Ravens Reportedly Focused On Joey Bosa, Two Other Pass Rushers At No. 6
The Ravens want to draft Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa with their sixth-overall pick, and if he's not there, pass rusher will remain the primary focus, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
If Bosa is taken in the top five, the Ravens "favor" taking Clemson pass rusher Shaq Lawson or Georgia's Leonard Floyd, per the report.
Any of the three would bolster a unit that features two veterans in their 30s with Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs.
Bosa is not only considered the best edge defender in the draft, but some believe he is the best overall player. He is rated highly both as a pass rusher and a run defender. He had 26 sacks and 50.5 tackles for loss in three college seasons.
"Bosa's high motor and competitive attitude are traits the Ravens often covet in draft picks," wrote Hensley. "Ravens officials recently expressed confidence in Bosa's ability to switch from a 4-3 college defensive end to a 3-4 NFL outside linebacker."
In his first year as a full-time defensive end, Lawson notched 12.5 sacks and an NCAA-leading 24.5 tackles for a loss. He was a leader on a Clemson team that went 14-1 and earned a trip to the National Championship game, falling short against Alabama, 45-40.
Floyd doesn't have the same production as Bosa or Lawson (4.5 sacks and tied for the team lead with 10.5 tackles for loss), but is highly regarded because of his potential as an athletically gifted defender and rare burst off the edge. NFL Network's Mike Mayock is "conflicted" about Floyd, but ultimately believes he's worthy of a top-10 pick.
You always have to take reports like these – just days before the draft – with a grain of salt. Ozzie Newsome and his staff are extremely tight-lipped about their draft intentions, so one has to wonder the motivation behind Hensley's source.
Is pass rusher really the Ravens' focus, even though they've shown time and time again that they'll take the best player available? Or is this a way to divert other teams' attention away from the Ravens' true focus? If they really do want Floyd or Lawson, will they trade back, pick up a few extra picks, and get their guy? Both players have been regularly projected to go between Nos. 11-20.
If Newsome does select a pass rusher, he'll make his owner happy.
"We have two very dynamic, productive players that are at the age where you don't know if you're going to get one year or three years left in them," Steve Bisciotti said in March. "We have to fill those spots with constant pressure. You need five pass rushers in the rotation."
Is The Laremy Tunsil/Ronnie Stanley Debate Real?
Speaking of reports you have to take with a grain of salt …
Ole Miss' Laremy Tunsil has long been regarded as the top tackle in this draft, and maybe even the best in the last several drafts. But more recently – especially since the Tennessee Titans traded out of the No. 1 overall spot – there have been several reports indicating teams prefer Stanley over Tunsil.
ESPN's Todd McShay surprised fans when he had Baltimore selecting Stanley in his latest mock draft and wrote teams "are cooling a little bit" on Tunsil.
"Tunsil is regarded as having a higher ceiling but also as being more of a wildcard; Stanley is regarded as being a safer selection," wrote ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio. "However, most believe that Tunsil possesses a meaner streak, and some wonder how nasty Stanley will be when it's time to start pushing and shoving."
The debate will end tomorrow night, and the Ravens could easily be the team that resolves it with their No. 6 pick. It's possible both Tunsil and Stanley will still be available when Baltimore is on the clock.
"[W]e are challenging the notion that a player's stock could rise or fall this rapidly just before the draft at a position like left tackle," wrote the Around The NFL staff writers.
5 Teams That Control 2016 Draft
There is nothing close to a consensus about what the Ravens will do in the first round Thursday night, and that's largely because nobody knows what two key teams ahead of them will do.
NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah says there are five teams that control the 2016 draft, which will then have a domino effect on what everyone else does. Those five teams are the Chargers, Cowboys, Browns, Titans and Jets.
With the Chargers and Cowboys picking ahead of the Ravens, and thus having perhaps the biggest impact of any of the five, I've added in Jeremiah's take on what they could do. I also included his take on Tennessee, who is largely believed to be a team that wants to trade into the Ravens' range of the draft.
No. 3: San Diego Chargers"They'll have a choice of any of the top position players at No. 3 if quarterbacks go 1-2, as expected. Depending on whom they select – Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey and DeForest Buckner are among the prospects in play for the pick – it'll have a pretty big impact on the rest of the top 10. I think there are teams in the top 10 wishing and hoping for each of those players, and one of them will be taken off the list at No. 3. However, since those three players each fit a need for the Chargers, they might be a candidate to trade down a couple spots and pick up additional picks, which would give them an opportunity in other rounds to address other needs."
No. 4: Dallas Cowboys"Do they take Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4? If they pass on him, it will be interesting to see how far he slides. For a long time, I thought the decision for Dallas at No. 4 would come down to Buckeye vs. Buckeye: Joey Bosa or Elliott? In the last 24-48 hours, I'm hearing that if Jalen Ramsey is available, he's more likely to be their pick."
No. 15: Tennessee Titans:"They have a ton of picks. Are they content to stay at No. 15 or will they try to move up for a player that they covet? There's a chance they could trade up to Nos. 6 or 7, and potentially still get the player they were targeting with the No. 1 overall pick before they traded that selection to the Rams. With all the picks that they have, I'll be keeping an eye on them to see if they trade some of this year's picks for higher picks in next year's draft. GM Jon Robinson has a lot of experience in New England and that's something the Patriots have been known to do. They have the means to move around, up or down."