The Ravens’ inability to force turnovers last season could sway them to go defense with the No. 6 pick.
The Ravens had just 14 takeaways, the fewest of any team in the NFL except the Cowboys (11) and the 49ers (12). The Ravens’ six interceptions were the fewest in the NFL.
Teams at the top in takeaways often find themselves in the playoffs. In 2015, six of the top eight teams in creating turnovers made the postseason, including the two Super Bowl teams – the Panthers who led the NFL in takeaways (39), and the Broncos (27), who were tied for seventh.
Many NFL mock drafts have the Ravens taking Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the No. 6 pick. However, here are three defensive players who could get the nod over Stanley if they are still on the board at No. 6:
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida St.
Ramsey is versatile enough to play corner or safety, with excellent ball skills. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com sees Ramsey as a perfect fit for the Ravens.
“When I look at Jalen Ramsey, you watch him, to me, that’s the piece that Baltimore needs because they have not had a playmaker back there in the back end,” Jeremiah said on the “Move The Sticks” podcast. “Jimmy Smith got that money, (and) was a little up and down, a lot more down than up this past season. (Lardarius) Webb, maybe you move him to safety. But Ramsey to me gives you that elite playmaker. I think they would play him at safety and let him really wreck havoc back there.”
DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Buckner had 11 sacks last season, addressing a Ravens’ need. If they put more pressure on quarterbacks next season, the Ravens will create more turnovers. Buckner could help them do that. He’s 6-foot-7 with the wingspan to bat down passes, and he also plays the run well.
Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Hargreaves had four picks last season, even though some teams rarely threw in his direction. Even when the Ravens’ corners were in position to make plays last season, they often dropped potential interceptions. Hargreaves could change that.
Conclusion: Drafting Stanley might not be a bad move, especially if the Ravens lose offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele in free agency. However, drafting a defensive playmaker at No. 6 could have more of an immediate impact.
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