Draft day is finally here. As you watch things unfold tonight, here’s question No. 1 for the Ravens.
WHAT TRENDS WILL DETERMINE THE RAVENS’ MOVE AT NO. 26?
The Ravens have need for a wide receiver, a cornerback, a pass rusher, and a tight end. Here are five things for Ravens fans to watch.
* An early run on cornerbacks could hurt the Ravens.
I believe Washington cornerback Marcus Peters is the Ravens’ most likely choice with the 26th pick. The Ravens covet a cornerback, but so do many teams. What if Peters, Trae Waynes of Michigan St., Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest, Jalen Collins of LSU, and Byron Jones of Connecticut are all gone before the Ravens pick at No. 26? If that happens, I don’t think the Ravens will take a corner at No. 26, and they may have trouble getting a good one later.
* Does running back Melvin Gordon tumble out of the top 20?
I don’t think Gordon falls that far, but this draft gets more interesting for the Ravens if he does. Gordon is a physical runner who smells the end zone, but he can also bounce outside effectively. Justin Forsett and Gordon could be a dynamic one-two punch, but taking Gordon wouldn’t address the Ravens’ need for a corner or a wide receiver.
* Which wide receivers are still available after the 15th pick?
Amari Cooper of Alabama, Kevin White of West Virginia, and Devante Parker of Louisville should be gone before the 15th pick. But that still leaves other top wide receivers like Phillip Dorsett of Miami (Fla.), Breshad Perriman of Central Florida, Jaelen Strong of Arizona St., Devin Smith of Ohio St, and Nelson Agholor of USC?
Which ones will be left at No. 26? And which one do the Ravens view as the best fit?
* Are either Shane Ray or Randy Gregory worth the risk if available?
Both could help the Ravens, and owner Steve Bisciotti says the team needs a pass rusher. However, Ray and Gregory have both had off-the-field issues. Should the Ravens pass on both, or take a chance on either?
* Will enough good players fall to make general manager Ozzie Newsome trade down?
It could happen. The Ravens already have 10 picks, but this is a deep and the Ravens like extra picks. If some of the top players on the Ravens’ draft board fall, Newsome may deal back.
Get ready for an interesting night.