The Baltimore Ravens have an important decision to make in one month from today in anticipation of officially being on the clock.
The 2015 NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, and will be held in Chicago at the Auditorium Theatre. It will be the first time in 50 years that the event will not be held in New York City. It is shaping up to be one of the more exciting drafts in recent memory with the drama mostly surrounding the top-two quarterbacks in Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
The Ravens have many needs. Several are on offense, especially at the receiver and tight end positions. Many of the mock drafts out there have Baltimore taking a receiver in the first round. It is possible, but judging by John Harbaugh’s choice of words, it doesn’t seem likely that a wide receiver is what their focus is on in the first round.
"“Receiver is a little bit of a crapshoot in the first round,” Harbaugh said. “There have been seventh-round picks, fifth-round picks, third-round picks that have turned out to be Hall of Fame-type players. Then you have first-round picks that have never really done anything.”"
Harbaugh is basically saying there is little chance they draft a receiver in the first round. Sure, it could be a smoke screen for the teams drafting around them. Maybe they surprise everyone and move up to get Amari Cooper or Kevin White. Those two players seem to be the only sure thing at the position. Maybe they do take one of the other receivers projected in the latter portion of the first round. It just doesn’t seem likely.
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What is important to remember is that Ozzie Newsome usually doesn’t draft based on need. He usually sticks to his board and takes the best player available. The Ravens have only drafted a receiver in the first round twice (Travis Taylor in 2000 and Mark Clayton in 2005) and neither panned out. Both basically had their careers end after their rookie contracts with the Ravens were up.
There is also a lot of value in the later rounds at wide receiver, especially in the second and third rounds. Devin Smith, Tyler Lockett and Devin Funchess are all players capable of contributing in the NFL, and are projected to be available on the second day.
So with the 26th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select…
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