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Ravens day 3 draft preview

The Ravens did not have a flashy first two days of the NFL Draft by any stretch of the imagination, going with a left tackle in the first round and two lesser-known edge defenders in the second and third rounds, but they certainly have a chance to make a splash on the final day of the draft.

Right off the bat, the Ravens have five fourth round picks and eight total on the day. In the fourth round, the Ravens can get some players who can provide a quality impact off the bench and serve as good depth as rookies.

Kenny Lawler caught a touchdown once every 5.3 catches at California and had elite top-end speed.

Kenny Lawler caught a touchdown once every 5.3 catches at California and had elite top-end speed.

In the first round with the pick of Ronnie Stanley the Ravens addressed what probably was their biggest need, getting a reliable left tackle to protect Joe Flacco. Then they added a much-needed third pass rusher in Kamalei Correa, which they sorely missed last year after the departure of Pernell McPhee and was made even worse when Terrell Suggs went down. In the third round they seemed to have taken the replacement for edge-setting run-defender Courtney Upshaw with the pick of Bronson Kaufusi.

But the Ravens still have a lot of needs they have to fill. The most pressing at cornerback. Last year the Ravens secondary was atrocious and with Lardarius Webb making the move back to free safety in 2016, there is not even a clear No. 2 starter on the team. That figures to be a high priority in the early part of the fourth rounds. They may even take multiple cornerbacks.

Top remaining cornerbacks are small school prospect Southeastern Louisiana’s Harlan Miller, a big guy who is a very willing tackler and FCS All-American; LeShaun Sims, another impact FCS player from Southern Utah that has great size and physicality to play a tight man coverage; Oklahoma’s Zach Sanchez, a lightning fast cornerback who always seemed to be able to make plays on the ball; LSU’s Rashard Robinson, a very raw, but talented and athletic cornerback who’s off the field issues were more with not being committed to school than poor character; and NC State’s Juston Burris, a three-year starter with great size and willingness to press at the line.

Another major area of need is at inside linebacker. The release of Darryl Smith left a huge hole next to CJ Moseley that has yet to be filled unless the Ravens feel confident in the ability of typical special teamer Albert McClellan or remain hopeful that former second round pick Arthur Brown has developed into a starting caliber player. One huge named that remains on the board is Arizona’s Scooby Wright III. Last year he would have been a top 10 player has he been eligible to declare. He was incredible and was a unanimous All-America, the Pac-12 defensive Player of the Year, winner of the Bronko Nagurski, Rotary Lombardi and Chuck Bednarik awards and totaled 163 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles.

Unfortunately for him, his success did not go into his junior year as he struggled with a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee and a sprained right foot. But he is an elite talent. He just needs to play a little less reckless. He tends to over-pursue and that is not good considering he is not a particularly great athlete that can make up for it. But he’s incredible passionate and has proven to be a one-man wrecking crew in college.

Should the Ravens pass on Wright, another option might be Ohio State’s Joshua Perry. He is a big, physical guy who gets in and loves to hit. He would fit perfectly next to the more finesse Moseley.

On the defensive line, a bigger guy who takes up blockers could be added, with Baylor nose tackle Andrew Billings or Texas defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway possibly garnering some consideration.

And certainly, the Ravens really could use another wide receiver. This draft was very top heavy when it came to receiver, but there are still come talented options available. California’s Kenny Lawler caught a touchdown once every 5.4 receptions. At 6-foot-2, 203-pounds he’s skinny but he’s a fluid runner with top-end speed and played plays with his hands and not his body. Georgia’s Malcolm Mitchell came back from a torn ACL in 2013 and played explosive plays in 2014 and 2015. He too attacks the ball and catches it at the highest point. Clemson’s Charone Peake looks the part of a No. 1 receiver with a great combination of size, length and top-end speed. He has inconsistent hands though, which is why he dropped so far in the draft.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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