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5 Things That Could Affect Ravens Pick


As opposed to years past when the Ravens were picking near the back of the draft, Baltimore is right in the thick of this year's first round.

They'll have a close eye on every pick before No. 17 because every move will affect who drops to the Ravens.

With that in mind, here are five things to watch for before the Ravens are on the clock:

1)      A run on quarterbacks

The Ravens hope for it every year. They want as many quarterbacks taken ahead of them as possible because they don't need one, at least in the early rounds. So the more that get picked, the more options at other positions. Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz expects a run, but said it's difficult to predict when it will start. Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Central Florida's Blake Bortles are expected to go very early. If they both do, it could trigger teams to move quickly to get their coveted signal caller. Baltimore would like Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Fresno State's Derek Carr to be taken before they're on the clock.

2)      Teams pulling the trigger on offensive linemen

There are a lot of talented skill players in this year's draft. So will teams shade more towards the flashy prospects or build in the trenches? There are four tackles widely seen as top 17 picks in Auburn's Greg Robinson, Michigan's Taylor Lewan, Texas A&M's Jake Matthews and Notre Dame's Zack Martin. If the run on tackles starts late, that's a good thing for the Ravens, who could use help on the line. Some pundits even predict somebody like Lewan could slide to Baltimore.

3)      Trade shuffle

There's a lot of buzz about teams in the top 10 looking to move up or down in the draft. The Ravens are in prime trade position because the top safeties and a few of the best wide receivers are expected to be picked right around No. 17. Teams behind Baltimore may want to move up to nab one.* *If trades start flying, expect the Ravens' phone lines to be active.

4)      The value of cornerbacks

There are potentially five first-round cornerbacks in Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard, Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, Ohio State's Bradlley Roby, TCU's Jason Verrett and Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller. But the media is split on ranking the top guys and how high they'll go. If teams start picking them around No. 10, it could cause a run and some teams may look to move up and get one. The Ravens could be in the cornerback market, but would likely rather move back and get extra picks if that's the case.

5)      Wide receiver depth

Perhaps no other position is as loaded as wide receiver. There are potentially seven first rounders with Clemson's Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M's Mike Evans, LSU's Odell Beckham, Oregon State's Brandin Cooks, USC's Marquise Lee, Indiana's Cody Latimer and Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin. Teams could pass on taking one early because they feel like they can get good value later. If Evans starts to slide a bit, that could be an indication. And it could mean an elite player could get close enough for Baltimore to make a move.


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