During their short history in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens have been nearly dead on in every first round selection of the draft. With a total of 18 selections for Ozzie Newsome, those eighteen have gone on to be Pro Bowl selections 55 times. Here is a list of players that could be added to Ozzie’s resume and the best options I believe to continue their remarkable tradition of being a success in the first round:
1. Taylor Lewan, Tackle
This is an easy choice for the Ravens if Taylor Lewan is still available at 17. The complete athletic tackle any team would like to have that comes with a demeanor exceptionally suited for the position. Although he comes with a bit of off the field baggage, he is just too good to pass up as he will make a tremendous value pick in the middle of the 1st round.
Already having left tackle set with Eugene Monroe, Lewan would slip right in as the starting right tackle, a position that is of need for the Ravens. In Gary Kubiak’s zone blocking scheme, Lewan cannot be any more of a perfect fit given his size, athleticism and superb run block ability. An added bonus is that he can easily fill the shoes of a left tackle if Monroe sustains an injury.
2. Haha Clinton-Dix, Safety
One of the things that has been made abundantly clear by Ozzie Newsome was the need for athleticism in the safety position that can be paired up with Matt Elam. Clinton-Dix is considered to be the top safety in this years draft and for good reason being that he has great range, something the Ravens are seriously looking for. Not to mention that he is an Alabama man and Ozzie has a soft spot for them and for obvious reasons.
Although having two young starting safeties might be a concern to some, Clinton-Dix would still be an excellent pick for the Ravens. Last season Elam played outside of his position, playing closer to the line of scrimmage at times and doesn’t come with that true starting experience at strong safety.
But even if this concern jumps out to most, Clinton-Dix will still be a nice choice. There is a lot of depth in the draft where second and third prospect safeties are concerned with Calvin Pryor and Jimmie Ward. The Ravens trading up to grab Cliton-Dix is not too much a stretch if they wasn’t the best of the best. Calvin Pryor is one of the safeties i truly like but he is more of a strong safety and has good cover skills but Clinton-DIx is the prototype player the Ravens need and are looking for.
3. Zack Martin, Tackle/Guard
Zack Martin os probably the second best offensive lineman in my opinion. Much like Lewan, selection martin would give the Ravens the versatility they are fond of along the offensive line. Martin is a journey man type of player along the o-line but projects best as a starting right tackle or even guard.
If Martin ends up being the selection, he will most likely be the starter at right tackle from week one. Although, if the Ravens do decide to bring him in at guard, Kelechi Osemele would most likely be pushed into the right tackle spot. I find it highly unlikely though as Osemele ives the ravens a physical presence on the inside, he was a completely different animal when he was moved from RT to left guard.
4. Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver
In my opinion, Marquise Lee has been seriously overlooked in the draft process this year. Not really his fault though as the likes of Mike eEvans, Sammy Watkins, Odell Beckham and Brandin Cooks practically showed off at the combine.
Only two years ago Lee was considered the best in a Pac-12 full of offensive play makers. His skill set versatility was unquestioned and looked to be a serious top ten selection. Hos 2013 season however, changed everyones perception of him mainly due to his injuries and bad quarterback play. Still though, even with such a strong receiving class in this years draft i truly believe that Lee is a top ten talent and Ravens fans should not be upset if he is chosen at 17.