Regardless of where the Ravens pick, they have no excuse to miss in either the first or second round of next year’s draft.
The Ravens (4-9) are currently No. 4 in the draft order behind the Titans (No. 1), the Browns (No. 2), and the Chargers (No. 3). All three of those teams are 3-10.
Facing a difficult schedule over their last three games, the Ravens’ chances of landing a top-five pick are excellent. Let’s say the Ravens stay at No. 4. Let’s take a look at the last 10 players who have been chosen with the No. 4 pick in Round 1 and Round 2 (36th overall):
No. 4 – Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
Cooper is headed for a 1,000-yard season as a rookie (920 yards), with 109 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens in Week 2.
No. 36 – T. J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars
Averaging 4.1 yards per carry, Yeldon (740 yards) could also reach 1,000 as a rookie.
No. 4 –Sammy Watkins, WR Bills
Even been nagged by injuries early this season, Watkins still has seven 100-yard receiving games and 13 touchdowns in less than two seasons.
No. 36 – Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
He beat the Ravens in Week 2 with three touchdown passes, and Carr has the same number of touchdown passes this season (28) as Eli Manning, Cam Newton, and Aaron Rodgers.
No. 4 – Lane Johnson, OT, Eagles
Johnson has solidified the Eagles’ right tackle position, starting 41 games.
No. 36 – Darius Slay, CB, Lions
Slay is a solid corner who in recent games has been covering the opponent’s top receiver.
No. 4 – Matt Kalil, OT, Vikings
Kalil has made one Pro Bowl as the Vikings’ starting left tackle.
No. 36, Derek Wolfe, DE, Broncos
A starter for an excellent defense, Wolfe has excelled as a run-stopper and his pass rushing has improved.
No. 4 – A. J. Green, WR, Bengals
One of the NFL’s best receivers, Green’s game-breaking ability has punished the Ravens.
No. 36 – Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers
Lost his starting job this season, but was the 49ers’ starting quarterback in Super Bowl XLVII when they lost to the Ravens.
CONCLUSION: Clearly, there’s plenty of talent to be had with the No. 4 pick in the draft. So if that’s where the Ravens land, they’ll have some explaining to do if they don’t capitalize.