NFL Baltimore Ravens

2014 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Sleepers the Baltimore Ravens Should Target

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2014 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Sleepers the Baltimore Ravens Should Target

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The Baltimore Ravens are preparing the draft board for May based on the combine results, tape analysis and Eric DeCosta. With 32 teams picking away at some of the nation's top prospects, the Ravens will have to be decisive in their selections. According to Mike Mayock, this is one of the deepest draft classes he has seen in certain positions. With that said, the Ravens may not need to trade up at all to get the quality players they desire.

The positions of need are simple. With Jacoby Jones hitting free agency in March, the possibility of his return is doubtful which makes wide receiver a position of need. Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson are both due to become free agents in March as well. We know Pitta will be re-signed, but Dickson is sure to be employed elsewhere. Daryl Smith is currently in talks with the Ravens to get a new deal, but if that does not happen, the Ravens have plenty of depth at the MLB position. So as much as everyone thinks that there is glaring hole at the position since Ray Lewis retired, the Ravens will be just fine.

Another position of need is at strong and free safety. With James Ihedigbo probable to return and the absence of a true free safety in the mix, the Ravens will need to bring in some help for Matt Elam. It was evident last year that the absence of Ed Reed was felt in the secondary. The Ravens got blown up for big plays across the middle of the field constantly because of the absence of a ball-hawk.

Things are still up in the air with the run game looking terrible and Ray Rice’s most recent encounter with the law. The Ravens need to consider a RB who could come into camp and push Bernard Pierce and Rice to play harder for their spots.

The final position of need is on the line. Michael Oher, movie and all, will more than likely hit the unemployment line temporarily and the team will need someone who can actually play right tackle to come in and play immediately. Joe Flacco standing upright is a priority so be sure that this list will have that position of need listed higher. With that said here are the 5 late round sleepers based on best player available and position need for the team.

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5. TE Arthur Lynch, Georgia

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With a stellar pass catching TE pretty much on the books again in Dennis Pitta, the Ravens will need a Billy Bajema type Blocking TE. Arthur Lynch from Georgia fits the build. He is a solid run-blocker and is always trying to get in two blocks per play. I’d like to see more of his pass catching ability, but look for this steal to come off the boards in the fifth round to the Ravens.

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4. FS Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech

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I was huge on Calvin Pryor and thought no one could compare in this year’s draft until I saw Thomas’ tape. He locates the ball like a receiver in the air and goes up for the ball to play on it at its highest peak. He is very athletic and has the stats to prove it. Leading his defense with 88 tackles eight pass breakups and two interceptions in 2013 speaks to his ability. He should go in the early third round if not sooner.

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3. T Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

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We all know how Ozzie Newsome loves his Alma Mater. Where better to look for a tackle than a Nick Saban All-Star farm in Alabama. Kouandjio is raw and will need some fine tuning once drafted, but you can’t teach size and at 6-foot-7, 322-pounds this monster might not make it out of the first round. However, if he does look for the Ravens to trade up for him.

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2. WR Brandon Coleman, Rutgers

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This is a late-round steal; enough said. Okay, seriously this guy has great size runs fairly well with a 4.56 40-yard dash time. He may have some issues creating separation, but if you throw the ball up he will use his size to put himself into position for the ball. His ability to take it to the house after the catch is pretty nice too. With his lack of route running ability and the poor vertical which also speaks to him not being able to aggressively attack the ball. Look for this gentle giant to still be available in round six.

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1. RB Jeremy Hill, LSU

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I have watched this guy all year and am wondering who is making up these mock drafts. Hill is a home-run hitter, a running back that 32 of 32 teams would say give this guy the ball all day. How he would slip out of the first round is beyond my comprehension. However, should this stellar talent sneak out of the first round, look for the Ravens to make the call because Hill is a beast.