In his latest mock draft for NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah has selected a running back for the Ravens. Before you freak out, here is what makes sense about it:
Daniel Jeremiah leads NFL Network’s coverage of the draft, so his mock draft is always something Ravens fans should take note of. In his latest mock draft Jeremiah had the Ravens taking D’Andre Swift, the running back out of Georgia. It actually makes a lot of sense when you look at the full mock draft.
While running back isn’t high on the areas of need, Swift is a great value at the 28th pick. The Ravens clearly got stock in this hypothetical turn of events. The Ravens needs are primarily in the front seven. With Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray off the board, inside linebacker wasn’t happening in the first round.
With Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw off the board, the Ravens were better off not going with a defensive tackle. Edge rushers are exactly what Baltimore needs right? Well K’Lavon Chaisson and Yetur Gross-Matos were off the board and there were plenty of edge players left for the second day of the draft.
Jeremiah had six wide receivers go in his first round mock draft and five of them were off the board when he picked for the purple and black. In a scenario without trades, Jeremiah had to think best player available for the Ravens. Swift is an awesome running back. It’s not what the Ravens need the most, yet it’s a good player.
Remember that when the Ravens took Marlon Humphrey, cornerback wasn’t perceived to be their biggest need. Humphrey turned out to be an All-Pro talent that is one of the elite players at his position. Even if you didn’t want Humphrey in 2017, you probably can’t imagine a world in which the Ravens didn’t take him. The moral of the story is that team needs shouldn’t be the only consideration when making a first round pick.
Georgia has had a knack for producing running backs for the NFL. Nick Chubb may be the best running back in football while Todd Gurley and Sony Michel are doing well themselves. Georgia is running back university and Swift has the potential to be the best running back they have in Athens.
Swift is an explosive athlete whose talent is as obvious as it gets. He had a 4.48 second 40 yard dash. Swift is one of the most exciting running backs College Football has seen in the last 10 years and he’s the downhill runner that fits perfectly in Greg Roman’s attack.
Swift had back to back years with over 1,000 yards rushing yards averaging over six yards per carry. He’s a fairly productive running back in the passing game. He kind of looks like a young Mark Ingram. They have a similar build and have traits that stack up fairly evenly. If the Ravens are going to go running back in this draft, giving themselves way too much talent at the position, this is the running back that fits.
Drafting Swift would allow the Ravens to have one of the most talented backfield’s in NFL history. Imagine a world where a first round talent became the leading back in Baltimore. Ingram could be the most dangerous number two running back you’ll ever see. Edwards could be used as a hammer to gash tired defenses in the second half. Justice Hill could be used in a more specialized role and could chip a lot into the team via special teams.
The argument isn’t that the Ravens should go into this draft with Swift as their go to plan. The argument is that a situation could unfold where drafting Swift is the best answer at 28. If the Ravens draft Swift and then hammer away at their needs on the second night of the draft, they’re going to be in a good place.
The NFL Draft is about value. It’s hard to argue that Swift wouldn’t bring the proper value the team needs out of a first round pick. Jeremiah made a decision based off the way the draft was going. If the draft falls this way, the pick makes a ton of sense.