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Ramsey, Hargreaves, Treadwell - Let's Get Familiar With The 3 Prospects Most Heavily Linked To The Ravens At #6

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Might as well get the draft talk started up now, because it’s the best thing the Ravens have going for them this offseason. They locked up the #6 pick, and have a bevy of compensation picks headed their way too, as is tradition. It’s tough to project exactly how the compensation picks will be awarded, but it should look something like this:

1st Round (6th overall)

2nd Round (37th)

3rd Round (69th)

4th Round (exact slots below depend on # of comp picks awarded)

4th Round (from Broncos)

4th Round (comp for Pernell McPhee)

4th Round (comp for Torrey Smith)

6th Round

6th Round (comp for Owen Daniels)

That’s 9 picks, with a slim chance of a 10th if the league feels generous with Tyrod Taylor’s departure (it’s based on contract, not performance). That’s a ton of ammo. No, Ozzie can’t trade those comp picks, but they at least give Ozzie the freedom to trade picks to move up without feeling we’re giving away a draft class. It really helped him to jump ahead of the Steelers last year, who reportedly coveted Maxx Williams. Tough break.

Also here’s the full top 10 for reference:

1. Tennessee Titans (3-13)

2. Cleveland Browns (3-13)

3. San Diego Chargers (4-12)

4. Dallas Cowboys (4-12)

5. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

6. Baltimore Ravens (5-11)

7. San Francisco 49ers (5-11)

8. Miami Dolphins (6-10)

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10)

10. New York Giants (6-10)

Key note here is that you could easily see 3 of the top 5 teams (Cleveland, Chargers, Cowboys) strongly consider using their pick on a QB. That’s great, let them. We’re not in the market. Our needs are elsewhere, and we’ll benefit from those players falling to us. To be honest though, I don’t believe we’re as desperate at any one position (namely corner/safety) as people think. There are certainly areas of improvement, but nothing dire. The Ravens only get a pick as high as #6 once in a decade, so we won’t pass on a home run pick just because we have to fill a hole. Ozzie will take the best player available, always.

Having said that, it just so happens that there are superstar talents at the position areas most needing improvements. I think over the next 4 months, you’re going to hear the names Jalen Ramsey, Vernon Hargreaves, and Laquon Treadwell in Baltimore a ton, and deservedly so. They’re all studs. There’s plenty of time for other names to emerge and the draft could play out a million different ways, but let’s get familiar with those 3 first and we’ll hit on some other names in a blog to be named later:

Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State

This is the grand slam pick in my opinion, with Hargreaves merely being a home run. You won’t find a mock draft that doesn’t have him in the top 10, and not many have him outside the top 5. Hindsight may prove that those Cleveland and Pittsburgh wins cost us the chance to get Ramsey, but I hope that’s not the case.

The interesting thing with Ramsey is that he’s versatile. Some project him as a safety, where he started his college career only because he was too damn talented to keep off the field as an underclassman. Others have him at corner, which is what he was recruited as out of high school. Don’t get it twisted. He’s fantastic at either position, and his versatility can only be an asset to a Ravens team that has struggled at both positions recently.

He has decent size at 6’1, 200 lbs. He’s truly a freak athlete, as evidenced by his ACC Long Jump title on the Track & Field team at FSU. He was even a candidate to participate in the Olympics this summer in Rio. He’s that talented. The thing Ravens fans would love most is that he’s physical. In addition to being great in press coverage, he gets his nose in there on the run, he wreaks havoc on corner blitzes, and has a knack for ripping the football out. Think Tyrann Mathieu, but bigger and faster. You’ll see all of that below.

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

Hargreaves is the other widely projected top 10 pick at cornerback. Ramsey is generally regarded as the better prospect, but I think the floor is higher for VHIII. He’s more of your classic cover corner that you can put out on an island and trust that he won’t need help. Hargreaves is the shutdown corner the Ravens so desparately need. There’s a reason he was the #1 CB recruit in the country in 2013 (Ramsey was #4), and he backed that up from the second he stepped on the field in Gainesville. He only made First Team All-SEC at CB in all three years he played at Florida. Nbd.

He’s considered a bit “undersized” at 5’11, but I don’t buy it. Darrelle Revis, Chris Harris, Josh Norman, Desmond Trufant, Joe Haden, Vontae Davis… all great CB’s 6’0 or less. Evaluators are reaching for a negative to latch onto because there really aren’t any others. Plus he doesn’t even allow that size to be a liability because he can jump out of the gym.

Anyway, he can play physical, and is great in press coverage. What sets him apart is his technique, footwork, and instincts. He’s attached to the hip of every receiver he covers. The easy comparison here is fellow Gator Joe Haden. In addition, he’s got the ball skills to be the turnover machine in the secondary that the Ravens haven’t had since Ed Reed retired. He’s even electric when he gets the ball in his hands. You’ll see all that here.

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

I include Treadwell here mostly because I’ve already heard so much buzz about him in Baltimore. He’s the sexy pick. We’re enamored with big, freakishly athletic WR’s because we’ve never had one. We get torched by AJ Green every year and say “Oooooooo I want one of those!”. And that’s fair, those guys are fun to watch.

Now let me fuck you up with some truth before you get too attached to the idea of picking Treadwell. If you look around at all the very best WR’s in football the past 15+ years or so, you’ll find something interesting. They hardly, if ever, win the Super Bowl. It’s a trend that’s hard to ignore. You don’t build your team around a WR. So please excuse me over the next 4 months for being apprehensive when it comes to investing our most important pick in a decade on one. I don’t say this to be a party pooper, I say this because I think Ozzie Newsome sees  it that way. Everyone would be better served not to fall in love with  Treadwell prematurely and then get their heart broken when he drafts an offensive tackle. I think there’s a great collection of WR’s that are late 1st/early 2nd round picks that could easily fall to #37, and we’re better served to go that route. That way we can come away from this draft with a good WR prospect AND a superstar at a more vital position.

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Now having said all that, Treadwell is an incredible WR, and the best this draft has to offer. He’s a big, strong athlete at 6’3 with a great track record in the SEC. He’s probably a notch below Amari Cooper and AJ Green as a prospect, but he’s close. He’s an absolute animal when it comes to attacking the football and winning contested balls with his huge mitts, and he’s tough to bring down in the open field. He’s not a burner, but he’s fast enough to get open and win footraces. He can even throw the rock too. He most infamously suffered a heartbreaking leg fracture at the goal line against Auburn in 2014, but recovered nicely and found his stride once conference play started. It should, however, be noted that Hargreaves kept him in check with only 5 grabs for 42 yards. He still had 82 catches for 1,153 yards and 11 TD’s this year, including 3 TD’s in a Sugar Bowl win over Oklahoma State. He’s a player I would absolutely love to have on my team, but not at the expense of taking Hargreaves or Ramsey. Highlights:

Big picture, with Jacksonville needing a CB as badly as we do, I think it’s fair to assume (barring a trade) that we won’t have our pick between those 2 corners. Just gotta hope the other one falls to us. Lotta time between then and now, so we’ll keep an eye on what prospects jump up the board and tantalize the teams ahead of us. I’d be remiss not to mention that you can watch Mackensie Alexander, the 3rd-rated CB should he declare, play in the National Championship game for Clemson on Monday. He’s an option and I’ll touch on some others down the road, but I figured it’d be good to get familiar with those 3 names now. Til next time…