Feeling the draft: Four offensive tackles the Ravens could target

April 20, 2011|By Matt Vensel

In the weeks leading up to April's NFL draft, I will highlight four players at each position whom the Ravens could target at different stages in the draft -- from their top pick to their Mr. Irrelevant. In my last "Feeling the draft" post, I will focus on offensive tackle.

Remember, I'm not saying the Ravens will take an offensive tackle with their first-round pick, though it is one of their most pressing draft needs. I'm just giving you a player whom they might consider if they decided to go that route. Here are four offensive tackles the Ravens could have in their sights:

Round 1: Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State. The Ravens have reportedly met with Sherrod twice during the draft process, and if they were to select him, he would likely play right tackle with Michael Oher staying at left tackle. Sherrod has good size, a solid skill set and is technically sound, but he doesn’t have that mean streak the Ravens like at right tackle. He can still open up running lanes, though, which is a must.

Rounds 2-3: Marcus Gilbert, Florida. The son of a retired secret service agent, Gilbert is projected as a right tackle in the NFL. He’s big and athletic. He is a capable pass protector and can get into the second level when run blocking. His technique needs some tweaking, but he is a promising second day prospect.

Rounds 4-5: Joe Barksdale, LSU. Barksdale has college experience at both offensive tackle positions. His speed and height are average, though, and he is probably better suited as a right tackle who could fill in on the left side in a pinch.  Strong, instinctive and nasty, Barksdale could be on the Ravens’ radar.

Rounds 6-7: Jarriel King, South Carolina. An irregular heartbeat cut into his playing time and he was dismissed from a military junior college before arriving at South Carolina, so there are red flags with King. But he has good size, speed and ability, and his temperament is right up the Ravens’ alley.

OK, your turn: Which player, if any, should the Ravens target at this position during draft weekend?

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