I tend to shy away from mock drafts, as they are usually way off target. Try as people do the draft order they predict is most times blown to pieces before the 8th pick of the draft, or somewhere thereabout. The NFL Draft never goes as people think it will, and honestly I believe that's what makes the draft such a mystery, and something that holds our attention. Hey, Nobody knows! This could be a huge year for finding players that can make the grade! Or it could be one of those other years.
I won't begin to predict who the Ravens will chose when number 26 rolls around, but I do know of players that I'd like to see them sign, and needs they need to fill. The biggest thing for the Ravens going into this draft is that they've put themselves in a position where they can truly afford to draft the best player available, a formula that has reaped enormous benefits for the team over the years. Still, what Ozzie plans to do is a mystery.
Could the Ravens trade back? With only 6 picks in this years draft Newsome may want a few more choices and opt to fall back to the early 2nd round and possibly pick up a early 4th rounder in compensation. It will all depend on which players fall in the draft. If the Ravens feel one of their top 32 choices might still be around early into the 2nd round the temptation to trade back will be high. Or, if a player the Ravens have in their top 20 falls to them at 26 then Ozzie will most likely keep the pick. One thing I don't see happening is the Ravens trading up. They don't have the picks to give up plain and simple.
In terms of need I'd have to say Wide Receiver, Tight End, Cornerback, Defensive End, and Offensive Tackle are areas that could stand to be bolstered. If the right players are available later on in the draft interior defensive linemen, runningback and linebacker are areas where you can never have too much talent on the roster.
As for players I'd like the team to draft the list includes Hakeem Nicks, WR out of Florida, Rey Maualuga, LB out of USC, WR Brian Robiskie from Ohio St., WR Derrius Heyward Bey from our University of Maryland, and Robert Ayers, DE from Tennessee. Any one of these players could fall to the Ravens at 26, and If more then one of them are still around when the Ravens are on the board then Ozzie will have one hell of a hard decision to make.
There are some players in the 2nd-3rd rounds that could fit in nicely on this team such as, WR Kenny Britt out of Rutgers, DE/OLB Larry English, Northern Illinois, and CB Alphonso Smith, from Wake Forest. The list could go on forever. There seems to be a pretty high level of overall talent in this years draft.
So we now have to wait until the 25th of April arrives to see who will be "the chosen ones". Here's hoping that the outcome is better than any of us could have predicted.