The Ravens are narrowing their target for the No. 6 pick, with the draft just three weeks away. Ohio St. defensive end Joey Bosa, Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, and UCLA linebacker Myles Jack all visited the Ravens’ headquarters on Wednesday, according to NFL Network.
Those players are all potential candidates for the No. 6 pick, in a list that also includes Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner, and Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley. But while Stanley could be the choice, the Ravens are most likely to draft defense if they don’t trade out of the sixth spot.
“If you’re going to Vegas and bet, there’s probably five or six really elite defensive players where we’re picking and maybe three or four (offensive players),” said Ravens assistant general manager Eric Decosta.
The Ravens talked effusively about Bosa, Hargreaves and Jack at their pre-draft press conference Tuesday.
Bosa’s less-than-stellar 4.86 time in the 40-yard dash at the combine raised some concern, but his pass-rushing ability makes it unlikely he will fall past No. 6. The Ravens need a pass rusher, and also believe Bosa is athletic enough to drop into pass coverage on occasion as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
“He’s certainly a good enough athlete,” said Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz, speaking of Bosa. “He’s long, he’s rangy, he’s got enough speed. So, I think he projects to either spot, 4-3, and/or 3-4 outside backer.”
Jack’s ability as a three-down inside linebacker, playing next to C. J. Mosley, would add playmaking ability and versatility to a Ravens’ defense that had difficulty forcing turnovers and getting off the field on third down last year.
“He’s a great athlete,” DeCosta said of Jack. “He only played a few games this year because of the injury, but he’s a guy that can do a lot of different things. I think athletically, he can cover probably as well as most guys you’ll ever see at the linebacker position. He’s gifted that way. He’s a little bit undersized, (but) he’s a good run defender. He’s an excellent blitzer.”
Hargreaves could be the choice at No. 6 if Bosa and Jack are both gone, or if the Ravens feel they absolutely must have a top corner. With Lardarius Webb moving from corner to safety, the starting corner job opposite Jimmy Smith is wide open. Few scouts question Hargreaves’ athleticism or toughness, and he plays taller than his 5-foot-10 size.
“Yes, he’s a little undersized – everyone wants a 6-foot, 6-1 corner – but, he’s certainly fast enough and his instincts and ball skills make up for his lack of size,” said Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz.
The Ravens like all the players they might choose at No. 6. However, meeting face-to-face with the potential picks will help them decide which one they like best, and how they will set their board.