2014 NFL Draft: Baltimore Ravens’ Early Seven-Round Mock
Baltimore Ravens' Seven-Round Mock Draft
With the 3-5 Baltimore Ravens’ 2013 campaign heading downhill, it’s never too early to start looking towards the offseason and the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. There are numerous areas they must improve in, and there won’t be a better opportunity to get better than the draft.
Of those areas needing improvement, one of the biggest is the passing game. The Ravens have a highly-paid quarterback in Joe Flacco, but no one for him to throw the football to. With limited options out wide and their top tight end still on the shelf, upgrades to the receiving corps are desperately needed moving forward.
The Ravens need help elsewhere, too. The offensive line has a few holes, including at center, a position that has been a major weakness in Baltimore throughout the season. With Michael Oher continuing to struggle at tackle, adding a rookie to the mix to either push him or steal the spot wouldn’t hurt. The Ravens would also benefit from bringing in some extra depth at both inside linebacker and cornerback. A developmental quarterback also wouldn’t be a terrible thing to use a pick on.
Either way, the Ravens need to make the most of their draft picks in May. The 2014 NFL Draft will offer them an opportunity to improve their suddenly-subpar roster and replace some of the broken pieces that have hindered their 2013 campaign.
With that in mind, here’s a look at what the Ravens could choose to do with their seven current draft picks when the 2014 NFL Draft finally rolls around.
1st Round: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The loss of Dennis Pitta hurt the Ravens’ offense in ways they never could have imagined. To top it off, he’ll join Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark as free agents this offseason. Clearly, Baltimore needs some new bodies at tight end. Ebron is currently the top tight end of the class, earning the admiration of scouts with his seam-stretching abilities and in-air adjustments. His blocking and concentration need some work, but Ebron could easily develop into a top-tier tight end for the Ravens.
2nd Round: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
With only speedsters Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones as their reliable receivers, the Ravens need to add some more weapons for Flacco to use. Coleman is an intriguing prospect, with a big frame and the leaping ability to be a red zone threat. He uses his big body well and is a willing run blocker, but will occasionally drop catchable balls. If Baltimore sees some consistency in him, he’d be a valuable addition to their offense who would complement the speed of Smith and Jones.
3rd Round: Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas
At this point, the Ravens don’t have a capable center on their roster. Gino Gradkowski has suffered his fair share of struggles, and A.Q. Shipley hasn’t been any better. If they’re going to get better at the position, they would be wise to draft a player like Swanson. The Arkansas product is a smart, aware player who does a great job of anchoring the offensive line. While he doesn’t have elite strength, he gets good leverage and uses his intelligence to be in good position. Swanson would be an immediate upgrade for the Ravens.
6th Round: Marcus Williams, CB, North Dakota State
So far this season, the Ravens have gotten some questionable play from their group of cornerbacks. While they don’t need to find an immediate starter, some extra depth could help moving forward. Drafting a player like Williams in the sixth round couldn’t hurt, especially considering his sleeper status. A small-school prospect, Williams has dominated subpar opposition throughout his career, but has struggled against FBS teams. His coverage skills offer potential, but he’ll need to be much more physical in the NFL.
7th Round (via MIA): Bryn Renner, QB, North Carolina
Note: The Ravens received a conditional late-round pick from the Dolphins. It's unknown exactly what round it will be in.
Renner is the classic case of a quarterback having all of the physical tools, but little of the mental makeup needy to use them properly. Throughout the 2013 season, he’s struggled to make smart decisions with the football and crumbles when the pressure is on. Still, the Ravens would be wise to take a look at some extra depth at quarterback. Renner has so much potential, but has yet to realize it. If the Ravens can coach him up properly and harness his physical gifts, he could develop into a quality No. 2.