Baltimore Ravens Draft Preview; 2016 Schedule Released
With the NFL Draft set to begin on April 28th, let’s take a look at this year’s Baltimore Ravens Draft Preview and schedule.
Baltimore Ravens Draft Preview
Top Needs: Offensive Line, Cornerback, Outside Linebacker, Wide receiver
Draft Picks: Round 1 (6), Round 2 (36), Round 3 (70), Round 4 (104), (130), (132), (134), Round 6 (182), (209)
After finishing third in the AFC North last year, the Ravens come into this draft with many needs. Offensive line will be a priority no doubt, but there are a few other key needs for this team. When you play A.J. Green and Antonio Brown both twice a year, a need for quality cornerbacks is inevitable.
Terrel Suggs is not getting and younger so bringing some youth to the pass rush would not hurt as well. We are yet to see what speedster Breshad Perriman is capable of after missing his entire rookie season to injury, so Joe Flacco could use some help at the receiver position.
The Ravens’ first round pick can go two different ways. With Laremy Tunsil likely to be the first offensive tackle taken and maybe the first player overall, Ronnie Staley projects to be the next tackle taken. The Ravens could possibly take him at 6 if they feel he is there guy.
On the other hand, if they don’t take him, they can look to the defensive side of the ball with a pick like DeForest Buckner out of Oregon or Vernon Hargreaves out of Florida. Buckner would bring pass rushing force from the inside as a 3-4 defensive end and Hargreaves can help to slow down Antonio Brown and the other elite pass catchers of the AFC North.
The second and third rounds will look to build on whatever position wasn’t selected in the first. If Ronnie Staley is taken, look for a corner here or possibly a pass rusher. If they go defense in round 1, then a tackle makes sense here as well. A few guys to keep an eye on in the second round are Jason Spriggs, an offensive tackle from Indiana, Kendall Fuller, a cornerback from Virginia Tech and Noah Spence, a defensive end from Eastern Kentucky. The third round can bring more defense due to the current aging regime in place.
The Ravens do not possess any fifth round picks or seventh, but they make up for it with four fourth rounders and two sixth rounders. Look for a receiver to be taken in one of these fourth round slots. Keyrarris Garret from Tulsa is a big body (6’3”, 220 lbs) receiver who can compliment the speed of Perriman on the other side. He is your prototypical big receiver who will win some 50/50 opportunities, but will not run past many defensive backs due to his lack of top end speed.
As mentioned above, and often in this preview, corners will be a necessity going into the 2016 season. Look for another corner to be taken in these later rounds. A guy like Eric Murray out of Minnesota could be an intriguing pick. He doesn’t get quite all the glory due to a lack of interceptions, but Murray quietly gets the job done. He is a well-rounded corner with good size and speed.
The Ravens can close out the draft with a running back and perhaps some more outside linebacker help.
Baltimore Ravens’ Schedule
Week 1: Sept. 11, Buffalo Bills, 1
Week 2: Sept. 18, at Cleveland Browns, 1
Week 3: Sept. 25, at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1
Week 4: Oct. 2, Oakland Raiders, 1
Week 5: Oct. 9, Washington Redskins, 1
Week 6: Oct. 16, at New York Giants, 1
Week 7: Oct. 23, at New York Jets, 1
Week 8: BYE
Week 10: Nov. 10, Cleveland Browns (Thu), 8:25
Week 11: Nov. 20, at Dallas Cowboys, 1
Week 12: Nov. 27, Cincinnati Bengals, 1
Week 13: Dec. 4, Miami Dolphins, 1
Week 14: Dec. 12, at New England Patriots (Mon), 8:30
Week 15: Dec. 18, Philadelphia Eagles, 1
Week 16: Dec. 25, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:30
Week 17: Jan. 1, at Cincinnati Bengals, 1
(Baltimore Ravens Draft Preview)