The Ravens had to switch up their offense on the fly last year, moving from an immobile quarterback reliant on his arm to a dynamic runner at the position during what turned out to be a run to the playoffs. And if you look at what they've done this offseason, the plan might be to never throw the ball at all. Seriously, the wide receiver depth chart is topped by Willie Snead, Chris Moore and Seth Roberts. That's ... not great. They should have the option of finding a playmaker at the position with the first pick, but considering the depth at receiver this year coupled with the lack of standout No. 1 options, we could definitely see them move back at least once before making their first pick.
Below, you can check out which picks the Ravens currently have, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso.
As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.
Current draft picks
The CBS Sports NFL writing staff recently compiled positional rankings to identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."
Needs: QB, RB, WR/TE, EDGE
Pressing: QB, WR/TE, EDGE
The Ravens drafted Lamar Jackson just last year, so we can probably forget about them taking another QB for a while as they attempt to re-orient the offense around him. They badly need to get him some weapons here, though, as Baltimore's wide receiver and tight end group is the only position group in our entire rankings that is a consensus last-place pick. Wideout is by far the most popular pick in our mock drafts, with five of six experts pegging Baltimore to take a pass-catcher in Round 1. The Ravens also need to fortify their edge-rusher group after seeing Za'Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs both leave in free agency, and it wouldn't surprise to see them add a pass rusher or two in the middle rounds.
War room big board
Receiver is unquestionably the biggest need for the Ravens, but No. 22 is about the top end of where the best options at the position should go. If an elite talent at another position of need doesn't slip down to the Ravens, there's an excellent chance they move back before addressing the need at receiver. Here's how I'd project the Ravens' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:
- LB Devin Bush, Michigan
- EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
- EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State
- EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
- WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
- G Cody Ford, Oklahoma
- C Garrett Bradbury, NC State
- C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
- OT Andre Dillard, Washington State
- WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Seven-round mock drafts
|1||22||WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss|| |
|2||63||ILB Mack Wilson, Alabama||from SEA/KC*|
|3||85||to Seattle|| |
|3||102||G Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin|| |
|4||113||to Seattle||from DEN|
|4||123||to New York Giants|| |
|5||142||WR Anthony Johnson, Buffalo||from NYG*|
|5||157||DE/LB Shareef Miller, Penn State||from TEN*|
|5||160||to Tennessee|| |
|5||171||to Tennessee||from NYG*|
|6||188||WR Penny Hart, Georgia State||from TEN*|
|6||191||to New England||from TEN|
|6||193||C Nick Allegretti, Illinois|| |
|6||205||LB Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron||from NE*|
|7||246||CB Jamal Peters, Mississippi State||from NE*|
The cupboard is bare for the Ravens at receiver, so unless an elite talent like Devin Bush or Clelin Ferrell slips out of the top 20, I think you can mark them down for some help in the passing game at No. 22. In this mock the board is wide open for them with no receivers taken, so they go ahead and take the plunge on combine star D.K. Metcalf, who is a monster in the vertical passing game but has work to do if he's going to be a go-to No. 1 receiver.
The Ravens don't have a second-round pick, but when Wilson makes it to the Round 2/3 turn, they can't help but package No. 85 and 113 to go get the C.J. Mosley replacement for the middle of the defense. With their compensatory pick, the Ravens add some help to the interior of the offensive line in Benzschawel, who can push to start at left guard.
On Day 3, the Ravens trade down 19 spots before taking more receiving help in Johnson, who excels in the vertical game like Metcalf but is more developed underneath, and he can win at his size with defenses having to respect the running ability of Lamar Jackson and not keying in on the Buffalo product in the passing game. After then moving up a couple picks in the fifth to land some edge rush help with Za'Darius Smith gone, the Ravens go back to the well at receiver with Hart, who can help in the return game while also fighting for looks underneath in the passing attack. With the receiver depth chart now a lot more robust, the Ravens select more guys who can provide depth on the offensive line and at linebacker before taking a lottery ticket for the secondary.
More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade
Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.