Matt will be reviewing each team's pre-draft analysis by talking about the draft range of targeted players.
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Baltimore Ravens (Last Year: 5-11)
I've seen this pick in a lot of mock drafts, and quite frankly, I'm getting sick of it. Anyone that makes this pick has absolutely no clue what they are talking about. This team already took Haloti Ngata, and while he kicks out to the right end while Kelly Gregg plays nose, he is the future for this team in the middle of the defensive line playing zero technique. This has absolutely no chance of happening; discredit any mock draft with this selection.
Todd McShay thinks they need to replace Jonathan Ogden.
"Mr. McShay, say hello to Jared Gaither." The Ravens' coaching staff raves about Gaither; if he keeps his attitude in line, he has the talent to be an elite left tackle. I don't see any reason why the Ravens would take Clady here.
If Al Davis makes the right decision and passes on McFadden at No. 4 (which I think is probable), then Baltimore will be in position to take McFadden. The Chiefs won't draft him; Jets and Patriots have bigger needs to fill on defense and might not be able to draft a running back at those spots. McFadden would be a perfect complementary back to Willis McGahee and really open up this offense in a big way - a lot has to happen for this to be possible, but I have mocked it before, so I think the range is certainly there.
Derrick Harvey/Keith Rivers:
Harvey has the athleticism to play the hybrid linebacker position if the Ravens choose to look here. Rivers is very versatile and can play in the middle or on the wing of the defense going after the quarterback. Gholston will be off the board, so if the Ravens want to go linebacker, these are the players they will be considering.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie/Mike Jenkins/Aqib Talib:
Talib is a long shot, and the first two are the most likely corners the Ravens will be considering here. McKelvin will probably be off the board since Kansas City, New York Jets, and New England all need cornerbacks.
Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle are starting to get banged up, and they don't have that same recovery speed they had four years ago. Corner would be a very smart investment on this defense.
Ryan's range starts with Atlanta at No. 3, and if he isn't selected there, his next pit stop is at the Ravens at No. 8. The question is, how much does Ozzie Newsome listen to Cam Cameron for what he wants in his offense?
The John Beck pick last year showed me Cameron wants accuracy, touch, intelligence, and good decision making over a "great leader" in Brady Quinn. I could be wrong (which is the calling card for Ryan in this draft), but based on the selection that Cameron made. I don't think Ryan is a good fit for his offense. I will get to that later on what quarterbacks fit Cameron's scheme.
Still, maybe Newsome likes Ryan and pulls the trigger, which is certainly possible. It's a real toss up for me right now because I don't know how Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh, and Cameron will work together.
Now that we got Baltimore's first pick out of the way, let's look at what they will do after Round 1.
If they decide to not go with a cornerback at No. 8, players such as Brandon Flowers, Justin King, Patrick Lee, Charles Godfrey, Tyvon Branch, and Zack Bowman are all possibilities in Rounds 2-3.
If they want to add avDE/OLB hybrid pass rusher, look no further than Cliff Avril or Quentin Groves in the second round. As far as mid-round hybrids are concerned, I like Shawn Crable, Marcus Howard, Bruce Davis and Titus Brown.
Passing up on Matt Ryan is certainly a possibility, and why not in such a deep group of quarterbacks this year (six potential starters is deep)? John David Booty and Brian Brohm are the best fits for Cameron's offense, based on what he showed me last year with the John Beck selection. Colt Brennan or Josh Johnson are possibilities (for depth) in Rounds 6 or 7.
I think when it is all said and done, Baltimore will heavily consider trading up very high into the second round for Brian Brohm.
This draft is very deep at running back, so it looks like the year to add a really talented backup. Ray Rice, Steve Slaton, and Jamaal Charles would all be very good change-of-pace backs to Willis McGahee. Chris Johnson from Eastern Carolina is my wild card for the Ravens in the second.
It wouldn't be a bad idea to add depth on the defensive line late in the draft. Frank Okam, Nick Hayden, Frank Morton, and Keilen Dykes all fit what the Ravens want to do in plugging up the running game, whether at end or nose tackle.
Baltimore Ravens 2008 Offseason Needs
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