Baltimore Ravens Draft: Todd Gurley not a first-round option


Oct 4, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley (3) runs down the sideline past Vanderbilt Commodores linebacker Darreon Herring (35) during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Mock drafts at this stage are just shots in the dark, but the draftniks seem to be in agreement on one thing: The Baltimore Ravens are going to draft Todd Gurley, the running back from Georgia. Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and Draft Breakdown are just three of the biggest names to make that prediction. That is just silly. The odds of the Baltimore Ravens going running back in the first round are next to none, so Gurley is not really an option.

Let’s get the usual clichés out of the way: The Ravens always go best player available, they do not draft for need and they like to pound the rock. That’s probably the thinking behind these mock drafts slotting Gurley to the Ravens.

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  • Looking past the clichés, though, the Gurley pick is problematic for a number of reasons.

    First of all, the Ravens have two young, former mid-round picks in the backfield right now. Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro are both reasonably high draft picks and are both under contract for next year. They are both big, physical backs in the mold of Gurley. Though Pierce seems to be a bit of a bust, Taliaferro has flashed a lot of upside and talent. He should be in line for a bigger role next year.

    Second, Gurley is a perfectly fine running back, but is he special enough to warrant the Ravens to pick one in the first round for the first time since Jamal Lewis in 2000? Probably not. The difference between Gurley and the rest of this very deep running back class is not enough to justify spending a first round pick on him. In fact, I prefer Melvin Gordon anyway, who has more home run ability and offers a better complement to Taliaferro.

    The Ravens are in good shape for the draft this year, as the talent matches up with their needs nicely. The Ravens need a cornerback in a deep corner class and a big receiver in the tallest receiver class I can remember.

    That said, the Ravens could very well go running back relatively early in the draft. Justin Forsett‘s contract is expiring at the end of the year, and Taliaferro and Pierce remain question marks. But it probably won’t be Gurley, and it definitely won’t be in the first round of the draft.