in a couple of weeks, unofficially starting the league's silly season. But even though the NFL draft is still three long months away, draft analysts continue to update their mock drafts.
The last time I rounded up a few notable mock drafts, back in early January, many draft analysts linked the Ravens to Texas A&M; wide receiver Mike Evans, whose size and strong hands could make him a fit.
This time around, I read several mock drafts that had the Ravens taking Evans with their first-round pick. But instead of giving you five draft analysts rationalizing why the Ravens could draft Evans -- what fun would that be? -- I have rounded up five mock drafts that have the Ravens selecting five different players.
Todd McShay of ESPN: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina. “The Ravens would probably jump on one of the top three WR prospects if one falls to them,” he wrote. “And they could also consider a tackle like Notre Dame's Zack Martin or consider trading back and drafting a tackle a little later. But Ebron would be a good fit, with Dennis Pitta (coming off an injury) and Ed Dickson (who has been disappointing) both set to become free agents, along with veteran Dallas Clark, and he would provide a legit vertical threat down the middle of the field for Joe Flacco. Ebron is the top TE prospect in this class.”
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated: Marqise Lee, WR, USC. “The Ravens cannot go through another season with their receiving corps in the shape it was in for 2013,” he wrote. “Nabbing a potential game-breaker in the middle of Round 1 would do wonders for Joe Flacco, the run game and the offense as a whole. Lee bounced back from an injury-plagued season to star in USC’s bowl win. He has home-run potential whenever he catches the football, plus advanced capabilities as a route-runner.”
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. “A big-bodied receiver could be in play, and it would be hard for general manager Ozzie Newsome to bypass the top receiver in the draft at this point,” he wrote.
Eric Galko for The Sporting News: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech. “Finding more receiving options for Joe Flacco may be atop the Ravens to-do list this offseason, especially considering their drop in offensive success once Anquan Boldin left,” he wrote. “With the receiver class so deep, they’ll likely look there in later rounds. Pairing Amaro with the current tight end Dennis Pitta would give this team a unique two-tight end strength that would be extremely tough to defend for their AFC North foes.”
Dane Brugler for CBS Sports: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M;: “The Ravens have deep threats at receiver with Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown, but could use a larger, more physical talent for Joe Flacco to target,” he wrote. “Evans won't run a blazing 40-yard dash but he's fast enough with the aggressive nature to win contested throws and be a threat after the catch.”