The sense around Baltimore seems to be growing that the Ravens will move back from No. 17 in the first round of the next week's draft.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh and Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta each said "we love picks" during Wednesday's pre-draft press conference. Newsome also stressed that Owner Steve Bisciotti also loves to get additional selections.
Teams have already started calling the Ravens to discuss draft-day trades.
"They rarely stay at their number," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said on a national conference call last week. "If it approaches 17, and there are three or four guys on their board that they really like – any one of which that they're happy with – they'll trade back in a heartbeat."
If the Ravens decide to move back, the their draft board that analysts and fans have analyzed for the last several months will drastically change. Here are some of the prospects that could be of interest later in the first round:
ILB C.J. Mosley, AlabamaSenior; 6-foot-2, 232 pounds; 108 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 5 passes defensed
Mosley is widely regarded as the top inside linebacker in the draft, and the Ravens are looking to add someone at that position. Newsome is an Alabama alum that has intimate knowledge of the Crimson Tide program, so he will have a great scouting report on the linebacker. Mosley is considered a top-15 talent by many pundits, but has dealt with some injuries that may have hurt his stock. "A lot of people love him, but inside linebacker is not a high priority for people," Mayock said.
DT Aaron Donald, PittsburghSenior; 6-1, 285; 59 tackles, 11 sacks, 4 forced fumbles
Donald is one of the top defensive line prospects in this year's draft, and he could help fill the void left by Arthur Jones' departure in free agency. Donald would give the Ravens another defender with strong pass-rushing skills, and Newsome has consistently said he can never have too many pass rushers. "I have him No. 12 on my board, but it's hard to find a spot for where he might go," Mayock said. "If he doesn't go to Chicago or Dallas then he could slide down to that area."
WR Marqise Lee, USCJunior; 6-0, 195; 57 catches, 791 yards, 4 touchdowns
This is a deep class of wide receivers, and Mayock expects as many as six to come off the board in the first round. Lee's stock has appeared to slip a little bit during the pre-draft process after his combine performance wasn't as impressive as some of his fellow pass catchers. Lee may still be available in the back half of the first round and he would bring a versatile skillset to Baltimore. "Lee can play inside or outside, and he's a dangerous kickoff return guy," Mayock said.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida StateJunior; 6-5, 242; 54 catches, 1,011 yards, 15 touchdowns
Benjamin is coming off a national championship at Florida State, and he's one of the biggest receivers in this year's draft class. The Ravens are expected to draft a receiver at some point, and he would give quarterback Joe Flacco another big-bodied target. "[He is] kind of today's flavor in the NFL – those 6-foot-5, 230-pound wide receivers with the back shoulder throws, outside the numbers in the red zone," Mayock said.
LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio StateJunior; 6-1, 237, 144 tackles, 7 sacks, 4 *forced fumbles*
Shazier played inside and outside linebacker in college, and he likely projects as a weak-side linebacker in a 3-4 scheme like the Ravens play. Like Mosley, he would fit the Ravens' need at the position. "The thing he does well -- he's a run-and-chase linebacker," Mayock said. "He fits today's NFL. He's great in the pass game, but he's got to do a better job disengaging from blocks."