On one of the numerous forums that I follow, a fellow posted the following question? What is the most intriguing move….who plays left tackle, or who will be the #2 wide receiver. Here are my thoughts:
Ravens will go with the BPA (best player available). If that’s a WR, then that’s the pick. If DeAndre Hopkins or Keenan Allen are sitting there, I don’t see them passing up on them. If they are gone and Menelik Watson is sitting there, they may take him (if they in fact have him rated that high). The way the board plays out will dictate which way Ozzie goes. In fact, if Tyler Eifert is there, why wouldn’t Ozzie take him at 32??? No reason at all if he is in fact the BPA. That would make our 21 set lethal (that’s where we’d have two wide receivers, two tight ends, and one running back).
My personal opinion is that you do build your team from the trenches out, so I am always going to be in favor of getting one of “the big uglies.” But it has to make sense where we take them. I see the Ravens trading back. If they take a receiver that’s there at 32, then I see them taking a tackle somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd round. Then they would pretty much have to sign McKinnie at some point, and let the rook develop behind him.
I also don’t buy the notion that McKinnie is going to retire. He needs money. He always needs money:) That is why he will get an incentive laden contract, whether it’s from the Ravens or somebody else. The interesting thing is if the Ravens have completely eliminated him from consideration.
My personal feelings aside for McKinnie, he was stout the prior year and he was really stout in the playoffs. Joe’s blindside does in fact need to be protected, particularly given his lack of awareness in regards to pressure. We clearly saw what he can do when he gets time, gets confident, and sets his feet. That has to happen in order for our offense to be successful. I think the “business” thing to do is to draft a rook LT in the first 2 or 3 rounds (provided it’s not a reach and he is in fact the BPA), sign Mac to a 2 year contract full of incentives, and go from there. I know that Ozzie alluded that Osemele could get a look at LT, but I’m not a fan of shuffling the line (again). Ose needs to develop at guard, where he is dominant. Along with Yanda, he gives the O-line toughness and consistency that it’s going to need, particularly given the fact that it’s breaking in a first year starter at center in Gradkowski. He is going to need a pair of stout guards to flank him to make his inauguration more palatable. Stability at offensive line is very, very important.