By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on May 1, 2014
The Baltimore Ravens could go in many different directions with their first-round pick. It's a promising draft class with immense talent at several positions. With that said, the draft has been and always will be a crapshoot. Things could go wrong for Baltimore even with a competent GM like Ozzie Newsome calling the shots. Here are the Ravens' five worst-case scenarios in the first round.
Baltimore's new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak loves to utilize tight ends. The Ravens have a solid tight end in Dennis Pitta, but could use another receiving threat at the position. The top tight end of the draft, Eric Ebron, will likely be gone, so perhaps the Ravens will target the next best thing (according to some) in Jace Amaro. Doing so, however, would be a ridiculous reach.
If the Ravens would like to move Haloti Ngata back to defensive end in their 3-4 front, a true nose tackle like Notre Dame's Louis Nix III could be an option. Nose tackles typically play less than 50 percent of a team's defensive snaps, though, which would make adding Nix poor value in the middle of the first round.
The Ravens have a void to fill at right tackle after Michael Oher's departure in free agency. The first round, though, isn't the time to fill it -- at least not by reaching for a prospect like Ja'Wuan James, who would be a much better fit in the second round.
Interior offensive line help is needed in Baltimore after the Ravens ranked 30th in rushing offense last season. UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo might be the top offensive guard of the class. But there will be starting-caliber interior linemen available later in the draft. Reaching for Su'a-Filo would give the Ravens very little value.
The Ravens are one of many teams that have shown interest in the fast-rising Cody Latimer. While Latimer, a highly athletic receiver from Indiana, has talent, he would be a risk this high in the draft. He didn't play as fast as he timed at his pro day and didn't routinely separate from cornerbacks in the Big Ten. There will likely be surer talents at the position on the board.
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