The following article is written by Lauren Tilley, lead writer of FanSided’s Oriole blog www.birdswatcher.com.
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There have been many prospects as to who the Baltimore Ravens will ultimately select with the 26th pick in the first round of the draft. Some say cornerback, some say wide receiver, some say defensive end, some say defensive tackle, some say linebacker, and some say offensive tackle. The Ravens could use all of these and need quite a bit of them, but they only have one first round pick. Being a student at the University of Maryland, when talks of the Ravens picking WR Torrey Smith in the first round surfaced, my heart fluttered for days. Weeks even. Prior to this, a lot of mock drafts had the Steelers picking him. You can see my problem: I love Smith and the amazing player he was for Maryland this season, but I absolutely, with all the fire in my soul, despise the Steelers. It may be possible for me to hate the Steelers more than I love the Ravens, and that’s saying something. If the Steelers drafted Torrey, I would be in one of the biggest conundrums of my life (I may be being overdramatic here, but I swear this is true). So, when it came out that the Ravens were looking at Smith, I almost threw a party. However, I was in denial that Torrey is not quite good enough to be taken in the first round. I see him as a highish second round pick. He’s unbelievably fast and is a great play-maker, but he also has very tiny hands. Although a play-making WR is a must for the Ravens, I would prefer them to address this need in the 2nd round, hopefully going for Titus Young from Boise State.
So who do I want them to take in the first round? My top choice is Cameron Heyward, the DT/DE from Ohio State. Last season, he had 25 solo tackles and 23 assisted tackles along with 4 sacks. He also had 1 80-yard long interception. Weighing in at 6’5” and 288 pounds, he seems to fit perfectly with the Ravens. If Heyward is not available, I could see them going with an OT or CB. Jimmy Smith, the CB out of Colorado, may be another viable option that the Ravens look at seeing as 3 of our top 4 CBs (Josh Wilson, Chris Carr, and Fabian Washington) are free agents this season, we definitely need to take care of this. As for signing an OT, I would like to see this addressed in either the 2nd or 3rd round. I think a DT/DE is more important for the season but if Jared Gaither can’t get over his back problems (this seems impossible for him to do), we’re going to need someone else. If the Ravens do pick an OT in the first round, my bet would be on Derek Sherrod from Mississippi State, who weighs in at 6’5” and 321 pounds. Despite all of these options, I really see the Ravens going DE/DT in this round (that is, if they don’t trade down, which is another possibility). Pass-rushing is a huge need for the Ravens and I see the team addressing this need early on in the draft.