It didn’t take me long to revise what I think the Baltimore Ravens are going to do on May 8 through May 10! As teams that are picking ahead of the Ravens are starting to crystalize what they’re going to do, I’ve come full circle and now I think that with their 17th pick of the first round, the Ravens are going to select………
1. (17) Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina – the 6’4″ 250 pound Ebron is an athlete who has that rare combination of strength and speed. Physically he compares with Vernon Davis, and he is also a willing blocker. With Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels coming off of injuries, he gives offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak lots of toys to play with in his multiple sets, where he loves running crossing routes out of two-tight end sets! With Joe Flacco getting the ball to Ebron in space, Eric would be a threat to go all the way every time he gets his hands on the ball. Ebron also makes sense here because he gives the Ravens depth at the TE position. Plus the fact that Daniels is on a one year contract.
2. (39) Jimmie Ward, FS Northern Illinois – (trade with the Jaguars – Jaguar’s 2nd round pick for Ravens’ 2nd round pick – #48, plus the Ravens’ 3rd round pick – #79 overall) the Ravens will trade up to get this 5’11’ 193 pound playmaker, who had 7 interceptions and 10 pass break ups last year. He is a bit undersized, but he is also the ball hawking safety that the Ravens’ defense lacked last year. The Ravens trade up to get him because the must come away with a starter at free safety from this year’s draft.
3. (99) Antonio Richardson, OT Tennessee – “Tiny” stands 6’6″ and weighs 336 pounds! He is a road-grader, and will be an immediate starter at right tackle. Watching him manhandle defensive ends, he reminds me of ex-Cowboy great Erik Williams. He gives the Ravens depth against injury, as he played left tackle at Tennessee. There’s lots to like about this pick!
4. (134) Anthony Johnson, DT LSU – with this pick, Ozzie Newsome selects the first player that the Ravens have taken in the draft from LSU! This 6’3″ 308 stout defensive tackle plays with a high motor, has long arms, and makes plays all over the field. He is an “effort” player, and with Haloti Ngata more than likely being a cap-casualty next year, Ozzie is going to reload at the DT position!
4. (138) Walt Aikens, CB Liberty – 6’1″ 203 pound senior. With the departure of Corey Graham, this pick makes sense here. He was recruited by Clemson and Louisville, but ended up in Illinois. Had a theft charge that caused him to transfer to Liberty. He had a very good Senior Bowl, and could compete for the starting nickel back position for the Ravens.
5. (175) Michael Campanaro, WR Wake Forest – At 5’9″ and 192 pounds, Campanaro recently worked out for the Ravens, and according to him had an “awesome” showing! He had 229 career catches for the Deamon Deacons, which made him the school’s all-time leader in that category. He is a thicker version of Wes Welker, but the concern is if he will be able to get consistent separation at the NFL level. Still, a very solid pick here, and Joe Flacco’s safety blanket.
6. (194) Jeff Janis, WR Saginaw Valley – 6’3″ 219 pounds, this tough, hard nosed WR that has also visited the Ravens. Holds a ton of school records, and has exceptional athleticism. His leaping ability is through the roof!