Jan 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dont'a Hightower

Baltimore Ravens 2012 NFL Draft Preview


Preview provided by Riley Babcock. Head to Ebony Bird for more on the Baltimore Ravens.

What are the team needs for the Baltimore Ravens heading into the draft?

The Ravens suffered from some big losses in free agency. Ben Grubbs is obviously the biggest but guys like Jarret Johnson and Corey Redding will be greatly missed. Additionally, the defensive backfield took a big hit by losing backup safeties Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura. Offensive line, Wide Receiver, Safety, and Linebacker are the main positions that need to be addressed. The offense needs another receiver to complement Boldin and Smith and free safety will be a huge hole to fill once the Ravens lose Ed Reed.

Who are some prospects you’d like to see end up with the Baltimore Ravens?

There’s a few players that I have my eye on. A lot of people have the Ravens going after Wisconsin’s Peter Konz at 29 but I’m not a big fan of him. Despite this, offensive line must be addressed. While tackle is not a huge urgency, I’ve seen scenarios where both Cordy Glenn and Jonathan Martin drop to the twenties which could give the Ravens a opportunity that can’t be passed up.

I love all of the Alabama defensive players. Mark Barron will be gone way before 29 but the Ravens still have a shot at Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw. Hightower is a great fit and could be the successor to Ray Lewis.

At wide receiver, I like Stephen Hill. He has a lot of upside but his hands worry me as drops have become a problem. This year’s wide receiver class is a big one so I think the Ravens could get a very solid player in the second or third round like Alshon Jefferson, Mohamed Sanu, or Rueben Randle.

What would represent a successful draft in your opinion?

The Ravens need a great second and third round. If they can get two eventual starters or big contributors in those rounds then I’ll be extremely satisfied. For the Ravens, it’s more about restocking than rebuilding. The Ravens have a great foundation in place but need to get a few late round gems here and there to stay competitive in years to come.

Give us a bold prediction for your team.

I don’t see the Ravens keeping the 29th pick. Whether they trade up or down will depend on what happens between picks 15-25. If a few of the guys that they’re high on go early than they could trade back to get a couple more opportunities in later rounds, which I would be fine with. Additionally, if they have the chance to snag a top 10 talent in the teens, they’ll make that move.

Tags: 2012 Nfl Draft Baltimore Ravens