Late for Work 2/2: Five Receiver-Needy Teams That Could Spoil Ravens' Plans in the Draft


Five Receiver-Needy Teams That Could Spoil Ravens’ Plans in the Draft

Not only do the Ravens plan on selecting a wide receiver in April’s NFL Draft, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they came away with two.

Think back to last year when they picked pass rushers in back-to-back rounds with Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams, or in 2010 when they nabbed tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta with consecutive picks.

But those plans could easily be spoiled by other receiver-needy teams. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein keeps a regularly updated list of the top needs for each team, and below are five that are also on the lookout for pass catchers and will get a shot at one before Baltimore’s on the clock.

Also, watch out for a few others behind the Ravens that could change the landscape of who’s available in the second and third rounds, where Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta says the strength of the wide receiver class lies.

*New York Jets: *No. 6 pick 
*Other needs outside of WR: QB, RB, OT* 
If the Jets don’t target a veteran like Kirk Cousins in the open market, there’s a strong possibility they focus on drafting a franchise quarterback in a draft year that features a strong QB class. A popular mock pick to the Jets is Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. If they pass on a receiver in the first round, look for them to nab one in the second or third rounds.

Chicago Bears: No. 8 pick 
Other needs outside of WR:* OL, CB 
If you’re hoping Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley slips to the Ravens, the eighth- and ninth-overall picks could be the biggest obstacles. The Bears drafted quarterback Mitchell Trubisky last year, and they need to give him a No. 1 receiver, so Ridley would be a logical pick. That said, this team also needs a new right tackle and a starting cornerback. Some mock drafts have Chicago taking cornerback Josh Jackson, who led the nation in interceptions last year, and it may come down to who the Bears value more.
*
San Francisco 49ers: No. 9 or 10 pick (a coin flip with the Oakland Raiders will determine)
**Other needs outside of WR:
OL, CB 
The 49ers are in a similar situation as the Bears after also landing their franchise quarterback last year by trading for former New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco has every intention of signing him to a long-term deal, and will want to build around him with a new young wide receiver corps. It could also opt to infuse the offensive line with capable blockers. Again, just like the Bears, the 49ers need to bolster their defensive backfield. Mock drafts are all over the place for the 49ers with suggested picks of Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and Florida State safety Derwin James.

Green Bay Packers: *No. 14 pick
*
Other needs outside of WR:
CB, OL
Green Bay added cornerback Kevin King in the 2017 draft, but could go back to that well. The team also needs more protection for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a broken collar bone last year. Some are saying Randall Cobb is a potential salary-cap casualty, which would only increase the Packers’ need for a receiver.

Arizona Cardinals: No. 15 pick
Other needs outside of WR: QB, OL
The Cardinals are in an interesting position where it’s likely one of the top-five quarterbacks slide to them at No. 15. They are on the lookout for a new franchise QB after the retirement of Carson Palmer. With a new head coach (Steve Wilks) in town, it wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the direction the team went. A recent CBS Sports mock draft has the Cardinals trading up to nab Wyoming’s Josh Allen. But if they don’t trade and one of the top signal callers doesn’t slide, another logical pick is a young pass catcher with Larry Fitzgerald’s career nearing its end.

There are also receiver-hungry teams behind the Ravens in the draft that could take a bite out of the receiver depth before the Ravens are on the clock again in subsequent rounds. Keep an eye on the Carolina Panthers (No. 24), New Orleans Saints (No. 27), Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 29) and Kansas City Chiefs (no first rounder after last year’s trade up for Patrick Mahomes).

Seven Questions for Owner Steve Bisciotti

Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti will address the media this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. to take questions about his team’s 9-7 finish to the 2017 season, missing the playoffs for the third consecutive year and inquiries about the future.

We will stream the press conference live on Facebook, the app and website.

Several media members around town have noted what questions and topics they expect to be addressed:         

  • “First and foremost, he will explain why he yet again chose consistency at the coaching position, instead of trying something new.” – Baltimore Beatdown
  • “Is it win-or-else in 2018 for [Head Coach John] Harbaugh and/or [General Manager Ozzie] Newsome?” – The Baltimore Sun
  • “What are the plans to fix the offense?” – The Baltimore Sun
  • “You have often stressed continuity within the organization. But how long will you continue to maintain the status quo in the wake of mediocrity?” – PressBox
  • “Did you personally agree with the organization's one-sided emphasis on building up the defense last spring?” –* *PressBox
  • “At last year's ‘State of the Ravens,’ Bisciotti acknowledged the increased scrutiny from his fan base, saying, ‘the pitchforks are out.’ The question this year: Will Bisciotti bring a metal-pronged tool of his own?” – ESPN
  • “How will Bisciotti handle the issue of increasing fan discontent? For the first time, the Ravens had thousands of no-shows at their stadium to watch a team that was in playoff contention.” – ESPN

The Jeopardy Segment Where Contestants Knew Nothing About Football

Watching the super-smart nerds on “Jeopardy” completely whiff on a category solely dedicated to football is everything.

Perhaps it’s so fun because football nerds know these geniuses would wipe the floor with us in any other category ever created for the show. It might be the only time in the history of the show that I could’ve swept a category for $3,000 … probably only to lose it all in the next round.

Making the segment especially entertaining is host Alex Trebek trolling the poor contestants for not knowing a single answer. Seriously, no one even attempted to buzz in to take a stab at one of the questions.

Quick Hits

I’ve had a lot of 1st downs at UPMC, but you know being the defensive guy I am, my mind is on 3 and out. With that being said, I want everyone to know that I’m moving on to the next step of the process. Today’s a big day for me as I’m officially being released from the hospital. I want to take a moment to thank the people who have helped me the past two months. First and foremost, I want to thank God because at the end of the day I don’t think I’d be making progress without His vision and hands protecting me and my family. I will continue to trust in Him and thank Him, because it all starts with Him. To my family: you’ve been my rock. Words can’t express how thankful I am for you Michelle, RJ, Mom, Dad, and VJ for always being there for me. You’re my everything. To Jerome: my trainer and best friend. Thank you for being there from day 1 and every day after continuing to push me to be better every day. I’d like to thank Dr. Okonkwo, Dr. Harrington, Dr. Maroon, and Dr. Schroeder for their amazing work on my procedure and continuous care. I can’t appropriately express how grateful I am for how quickly you’ve helped me bounce back. I want to thank the medical staff at UPMC for their amazing care, support and therapy they have given me- especially Joe, Nikki, Karolina and Dani. I know the staff will continue to help me find a way to keep on pushing as we continue therapy. The support from my teammates has been truly amazing. From former players to current players and their families- they have helped me and my family day to day with visits and gifts. We can’t thank you enough. I want to thank Mr. Rooney, Coach T, Mr. Colbert, and the entire Steelers organization for the unwavering support they’ve given me. I knew they were an amazing organization, but more than ever they’re family to me. Lastly, I want to thank Jimmy, Candice, and the CAA Sports staff for being here when I need them most. I don’t know if I’d be where I’m at or making the progress I’m making without you guys. I want everyone to know that all of the support and prayers are absolutely being answered. I will continue to work hard and push and find a way back. #Shalieve #Steelers #prayfor50

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