Myles Jack

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Will Ravens use extra picks to make trades in NFL Draft rounds 2 and 3?

Will Ravens use extra picks to make trades in NFL Draft rounds 2 and 3?

With eight picks remaining in the draft, including the fifth pick in the second round (No. 36 overall), the Ravens are just getting started making moves. Here are three reasons why the Ravens might make a trade Friday night during round 2 or round 3:

1. The Ravens need to strengthen their chances of getting a quality pass rusher or corner.

If the Ravens want a corner or pass rusher who can step in and contribute next season, it’s getting late. Before the draft, Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said he felt more pressure thinking about the second-round pick (No. 36) than he did the first round. The Ravens won’t sit around and wait if they sense all the players they covet slipping away. Don’t be surprised to see the Ravens trade up in either Round 2 or 3 to target a player they want. Corners still on the board include Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, Xavien Howard of Baylor, and Cyrus Jones of Alabama. Pass rushers on the board include Kamalei Correa of Boise St. and Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky. The third round could be too late to get any of those players.

2. The chance to get UCLA inside linebacker Myles Jack makes the start of Round 2 even more fluid.

Jack is a first-round talent who is only available due to concerns about his knee. Many teams, including the Ravens, could be thinking about picking Jack, or trading up to get him.

3. If the Ravens keep all of their picks, all nine players are unlikely to make the team.

The Ravens already have a crowded roster at several positions, including running back and tight end. They will also bring in more free agents once the draft is over. It makes sense to trade a pick or two, in exchange for a player who helps them next season.

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Five potential Ravens targets in the second round of the NFL Draft

Five potential Ravens targets in the second round of the NFL Draft

The Ravens will be on the clock early again on Friday night, scheduled to pick fifth in the second round, at No.  36 overall. After taking Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley with their first pick at No. 6 overall, the Ravens could turn to the defense in the second round, and there is a lot of defensive talent still on the board.

Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said on Thursday night that the Ravens expect to get a first-round talent with their second pick.

"We love the top 36 players in this draft," DeCosta said. "So we're going to get an outstanding player. ... We're very, very confident that at 36 we're going to get a guy that we feel like is a first-round type talent."

So who might that be? Here, in alphabetical order, are a few candidates that could be in play when the Ravens are on the clock:

CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson

The Ravens couldn't trade up for Jalen Ramsey, so they remain in the market for cornerback help. Alexander has shutdown capabilities though there are concerns about his height (5-10) matching up with elite receivers on the outside. Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta predicted a run on cornerbacks between picks 25 and 40, and Alexander figures in that equation.

OLB Kamalei Correa, Boise State

An early entry to the draft, Correa had 12 sacks as a sophomore at Boise State and then seven this past season. Correa (6-3, 243) has played defensive end and linebacker but is considered best suited as an edge rusher in a 3-4 defense.

CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech

Kendall is about to become the fourth Fuller brother to be drafted, and he could find his way back to his hometown Ravens. A knee injury early last season knocked Fuller out of the first round, but he's a first-round talent when healthy and would be a nice fit for the Ravens.  

LB Myles Jack, UCLA

Wait a minute, he's still around? Yes, Jack had been mentioned as a Ravens first-round pick in many mock drafts, but concerns about his knee -- which he exacerbated by mentioning the possibility of microfracture surgery -- sent him tumbling down draft boards. Still, he's a potential top-10 talent who is still available.

DE Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky

Spence is the type of edge rusher the Ravens have said they covet. He had eight sacks as a sophomore at Ohio State. But off-the-field issues remain his biggest question mark; he was booted from Ohio State because of failed drug tests and tried to boost his draft stock by transferring to Eastern Kentucky, where he recorded 11 1/2 sacks last year.

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On the clock: Five questions Ravens fans should ask before the NFL Draft

On the clock: Five questions Ravens fans should ask before the NFL Draft

With the sixth pick in the NFL draft, the Ravens select?

The day has finally come to answer that question. As you get ready for tonight’s draft, here are five things Ravens fans should be asking:

1: What will the Chargers do at No. 3?

That’s when the suspense begins, because we know quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz will be the first two players selected. The Chargers could go at least four different ways - Mississippi left tackle Laremy Tunsil, Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley, Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner, or Florida defensive back Jalen Ramsey. All of those players are on the Ravens’ radar, and the Chargers’ decision starts the domino effect that will trickle down to No. 6.

2. Will the Ravens trade down, and if so, how far?

The odds are against the Ravens trading down, but it could happen. The No. 6 pick has plenty of value, and the Ravens could get phone calls from teams looking to trade up for Stanley, Tunsil, Ohio St. running back Ezekiel Elliott, Michigan St. left tackle Jack Conklin, or Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.  If the Ravens do trade down, don’t expect them to fall back farther than No. 15. The Titans hold that pick, and could offer a bundle to get Stanley or Tunsil.

3. If the Cowboys don’t take Elliott at No. 4, will the Ravens?

It would be a daring move for the Ravens to take a running back at No. 6, when they are deep at that position, and have so many other needs. But for weeks, we’ve heard some scouts and draft experts say Elliott will be an elite NFL back who runs effectively inside and outside, and catches passes. What if the Ravens believe Elliott will be as good, or better, than Ray Rice was in his prime? If they believe that, the Ravens taking Elliott could really shake up this draft.

4. Would taking a chance on UCLA inside linebacker Myles Jack be worth it for the Ravens?

Speculation is heavy that Jack will fall out of the top 10 due to concern about his surgically-repaired knee. But for argument’s sake, what if Jack is one of the league’s best inside linebackers for at least five seasons before needing more major knee surgery? Having Jack and C. J. Mosley would give the Ravens perhaps the league’s premier inside linebacker combo. If doctors have not advised the Ravens to take Jack off their board, they have to consider Jack if he is there at No. 6.

5. Will either Ramsey or Ohio St. defensive end Joey Bosa fall to No. 6?

I think both will be gone, especially Ramsey. But I’m pretty sure the Ravens would gladly take either. Getting a versatile defensive back like Ramsey, or possibly the best pass rusher in the draft in Bosa, is a likely best-case scenario for Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. Until somebody drafts Ramsey or Bosa, that dream could become reality.