It is likely that at some point over the course of the past week you have been made aware that both the Rams and the Eagles have traded up to the first and second spots of the 2016 NFL Draft, respectively, with an eye toward drafting a quarterback. You are also likely aware that the Baltimore Ravens happen to hold the sixth-overall pick.
If you know these two facts, then you likely have figured out that the trades have been awfully good for the Ravens, as it eliminates two possible draft slots that will be used on players they would inevitably not have drafted, given that they have no current need at the quarterback position.
It essentially assures that they will have at least one of their top four players available to them when they choose, as only three non-quarterbacks will be going off the board, at most, by the time that they select, barring a trade-down scenario, though in this situation that does not appear to be a likely course of action.
So with this background in mind, let’s explore some of the most likely candidates that the Ravens could possibly be targeting with the sixth-overall draft pick, knowing that one of the players named will likely be donning the purple jerseys for the next decade or so.
The first candidate is offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, whom I have already discussed. Many regard Tunsil as the best overall player in the draft, and yet it seems increasingly likely that he could fall a bit. Could he fall all the way to six? It’s certainly within the realm of possibility, and that would give the Ravens some protection from the ailing Eugene Monroe.
Of course, there is also the top cornerback in the draft class, Jalen Ramsey, which is as much a need for the Ravens as it is for the Steelers, if not more so. With Lardarius Webb shifting to safety this offseason—as far as I know, this is still the plan—Baltimore really only has Jimmy Smith of note. As it stands, the rest of the cornerback trio seems to fill up with Shareece Wright and Kyle Arrington. Would you trade Pittsburgh’s group with Baltimore’s straight up?
The talent of Joey Bosa could be too enticing to pass up at six, especially if Tunsil and Ramsey are already off the board, with the Ohio State lineman’s potential ability to convert to a 3-4 outside linebacker. The Ravens use enough variety in their front, however, they he could still be rushing from a three-point stance as it is. With Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumvervil aging, and having lost Pernell McPhee and Courtney Upshaw over the past two seasons, adding an elite talent here would make a lot of sense.
Also of potential need-to-fit here would be defensive end DeForest Buckner, or inside linebacker Myles Jack, either of whom could potentially slip into a starting role immediately to replace Chris Canty or Daryl Smith, respectively. Both positions have grown thin this offseason.
It seems likely, to me at least, that one of these five players will be the sixth-overall draft selection, and that that selection will be made by the Baltimore Ravens, and just about any of them, excepting perhaps Bosa, could be immediate starters given the team’s needs in these areas. I would get used to hearing their names called during Steelers-Ravens games now.