Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive lineman Arik Armstead (9) reacts to regaining possession during the third quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The editors of all 32 FanSided NFL team sites recently got together and executed our own 2015 NFL mock draft, and it was certainly a doozy. But what else would you expect from a draft, a veritable exercise in uncertainty? After all, it is a living thing where dynamics change as every pick passes.
Yours truly had the honor of making the pick for the Baltimore Ravens at number 26, and I fully expected to be facing a decision over which of the top four cornerbacks to take, or perhaps even settle for a wide receiver. At worst case, I thought that a good edge rusher might fall and I could simply make the obvious choice.
Needless to say, that isn’t what happened.
When I was on the clock at 26, all of the top corners were gone. As were the top tier wide receivers. Even Melvin Gordon, easily the most popular mock target for the Ravens, was off the board. So I did exactly what the Baltimore Ravens would do: take the highest rated player left on my board.
That player was Oregon defensive tackle Arik Armstead. One could argue that the Ravens would be getting fantastic value and filling a need with this pick following the departure of Haloti Ngata, even with the emergence of Timmy Jernigan. Jernigan’s injury woes last season highlight the need for depth.
Here is my reasoning behind Armstead’s selection:
"The Ravens have their choice of several top wide receivers at this point, but Armstead is by far the highest rated player left on their board. A projected top 15 pick by many, Armstead has the elite size and natural ability to become a dominant pro. His length and power make him an ideal candidate as a five technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense, and his enormous upside makes this pick an absolute steal for the Ravens."
I fully expect to take some flak for not selecting Dorial Green-Beckham, Phillip Dorsett, or Jaelen Strong. But guess what? None of them went in the first round of our mock. Meaning that if they wish, the Ravens could package together a couple of their ten draft choices to move up in the second round and grab a receiver if they so wish.
I feel good about picking Armstead and I feel like he is a great fit for the Ravens both in technique and character. He had his issues with motivation at Oregon, but he flashed elite talent when he was “on.” Armstead needs a coaching staff like the Ravens possess to provide him with the help he needs to reach his ceiling, which is easily one of the highest in the draft.
Make sure and check out the entire FanSided Editor’s 2015 NFL mock draft here. What do you think about the pick? Given the way the draft panned out, who would you have selected?
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