How Is the Draft Shaping Up
September 22, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (34) before the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE
We Are starting to get into the edge of draft season now so I thought I would step back from the Ravens for a minute and take a look at how the Draft is starting to stack up.
All indications are that the Chiefs will have the top pick, they are 1-10 and they aren’t getting better any time soon. They are a 100% lock to take a QB no matter where they pick in the top three. Right now I would lean towards Geno Smith because as good as Barkley looks as a prospect, I have been burned to many times by USC QBs with undersized arms. USCs QB history makes me extremely nervous about taking Barkley number 1 overall. I hate to judge players by their school like that, but sometimes you can’t ignore the trends and the trend here is that USC hasn’t produced a good NFL QB in over 15 years.
As far as the Ravens are concerned, they should hope the recent trend of teams reaching for QBs in the top 15 continues. The more QBs taken before they are on the clock, the more likely a steal along the DL or in the linebackers will fall to them. Right now just 2 QBs are a lock to go ahead of them. Barkley and Smith. Beyond them Tyler Wilson has a decent chance, as does Tyler Bray and E.J. Manuel could be a darkhorse 1st round candidate if teams are willing to reach (and like I said, they have been reaching like crazy lately).
One market the Ravens always excel in is the Tweener players and the “talented but troubled” players. This year there are some good prospects in that bunch. The best of them, talent wise, is the DT from Missouri Sheldon Richardson. Richardson has dealt with some off field issues and was suspended by the team earlier this season for undisclosed reasons, but he is an absolute nightmare for offensive lineman to deal with. Richardson came out of high school as a 5 star recruit and he lived up to that hype, but he has dealt with injuries as well and this is the first time he has been healthy for a full season. Another name to watch is Robert Lester. Lester is more of a second round guy but he has first round talent, teams just don’t know what to do with him. He is a FS but teams aren’t sure he shouldn’t be playing slot corner or SS. I see him as a true center fielder that could excel in the Ravens system. I also Like David Amerson. Amerson was considered a top 5 pick coming into the season but he has had injury issues and struggled on the field and many draftniks have him in the mid second round now. He would be a steal if he fell. Another guy I like right now Is Jackson Jeffcoat. I know some Ravens fans would cringe at the idea of drafting an OLB from Texas but Jeffcoat is a big time buy low prospect. He suffered a season ending injury earlier this season and he has tumbled from a second round grade down to a 5th or 6th. He would be a potential mega steal if he was that low in the draft.
The Ravens will have a shot at all those guys and more.