As teams are evaluating players that they are bringing in for individual workouts, the draft board is moving all over the place. With 16 days to go until the NFL Draft, here’s what I see the Ravens doing:
1. DeAndre Hopkins – WR, Clemson. If he gets by Houston and New England, this stout wide receiver just may end up a Raven. One of the new phrases for this year in regards to wide receivers is “catch radius”. What this means is simply that a wide receiver with a large catch radius, will catch everything thrown in his direction. Kinda sort of Eli Manning’s receivers through the years. Taking away nothing from Eli, but when guys like Nicks and Cruz can go waaaayyy up and get a ball, it does make him look real good! Hopkins has that same kind of ability. It’s probably too early to say that he is Boldin 2.0 (Hopkins is faster), but it’s not to much of a stretch.
2. DJ Swearinger – FS, South Carolina. I’m probably going to mock this hard hitting safety at this spot all the way through. He has Raven written all over him.
3. Brandon Williams – DT, Missouri Southern. I know that Ozzie said that we need to get strong up the middle, and this 6’1″ 335 DT has a high motor and a nasty disposition!
4. Brandon Jenkins – OLB, FSU. He is 6’3″ 251 pounds, and runs a 4.69 40. He had 21.5 sacks over the 2010-2011 seasons. Suffered a Lisfranc injury (foot) in this season’s opener. Ozzie likes guys that can get after the QB. When healthy, this guy’s a beast! He would be scary in a rotation with Suggs, Dumervil and Upshaw. Dean Pees would have a field day scheming ups ways to turn these guys loose!
4b. David Quessenberry – LT, San Jose St. The Ravens are sure to pick a developmental LT, and this mobile 6’5″ 295 Spartan fits the bill! He has decent feet for a big man, and a high ceiling.
5. Robert Lester – SS, Alabama. 6’2″, 210, centerfield type, not is the box type of a safety. We need a cover safety (Swearinger is more of the thumper type), and Lester is a great pick up here.
5b. Jordan Campbell – ILB, New Mexico. Ozzie gets his stout ILB here. This is a player that jumps out on tape. Go to youtube and check out some of his highlights. He just doesn’t hit people – he decleats them!
6. Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon. He is not a secret anymore, as he’s had several workouts with different NFL teams. Still, he does come from a small school, and that has to be a consideration.
6b. Kyle Juszczyk – FB, Harvard. He has great hands, as he caught a bunch of passes out of the backfield. Not a thumper like Leach; more of an H-back type.
6c. Michael Williams – TE, Alabama. I still see the Ravens taking him here. They love tight ends, Ozzie went to ‘Bama, so this pick is a no brainer (plus, he’s really good player with great blocking skills).
7. Nathan Johnson – DE/OLB, Ohio State. High motor high effort type of player. He is scrappy and has no quit in him. Definitely plays like a Raven!
7b. Anthony McCloud – DT, FSU. A bit of a longshot to make the team, but could surprise.
Here are some other players that could end up in a Ravens uniform: Khaled Holmes (C – USC), Braden Wilson (FB – Kansas St), Nico Johnson (ILB – Alabama), Markus Wheaton (WR – Oregon St), Tony Jefferson (FS – Oklahoma), Quanterus Smith (OLB – Western Kentucky), Kevin Reddick (ILB – NC), Chris Faulk (LT – LSU), Keith Pough (OLB – Howard), David Bakhtiari (OL – Colorardo), DeWayne Cherrington (DL – Miss St)