With the NFL Draft coming up on April 26 - 27, BaltimoreRavens.com takes a sweep around the web to look at what others are saying about the Ravens' chances with the 8th pick. Heads up, draftniks, it's the inaugural edition of the 2008 Mock Draft Monitor!
Keep in mind that it's still early in free agency, and teams will most-certainly try to trade picks, players and money to move up or down in the first round, but here is a preliminary look at what the pundits think:
Draft analysts seem to fall into one of three categories when it comes to forecasting who the Ravens will draft in a few months: quarterback, defensive line or offensive line, with most of the guesses opting for a quarterback.
For starters, Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com thinks that Kentucky signal-caller Andre Woodson will be the right pick, noting that Brian Brohm of Louisville and Boston College's Matt Ryan will get snatched up before the eighth spot. Here's what he had to say in the first edition of his mock draft:
•Andre Woodson, QB Kentucky: The franchise is starting over. Kyle Boller and Troy Smith aren't the players to build an offense around.
Scott Wright's NFLDraftCountdown.com is calling for Brohm, the 6-foot-4, 224-pound passer from Louisville's pro-style offense.
• Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville: When you really think about it the Ravens are not all that bad of a team and with a little better play from the quarterback position they may even be able to compete for a playoff spot next year. It looks like Steve McNair is cooked and Kyle Boller still isn't the answer so it is time to bring in a long-term answer at the position. Brian Brohm's somewhat of a polarizing prospect who people seem to either love or hate but even though there are question marks with him he is probably the most logical option for Baltimore at this point. If Matt Ryan were still available he would likely get the edge.
Don Banks, esteemed SI.com reporter, also has Brohm tabbed by the Ravens in his first mock draft of 2008.
• Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville: Until the Ravens get their long-standing quarterback issues settled, all other needs will continue to seem secondary. Baltimore can't afford to pass on a prospect who has played and starred in a pro-style offense.
Tony Conty from NFLDraftBlitz.com agrees with Brohm, but doesn't offer an explanation.
Switching gears, offensive tackle Ryan Clady of Boise State is the pick for Rob Rang of the SportsXchange. The 6-foot-6, 317-pound mauler would be an anchor on the left side of any offensive line.
• Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State: Certainly a quarterback makes a great deal of sense here, but the one constant with Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore scouting staff is an unwillingness to reach for need. Jonathan Ogden is likely to retire and his potential replacement -- Jared Gaither -- is much too raw to hand over the position at this point.
Todd McShay - ESPN.com and Scouts Inc. - is one of the few that thinks the Ravens should bolster their defensive line, slotting USC's Sedrick Ellis at No. 8. Ellis is a 6-foot-1, 305-pound monster in the middle.
• Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC: Baltimore would like to use this pick to put an end to a seemingly endless pursuit for a franchise quarterback. Unfortunately, there isn't one worth selecting here with Ryan off the board. Instead, the Ravens could go with the best value on the board (Ellis) or fill a hole at either cornerback (Mike Jenkins) or left tackle (Ryan Clady). Knowing the Ravens' draft-day discipline, Ellis will be the pick in this scenario.
By the time the actual selection meeting comes around by late April, these picks and the countless other mock drafts out there will certainly change. Check back for another update from the Monitor the Wednesday after next weekend's NFL Combine.