North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron continues to be linked to… (Robert Willett, MCT )
A week into free agency, all of the marquee players have been snatched up and few household names remain on the open market. Most teams, including the Ravens, have filled important needs, which could change their priorities when it comes to the NFL draft, which is still a couple months away.
The world-wide web of NFL draft analysts, always ready to mock, has already reacted to a week’s worth of moves, releasing updated mock drafts to reflect the free-agent frenzy that started last Tuesday.
Here is what eight draft analysts are predicting the Ravens will do for the 17th overall pick -- for now, at least.
Rob Rang, CBS Sports: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina. “In re-signing veteran Dennis Pitta it might appear that the Ravens are set at tight end,” he wrote. “That doesn't mean that they won't be intrigued by Ebron's athleticism, especially given how often new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak liked to use two tight ends while with the Houston Texans.”
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame. “This mock draft would be a tough draw for the Ravens," he wrote. "The top three offensive tackles are gone, as are [Texas A&M wide receiver Mike] Evans and [Alabama safety Ha Ha] Clinton-Dix. That leaves them choosing between Martin, the next tier of wide receivers, Alabama middle linebacker C.J. Mosley or Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. Martin is the choice because he could step right into the right tackle spot as a rookie and make an impact.”
Ryan Riddle, Bleacher Report: Ebron. “Eric Ebron is a great value pick here who pairs nicely with Dennis Pitta and can surely provide quarterback Joe Flacco with yet another weapon on offense,” he wrote. “Ebron is quick, explosive and has the ability to stretch the field from inside the hashes. There are a number of teams with their eye on this prospect in the first round, and the Ravens will have a hard time passing him up if he’s still around at 17.”
Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State. "Yes, they still need a right tackle, but Ozzie Newsome won’t see the value here in this scenario," he wrote. "Instead, he’ll take a chance on the immense upside of Benjamin, to whom few other receivers can match physically. Benjamin actually should be the guy whom everyone wanted Ed Dickson to be."
Charles Davis, NFL.com: Ebron. "Not a need pick, but too talented to pass up if he lasts this long," he wrote.
Pat Kirwan, CBS Sports: Ra'Shede Hageman, DL, Minnesota. “The Ravens lost Arthur Jones in free agency and Haloti Ngata is starting to feel the wear and tear on his body,” he wrote. “Hageman is inconsistent, but at 6-foot-6, 315 pounds he has plenty to work with over the next few years.”
Charlie Campbell, Walter Football: Marqise Lee, WR, USC. “The Ravens missed Anquan Boldin this season and need to get more receiving weapons for Joe Flacco,” he wrote. “A speed receiver like Lee could cause a lot of mismatch problems on the other side of the field from Torrey Smith. The Trojans' quarterback play held Lee back this year, plus he had a knee injury to deal with. … When healthy, Lee has the speed to stretch a defense vertically and is a threat to score on any reception.”
Dan Brugler, CBS Sports: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M. “The Ravens struggled to replace Anquan Boldin's production and presence last season and need a bigger, physical target to play opposite speedster Torrey Smith,” he wrote. “Evans is a power forward on the football field and has a bright future with his ability to high-point and attack the football.”