The Ebony Bird staff give their takes on who the Baltimore Ravens should select in the first round of the upcoming 2018 NFL draft. Who is your pick?
The long-awaited countdown is finally coming to an end. We sit just three days away from the start of the annual NFL draft. While these picks won’t necessarily make or break the Baltimore Ravens’ 2018 season, they’ll have a major impact.
Limited cap space restricted the front office from filling a number of needs in free agency. The big free agent additions come at wide receiver (Michael Crabtree, John Brown, (Likely) Willie Snead) but a number of other positions such as tight end, offensive line, quarterback, etc. have yet to be filled. With eight picks heading into round one, the Ravens will look to address as much as humanly possible.
The staff here at Ebony Bird put together a round-table, highlighting our picks for the Ravens in the first round if we were in the war room on draft night.
Site expert Joe Schiller starts things off with a much-needed right tackle.
Joe Schiller: Mike McGlinchey OT, Notre Dame
I’ve constantly preached at the notion that James Hurst should not be the starting right tackle this season. Coming off a solid season at left guard, it’s a position where he could flourish yet again in 2018. Out on the edge is a different story. The decision to decline Austin Howard’s option has left the Ravens with a hole at right tackle. What better way to address the need than right off the bat in the first round? That’s what Mike McGlinchey brings to the table.
Aside from former teammate Quenton Nelson, McGlinchey is one of the top offensive linemen in this draft. Many pundits have him ranked as the classes’ top offensive tackle, ahead of Connor Williams, Isaiah Wynn and Kolton Miller. McGlinchey is an experienced starter from Notre Dame with the intangibles to be the same in the NFL. He showed no problems at the combine and impressed with his strength and athleticism. This is a pick that could pay immediate dividends for the Ravens and McGlinchey is a plug-and-play option from Week 1.
I believe there’s a good chance the Ravens trade back in the first round, giving this pick even more value. Offensive linemen are never the picks fans can get excited about but building from the inside out is crucial. Joe Flacco‘s health is still a top priority as long as the Ravens are tied to him financially and Hurst doesn’t provide that confidence at tackle.
If Baltimore believes they can still win in the present, then addressing a need like this makes perfect sense on Thursday night.