When the Ravens visit the Browns on Monday Night Football next week, the nation will see two teams that could have the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.
Neither the Browns (2-8) nor the Ravens (3-7) want to hear that kind of talk. The Ravens’ locker room is still focused on this year, not next year. The latest evidence was Sunday’s come-from-behind 16-13 victory over the Rams, a game the Ravens won by scoring 13 unanswered fourth-quarter points.
However the Ravens still have one of the NFL’s worst records, and both quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Justin Forsett suffered season-ending injuries Sunday.
Here’s the current 2016 top 10 draft order, with the Ravens holding the No. 4 pick. Strength of schedule is the first tie-breaker for teams with the same record:
1. Browns (2-8) .500 strength of schedule
2. Chargers (2-8) .513 SOS
3. Titans (2-8) .510 SOS
4. Ravens (3-7) .494 SOS
5. Lions (3-7), 519 SOS
6. 49ers (3-7), .531 SOS
7. Cowboys (3-7), .544 SOS
8. Dolphins (4-6), .481 SOS
9. Raiders (4-6), .481 SOS
10. Jaguars (4-6), 481 SOS
Among the Ravens’ many needs are pass rusher, cornerback, safety, and playmaking wide receiver. Top prospects that could be available with the No. 4 pick include:
Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio St. – If this pass rusher declares for the draft, he should be a top pick.
Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida – Not the biggest corner (5-foot-11, 199 pounds), but he does well in press coverage takes advantage of opportunities for interceptions.
Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida St. – Has shown the ability to cover ground as a safety, and to defend slot receivers – traits the Ravens need.
The Ravens will continue trying to win without Flacco, Forsett, and their long list of injured players. However, the Ravens –Browns game will be a matchup between teams likely to pick very high in the next draft.