The NFL draft is less than three weeks away, and the Ravens held their annual pre-draft press conference on Wednesday.
Here are my thoughts, all in 50 words or less:
For the record, Jordan Addison is my favorite receiver who could be available for the Ravens at No. 22. He runs great routes. His hands are like Velcro. People question his speed, but he's always open. Addison, a native of Frederick, Md., will be an NFL playmaker.
I think Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. will be hard for the Ravens to pass up if he's available at No. 22. If Marcus Peters doesn't return, the cornerback opposite Marlon Humphrey will be tested frequently. Porter may have the talent and swag to handle that responsibility immediately.
If the Ravens draft Porter Jr., John Harbaugh said he would love to see Joey Porter Sr. rooting for Baltimore. Porter Sr. acted like he loathed the Ravens when he played linebacker for the Steelers. Wouldn't you love to see Porter Sr. at M&T wearing Ravens gear?
Another cornerback to watch in this draft is Deonte Banks from Maryland. His sparkling performance at the Combine only strengthened his case to be a first-round pick. Banks would be another compelling story if the Ravens pick him, a local talent staying home to chase his NFL dream.
Staying with corners, DJ Turner is an interesting prospect. He created buzz by running a 4.26 in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis, the fifth-fastest time in the Combine. Turner played at Michigan for Ravens Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald. Sounds like someone who might be on the Ravens' radar.
It could happen, but don't count on TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston being Baltimore's first-round selection, even though he's the mock draft frontrunner. Hardly anyone expected Kyle Hamilton to fall into Baltimore's lap last year. The draft's unpredictability is part of what makes it so intriguing.
Speaking of draft intrigue, I think there's a strong chance the Ravens will trade down from No. 22. Eric DeCosta loves draft picks and the Ravens have just five. They can trade down, acquire more draft capital, and still get a player who'll help them immediately.
Whether the Ravens trade down or not, I still expect them to take either a wide receiver or cornerback with their first selection. There's deep talent at both positions, giving the Ravens multiple options.
An added benefit of hiring Todd Monken as offensive coordinator is his familiarity with some of the prospects in this year's draft, particularly SEC players. He'll provide helpful intel from his experience as Georgia's offensive coordinator.
New Running Backs Coach Willie Taggart and Outside Linebackers Coach Chuck Smith also have a strong handle on this year's draft class. Taggart spent the last three seasons as FAU's head coach, while Smith has been a highly respected personal pass rush coach for years.