Here are five draft prospects in the Alabama-Clemson national championship game who could fit the Ravens’ draft needs:
O. J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The Ravens have drafted three tight ends over the past two seasons. But Crockett Gillmore has been injury prone. Maxx Williams is coming off leg surgery. Ben Watson is coming off Achilles surgery/ Darren Waller is still raw. Dennis Pitta could be a salary cap casualty if he doesn’t agree to a pay reduction. Howard is a 6-foot-6 playmaker, and the Ravens need playmakers. If they feel Howard the best playmaker on the board at No. 16, the Ravens would have to think hard about taking him.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Lack of depth at cornerback is one of the Ravens’ most glaring weaknesses, especially since top corner Jimmy Smith has been injury plagued. At 6-foot-1, Humphrey has the size and athleticism to help the Ravens deal with the AFC North’s top two receivers – Antonio Brown of the Steelers and A. J. Green of the Bengals. Humphrey is only a redshirt sophomore, so he must decide whether to declare himself eligible for the draft. If he does leave Alabama, Humphrey could be a top-10 pick, and the Ravens don’t pick until No. 16. However, trading up to get a talent like Humphrey could be worth it.
Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
Tankersly entered the national championship game with three interceptions in his previous two games. Scouts notice playmakers who step up in big-game situations. Tankersley may not be a first-round prospect, but he’s also a 6-foot-1 corner, who could be a nice pickup for the Ravens on the second day of the draft.
Mike Williams, WR Clemson
The knock on Williams is that he doesn’t have speed. However, the Ravens already have two speed receivers in Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. At 6-foot-3, Williams has the size to give quarterback Joe Flacco a reliable possession receiver to help fill the void left by Steve Smith Sr.’s retirement.
Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
With eight sacks this season, Williams is rated as one of the country’s top edge rushers. With Terrell Suggs turning 34 in October, and Elvis Dumervil a potential cap casualty, the Ravens must do whatever it takes to improve their pass rush, and Williams could still be on the board at No. 16.
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