Baltimore Ravens: Do Not Trade Back, Draft Best Player Available

Dec 20, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh watches from the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh watches from the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens have a lot of needs entering the 2016 NFL Draft, but they should not trade out of the No. 6 pick.

Where do you start with making this Baltimore Ravens team better?

They need playmakers on offense. Some help in the secondary is necessary. The pass rush was basically non-existent without Terrell Suggs in the lineup (really makes you wonder how Elvis Dumervil got invited to the Pro Bowl today). There is likely to be a hole on the offensive line with either Kelechi Osemele leaving in free agency or the potential that Eugene Monroe could be released.

The Ravens cannot address all those needs with the sixth overall pick, but they can significantly upgrade at least one of those positions. That is why they must stand pat and take the best player on their board.

Related Story: Ravens Top Five Targets In 2016 NFL Draft

There have been rumblings since the season ended that Baltimore is in the perfect spot to trade back. The San Francisco 49ers could be looking to get one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft and teams will call the Ravens hoping to jump ahead of the Niners. The theory is that since the Ravens have so many needs, they can use the extra picks to get creative and get the pieces they want. It does make sense.

Ozzie Newsome has not gotten the chance to draft a potential top-five talent since the turn of the century. It is a rare opportunity for Baltimore to potentially land a franchise player that could be with the team for the next decade. This group is lacking that leader and maybe they find that early in the draft. The Ravens are desperately in search for someone to be the identity of this team.

Now that is not to say that the Ravens should not take an offer that absolutely blows them away. The Rams – not sure if I am supposed to write St. Louis or Los Angeles here – got a great deal from the Washington Redskins to get Robert Griffin. If the Ravens can land a similar offer, you almost have to take it.

The problem is RGIII is exactly why teams will be reluctant to give up so much for the No. 6 pick. After a promising rookie campaign, Griffin has been relegated to not even being dressed by the Skins on game days. They gave up so much to get Griffin and did not get the bargain they had hoped for. Other teams will be weary of potentially doing the same.

It is widely expected that Paxton Lynch will be piece that teams are coveting in the Ravens position. His performance leading up to the draft will likely have an impact on how many calls the front office receives around the league. If he shows he is worthy of the high selection, teams will call, but it is unlikely the Ravens will get the compensation that the Rams received. That’s why they need to take one of the top players in this draft and hope he is the game-changer they need. 

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It is tough to say what direction the Ravens will go in at this time. Free agency comes first and will fix some of the problems. The Osemele and Monroe situations will have a big say in the entire offseason. Personally, I think that Monroe is staying and Osemele will get a big contract elsewhere. That would leave Baltimore without a starting guard, but typically guards are not drafted in the first couple rounds. Mel Kiper has the Ravens taking Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Staley with the top pick. However, I think the offensive line is the most unlikely choice for the sixth pick.

Forget about Laquon Treadwell wearing purple and black. There is little to no chance that Ozzie drafts wide receivers in the first round in consecutive drafts. The Ravens are fond of Breshad Perriman and believe that he will live up to his draft hype. Steve Smith is coming back for one more season and Kamar Aiken proved that he is capable of being a reliable option. It is likely that the Ravens do take a receiver at some point in the draft, but it will not be at No. 6. The second or third round seem like logical opportunities to draft another wide out.

We have already given you the Ravens top five targets in the draft. All five players play on the defensive side of the ball and are highlighted by the top cornerbacks in Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves. If the Ravens were drafting today, I would expect it either player to have their name announced. Lardarius Webb is moving to safety so that opens up a spot across from Jimmy Smith. Ramsey or Hargreaves could slide right into that vacant spot on hopefully become that shutdown corner the franchise needs.

Next: Could We See Josh Gordon In A Ravens Uniform?

But what do I know? The uncertainty surrounding the draft is what makes it so fascinating to us all. We will continue to guess about the Ravens plans up until April 26, and the opinions will flip-flop on the choice several times. The one item that must remain the same is that they stay at No. 6 and take one of the top players in this draft.