Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (1) catches a touchdown pass ahead of Auburn Tigers cornerback Chris Davis (11) during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens & FanSided Mock Draft: Round 1 Pick


As a FanSided site, we are participating in an ongoing 2014 NFL Mock Draft with some of the Local and NFL sites on the FanSided Network. You can follow the ongoing draft HERE … seeing all of the picks leading to our selection. We invite you to follow along as our network writing team completes all 32 first round picks, now already halfway completed with our extraordinarily wise selection of …

Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State, Wide Receiver - The Baltimore Ravens select Kelvin Benjamin with the 16th pick. Benjamin fills the need of a go-to wide receiver for Joe Flacco in the vein of the departed Anquan Boldin. He will compete with Marlon Brown for playing time, though will certainly be a primary option on the field from the outset. While the Ravens must address a number of problems on the offensive line and will do so through subsequent rounds or free agency, the opportunity to snag a big receiver like Benjamin is too much to pass up in the first round.

It is difficult to know where to exactly begin to address the problems of an offense that ranked 29th in the NFL this season. Flacco did not have a great year, but the problems cannot be laid solely, nor even primarily, at this feet. As poor as the passing game was, the rushing attack was worse – never getting untracked at all, certainly due in large measure to less-than-healthy backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. And the offensive line needs a reality show done about it … call it “Total Makeover” or something novel like that.

Pretty much everyone around Baltimore feared the implications of the loss of Anquan Boldin from the Super Bowl team of 2012. And sure enough, their fears were not without substance, as evidenced by all that has transpired since.

Looking at the 2012 team, Flacco had a threesome of Torrey Smith, Boldin, and Dennis Pitta to go to – which he certainly did. This past 2013 season Flacco had Smith again, but Boldin was gone (with undrafted rookie Marlon Brown taking his place), and Pitta injured for the first three-fourths of the season. The numbers illustrate the situation by giving the number of catches (Rec) and average yards-per-catch (Avg) over the past two years:

Name

Year

Rec

Avg

Smith

2012

49

17.4

Boldin

2012

65

14.2

Pitta

2012

61

11.0

Smith

2013

65

17.4

Brown

2013

49

10.7

Pitta

2013

20

8.5

 

Torrey Smith had a great season in 2013, but he needs bigger and better complementary threats. The return of Pitta in the final four games made for a noticeable improvement. And though Marlon Brown delivered a fantastic rookie season, a big wide receiver to handle the intermediate yardage situations would make for a marked offensive threat improvement. Kelvin Benjamin, at 6-5 and 230+ pounds, can be that guy.

The Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome have pretty much signaled that this is their likely direction for this draft. “When John [Hargaugh] told me [his desire for upgrading the team], I lit up, because I was right there with him as to what we’re looking for in a receiver this year,” Newsome said. Newsome also said that he wanted to find someone who “can make a third-and-7, third-and-8, catch and run some after the catch.”

Kelvin Benjamin is the big number “1” on the FSU team who made the final touchdown catch at the end of the BCS National Championship game. In his sophomore year, he totaled 54 receptions for 1,011 – 15 catches of which were for touchdowns. His combination of athleticism, massive reach, and large size are what is particularly attractive for a team like the Ravens. Add to this a 4.52 in the 40, and you begin to hear Calvin Johnson sorts of comparatives.

It sounds good! Let’s hope he is still there for the real draft like he was for the FanSided Mock Draft.

Here are the 15 picks before the Ravens’ turn…

#1. Houston Texans select Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, Quarterback

#2. St. Louis Rams select Sammy Watkins, Clemson, Wide Receiver

#3 Jacksonville Jaguars select Blake Bortles, Central Florida, Quarterback

#4 Cleveland Browns select Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, Quarterback

#5 Oakland Raiders Select Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, Defensive End

#6 Atlanta Falcons Select Jake Matthews, Texas A&M, Offensive Tackle

#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select Anthony Barr, UCLA, Linebacker

#8 Minnesota Vikings Select Derek Carr, Fresno State, Quarterback

#9 Buffalo Bills Select Mike Evans, Texas A&M, Wide Receiver

#10 Detroit Lions Select Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, Cornerback

#11 Tennessee Titans Select Khalil Mack, Buffalo, Linebacker

#12 New York Giants Select Greg Robinson, Auburn, Offensive Tackle

#13 St. Louis Rams Select Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State, Cornerback

#14 Chicago Bears Select Louis Nix, Notre Dame, Defensive Tackle

#15 Pittsburgh Steelers Select Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama, Safety

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Kelvin Benjamin Ravens Draft