Baltimore Ravens 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 1: 7 Rounds
John Harbaugh, Head Coach, Baltimore Ravens
Coming off of their Super Bowl-winning season, the Baltimore Ravens are heading into the off-season with one focus and one focus only: win their second consecutive Lombardi Trophy.
Last season was unique. The Ravens played through injury, doubt and sometimes even “must-win” games. In the end, however, coach John Harbaugh rallied his “mighty men” and kept them determined. Looking forward to the 2013 season, Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens staff will have many tough choices to make.
They have already signed quarterback Joe Flacco to a $120 million contract and now they have to turn their attention to bolstering the team around him. A lot of that will start with the 2013 NFL Draft. Baltimore is looking to keep their team identity young with new fresh blood coming out of college.
Defense seems to be the biggest focus for the Ravens as even though they have been dominant in years past, the Super Bowl run in 2012 exposed that this once mighty defense may have fallen just a bit. It showed that new players must come in and make a splash to strengthen this team and again make it a top-10 defense in the league.
In this Mock Draft, we are going to take a look at the potential players that could don the purple and black in 2013. General Manager Ozzie Newsome has been known as one of the NFL’s best when it comes to draft day. Come April 25-27, expect that to be no different.
Kevin Minter, Linebacker, LSU
Minter had a great career at LSU. He led the Tigers in tackles and proved to be a leader in one of the SEC's most dominant defenses. Baltimore needs depth in their linebacking corps and Minter seems to be the perfect fit. He will be battling with Jameel McClain for a leading position on the depth chart and that might be a tough task for a rookie. Minter has what it takes and even if he doesn't get top-2 spot on the depth chart, he will surely see some playing time as the middle of the field is something that Baltimore must address.
Shamarko Thomas, Safety, Syracuse
Shamarko Thomas will be a steal if he falls here. I think he will because of his small stature, but that shouldn't be an issue in the Baltimore secondary. It needs help with an injury-prone cornerback system and of course the uncertainty of Ed Reed's return. Even if Reed does return for two more years, Thomas will be learning under the NFL's best.
D.J Swearinger, Defensvie Back, South Carolina
The Ravens' defensive backfield needs major help and D.J Swearinger will be the perfect guy for the job. He had an outstanding career at South Carolina, turning heads during every game. With
Lardarius Webbcoming off of an ACL tear and Jimmy Smith being the next best option, depth is crucial for the defending Super Bowl champs.
Bennie Logan, Defensive Tackle, LSU
The Ravens could have drafted a defensive lineman earlier in this draft, but all of the players available early resembled a player who they are all too familiar with, Terrance Cody. Cody turned out to be a bust with weight issues and lack of production. Bennie Logan shouldn't have this problem as he stood out in a fantastic LSU defense.
Josh Boyce, Wide Reciever, TCU
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Anquan Boldin's status for 2013, so Josh Boyce seems to be a great pick in the fifth round. He is a great talent and the only reason he will fall this far is because of slight injury issues. Baltimore needs depth when it comes to targets for Joe Flacco and Boyce could turn into a solid #2 guy in further years to come.
Reid Fragel, Tackle, Ohio State
Signing Joe Flacco for six years with all the money he received comes with its "must-do's". One of those is keeping the front-5 in front of him in act. Michael Oher has done well, but the other tackle slot has been full of uncertainty. Bryant McKinnee may only have a few years left in him, so
Reid Fragelcan be groomed into a possile replacement. Worse case scenario, Fragel is utilized as a great depth for the line in front of Flacco.
Collin Klein, Quarterback, Kansas State
A quarterback for the Ravens? Why would they pick Klein? The answer is simple: Baltimore needs a solid backup if
Joe Flaccoever gets hurt.
Tyrod Taylorhas been waiting in the wings, but I haven't seen enough from him to convince me that he is the answer if something goes wrong. At worst, Collin Klein can give Taylor some competition in camp.