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Staff picks for first round of NFL draft

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter

Who: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

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Why: The Ravens would probably love for Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson or Central Florida wide receiver Breshad Perriman to be available at pick No.26, but the bet here is that neither will be. So the Ravens will fill one of their biggest needs with an ultra-talented player who carries some behavioral red flags. Sounds like the Jimmy Smith situation all over again.

Aaron Wilson, reporter

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Who: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida

Why: With talented cornerbacks Kevin Johnson and Marcus Peters off the board, the Ravens replace Torrey Smith with a big (6-2, 212), fast (4.24 40-yard dash) downfield target with a big catch radius. The son of former NFL wide receiver Brett Perriman, he has an NFL pedigree and production working in his favor, catching 50 passes for 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

Jon Meoli, reporter/blogger

Who: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

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Why: The River Hill product is an even better fit for the Ravens now that cornerback Jimmy Smith signed a contract extension. Johnson has the skill set to play the slot or outside cornerback, and can add top-line depth at one of the most important positions in the game.

Mike Preston, columnist

Who: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Why: Peters has some character concerns but no more than Ravens starting corenrback Jimmy Smith when he came out of Colorado in 2011. On the field, Peters is a big, physical cornerback with ball skills and quick feet. He can play press coverage, but needs to improve technique.

Alexander Pyles, Ravens editor

Who: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Why: The Ravens have repeatedly declined to draft for obvious needs, so let's just eliminate defensive backs and wide receivers. So — assuming his past marijauana use causes him to fall to No. 26 — why not Gregory, who's the kind of hybrid, 3-4 outside linebacker the Ravens love? Remember, Steve Bisciotti has advocated for a pass rusher, and he writes the checks.

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