The first day of the NFL draft brought a host of surprises with a slew of trades, three quarterbacks going within the first 12 picks, three receivers going within the first nine selections and a handful of projected top-10 defensive players suffering significant falls down the board.
The Ravens' selection of Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the 16th selection also had to be considered a surprise, given the team's bigger needs at wide receiver, pass rusher and inside linebacker, and along the offensive line.
Still, there are plenty of players available who would fill the team's needs at those spots. The Ravens will have the 15th overall pick in the second round (47th overall) along with two third-round selections (74 and 78) on Friday night.
Best available: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Southern California; Zay Jones, East Carolina; Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington; Curtis Samuel, Ohio State; Chris Godwin, Penn State
Skinny: If the Ravens don't get a receiver at some point Friday, there might be a mutiny among their fans. Smith-Schuster, a well-built and physical pass catcher who has drawn comparisons to Anquan Boldin, is probably the best fit for what the Ravens are looking for: a possession receiver who would be a nice complement to speedsters Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. However, it would hardly be surprising if both Smith-Schuster and Jones were gone before the Ravens were on the clock. A really good route runner, Kupp would be a nice consolation prize.
Best available: Cam Robinson, T, Alabama; Forrest Lamp, G-T, Western Kentucky; Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State; Dion Dawkins, G, Temple; Antonio Garcia, T, Troy; Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
Skinny: Only two members of a weak offensive line class – Utah tackle Garett Bolles (Denver) and Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk (Saints) – went in the first round. That means Robinson and Lamp, two guys the Ravens have been connected to, are still available. However, they might not last long as the teams with the first three picks of the second round, the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars, are all looking for offensive line help. Elflein is projected as a day-one starting center, so he'd fill a significant need for the Ravens. If the Ravens don't pick at least one offensive lineman Friday, it will be an indication they feel a few of their young offensive linemen, such as De'Ondre Wesley and Stephane Nembot, are ready for bigger roles.
Best available: Tyus Bowser, Houston; Jordan Willis, Kansas State; Tim Williams, Alabama; Carl Lawson, Auburn; Ryan Anderson, Alabama; Derek Rivers, Youngstown State
Skinny: The Ravens' positioning in the second round could be a sweet spot for some of the pass rushers to come off the board. Bowser and Willis both came to Baltimore for predraft visits, and the Ravens are said to like them both. As far as pass-rushing ability and explosiveness, Williams is probably the best guy left. But are the Ravens, who passed on Williams' teammate Reuben Foster, who had some off-the-field questions, comfortable with Williams' maturity? He conceded in the predraft process that he failed drug tests at Alabama. Anderson would fit the Ravens well, but he might not have as much pass-rushing upside as some of the others.
Best available: Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt; Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State; Alex Anzalone, Florida; Kendell Beckwith, LSU
Skinny: The Ravens might be plenty comfortable with the idea that Kamalei Correa, a second-round pick last year, will replace the retired Zachary Orr and play alongside C.J. Mosley. If that is the case, they could wait until the much later rounds before adding depth at the position. An active linebacker, Cunningham was viewed as a potential first-round pick, so he would represent good value in the second round. McMillan is an extremely active player. Some question whether he's a three-down linebacker, but the Ravens have enough extra defensive backs that they might be content with a run stuffer in the middle who comes off the field on third downs. Of the Ravens' primary needs, this is probably the least of their worries.