NFL draft is now just over a week away. Free agency has died down, and teams are shifting their focus to the draft to round out their rosters. The Ravens are no exception. Their primary needs are still the same as they were entering the offseason: offensive line help, a pass rusher and a receiver.
Will the Ravens be able to find a prospect that they like who addresses one of those areas at pick No. 29? Good players always seem to fall into their laps in the first round. If not, they could trade back.
This mock draft -- the fourth of five I will do before the draft -- doesn’t account for trades, so I have to make a pick for them. Besides, what fun would it be if I had the Ravens trading out of a mock draft?
And remember, these are called “mock” drafts for a reason. Try not to take them too seriously, folks.
1. Colts: The question isn’t if they’ll take Luck; it’s if they will have contract terms in place before Round 1 next Thursday. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. 2. Redskins: Football fans down I-95 finally have a reason for excitement. I’m eager to see how RGIII’s game translates. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. 3. Vikings: This pick could be in play for a trade, but if not, they would be crazy to not take this tackle to protect Matt Kalil, OT, USC. Christian Ponder. 4. Browns: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. Here’s where the draft will start to get interesting. Do they like Tannehill enough to reach for him here?
5. Buccaneers: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama . There’s talk the Bucs love Morris Claiborne but things may change if Richardson gets past the Browns. 6. Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State . Which top-tier prospect will be there at No. 6? Ideally it would be Blackmon, the draft’s top wideout. 7. Jaguars: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. If some team covets Tannehill early, the Jaguars will luck out and land a top prospect such as Claiborne.
8. Dolphins: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa . If the Dolphins want Tannehill, they may have to move to get him. If not, they have plenty of other holes to fill. 9. Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State . The Panthers need to beef up their front four and Cox is solidifying himself as one of the top D-tackles. 10. Bills: They could go offensive line, but flanking Floyd opposite of Stevie Johnson would boost their pass attack. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. 11. Chiefs: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College . Inside linebackers taken this early don’t always pan out, but GM Scott Pioli has drafted them high before. 12. Seahawks: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford . A few draft analysts have hailed DeCastro as the second coming of former Seahawk Steve Hutchinson.
13. Cardinals: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina . They’d probably like to select a receiver or a tackle, but Ingram would be a better value here. 14. Cowboys: Mark Barron, S, Alabama . The Cowboys have needs at both safety and corner, but Barron is said to be a rising prospect and a safe pick. 15. Eagles: Whispers out of Philly say they may draft a defensive tackle. Of his peers, Brockers might have the most upside. Michael Brockers, DT, LSU. 16. Jets: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis . Legit or not, comparisons have been made to Haloti Ngata. Might that tempt Rex Ryan and the Jets to target Poe? 17. Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. The Bengals need to find a replacement for Johnathan Joseph, who was missed during the 2011 season. 18. Chargers: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina . The Chargers defense ranked 28th in yards allowed per attempt this year. Gilmore should help out. 19. Bears: Quinton Coples , DE , North Carolina . They need a defensive end to bookend with Julius Peppers, who also played college ball in Chapel Hill. 20. Titans: If Kirkpatrick or Gilmore are on the board when they pick, I could see them taking one. If not the pass rush needs work. Nick Perry, DE, USC. 21. Bengals: The Bengals hit a home run last year withA.J. Green. Adding Wright would give Cincy a formidable duo. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. 22. Browns: If they do go with Tannehill, they would be wise to protect their investment with a lineman like Martin. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford. 23. Lions: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State . He appears to have the tools to be a left tackle in the NFL but his work ethic and character have been questioned. 24. Steelers: Cordy Glenn, OT/G, Georgia . The Steelers need both a right tackle and a guard. This mountainous man can play one of those positions. 25. Broncos: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State . They were unable to take care of their defensive line in free agency, so taking Worthy makes sense. 26. Texans: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech. It will be interesting to see if interest in Hill meets all the media hype after his strong combine showing. 27. Patriots: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama . The Patriots need to boost their pass rush if they are going to play wide receivers at cornerback. 28. Packers: Shea Mcclellin , DE /OLB, Boise State . There is chatter that he could climb into the first round. He would fit well in the Packers defense. 29. Ravens: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin . I’m sticking with Konz here. He was in for a visit, and he makes a heck of a lot of sense on paper for the Ravens. 30. 49ers: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama . Character concerns could push him out of the first round, but the 49ers aren’t afraid to take some risks.
31. Patriots: The Patriots love to throw the ball, but Wilson is a well-rounded back who can block and catch, too. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech. 32. Giants: Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama . Even after trading for Keith Rivers, the reigning Super Bowl champs need reinforcements at linebacker.