When the NFL Draft begins selections in Arlington, Tex., April 26, the Baltimore Ravens have the No. 16 pick in the first round.
Here is an in-depth look at the team’s needs, offseason changes, potential best fit and the selections by NFLDraftScout.com’s experts.
Who would you pick and why?
TOP 5 NEEDS
- Tight end: The Ravens do not have a pass-catching tight end that can stretch the field, so signing that caliber of player is the biggest priority. The team is still looking to add a free agent and will likely select a tight end in this year’s draft, which is deep at that position.
- Offensive line: The Ravens lost center Ryan Jensen to free agency and released tackle Austin Howard, which has left a hole on the line. As a result, Baltimore needs to add another center and right tackle for depth because the line has been hampered with injuries over the past two seasons.
- Wide receiver: The Ravens signed free agents John Brown and Michael Crabtree, but they still need to add another playmaker for quarterback Joe Flacco. The Ravens could look to the draft to fill this void because most of the top free-agent receivers are off the market, although they could take a run at recently released Dez Bryant.
- Inside linebacker: The core group of linebackers return, but this unit repeatedly struggled in coverage. The Ravens will likely address this weakness by adding a speedy playmaker via the draft because of a soft free-agent market for linebackers.
- Quarterback: The Ravens need to start thinking about an heir for quarterback Joe Flacco, who is 33 years old and has dealt with both knee and back injuries over the past three years. The Ravens could find a potential long-term replacement in this year’s draft after also adding former first-round draft pick Robert Griffin III.
–BEST FIT: Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame. While the fans are clamoring for the Ravens to take a dynamic play-making wide receiver or pass rusher with their first-round pick, McGlinchey would help stabilize an offensive line that has struggled with injuries. McGlinchey, who is 6-foot-8, 309 pounds, could immediately start at right tackle, which would allow Alex Lewis to stay at his natural position of right tackle or take over the role of starting center.
–Rob Rang: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville. There is some buzz recently in the scouting community linking Jackson to the Ravens, which have finished near the bottom of the NFL in passing each of the past five seasons since Joe Flacco guided the club to a title five years ago. Out-going general manager Ozzie Newsome might take extra satisfaction in knowing that the Ravens had their future at quarterback in place before he retires, himself. Jackson is a remarkable talent but remains quite raw in comparison to the other top-rated passers in this class.
–Dane Brugler: Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame. With Alex Lewis expected to move to left guard, McGlinchey would provide an immediate upgrade over James Hurst as the Ravens’ starting right tackle. He played both left and right tackle for the Fighting Irish.
FANS ON THE CLOCK, ON THE RECORD
OK, it’s your turn. Tell us in the comments section who you would pick and why. Check out top 1,000 players rated by NFLDraftScout.com, including combine and pro day workouts, biographies, scouting reports.