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Top 10 Players The Ravens Should Draft

April 23, 2018
After signing New Orioles Saints restricted free-agent wide receiver Willie Snead to an offer sheet, the Baltimore Ravens are probably out of the free-agent market for now. At the moment there's very little on the market of any actual value anyway.

So with that in mind, my final offseason power rankings are actually more along the lines of the top 10 players whose names I'd like the Ravens to call during the 2018 NFL Draft.

10. Pittsburgh wide receiver/return specialist Quadree Henderson (unranked)

So here's the thing. The Ravens don't really have a returner on the roster at the moment. Presumably Chris Moore would be the top guy at the moment, but that's by little more than necessity. Technically speaking, the return game is still part of the NFL. Henderson returned seven punts or kickoffs for touchdowns during his collegiate career and could be a helpful late-round addition.

9. Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta (unranked)

I still don't think I'd want to see the Ravens select a quarterback before the fourth round of the draft. The roster has too many holes and the 2018 season should be too important (considering the need to evaluate the futures of head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco) to waste an early-round pick on a player who isn't going to play this season. Lauletta is the guy I'm hoping will stick around to the later parts of the draft. Plus, it would make his "dream come true," and that's kind of cool.

8. USC edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu (unranked)

Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith slipped off my list finally because it seems impractical that it would work out and I realized I've been very silly and ignoring a pass rush problem that still exists for the Ravens. Linebacker Terrell Suggs had 11 sacks last year but will turn 36 this fall. Defensive end Matt Judon (eight sacks) is the only other rusher who has shown signs of being able to play at a fairly high level. The Ravens still need significant pass rush help despite spending a few picks there during recent years. Nwosu is a likely second or third-round selection who had 9.5 sacks last year for the Trojans. The knock on him is that he isn't a complete linebacker, but the Ravens really just need someone who can pin their ears back and put a quarterback on the ground.

7. Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki (unranked)

You'll notice that South Carolina's Hayden Hurst is completely off my list. I just can't justify spending such an early pick on a player who will turn 25 this season. But with the Ravens still needing a tight end (Seriously, no one seems to want to talk about how they don't have a single worthwhile tight end. This is really weird, you guys.), the 6-foot-6 former Nittany Lion who caught nine touchdowns as a senior is awfully intriguing. 

6. SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton (unranked)

The No. 16 pick is considered too early for Sutton, but with the Ravens signing Snead instead of free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant, Sutton's size and skill set might fit more of the mold the Ravens are looking for in an outside receiver. Plus, he's been working with former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin this offseason, so if even a little bit of that has rubbed off on him, that would be swell. Actually, this is reminder number 138,348,123,938,348 that I would still take Boldin if he'd be interested. That offer probably lasts forever.

5. Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley (No. 6)

I guess I should have addressed the fact that there are some people who probably think that after acquiring Snead, Michael Crabtree and John Brown this offseason, the Ravens no longer need to prioritize the receiver position in the 2018 NFL Draft. I disagree. Wholeheartedly. None of those three receivers are sure things. Crabtree has been fairly consistent during his career but has had disappointing stretches. Brown is a major injury concern. Snead completely fell out of favor in New Orleans last season. Ridley has remained the consensus top receiver in this year's draft. I'd still be happy to hear the Ravens call his name.

4. Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry (unranked)

An ankle injury cost Landry a significant portion of his senior season, although he still managed to tally five sacks during eight games. As a junior, he tallied an almost unfathomable 16.5 sacks. I'm not sure you fully understood me earlier when I said the Ravens desperately need pass rushers. If they don't take a pass catcher with the No. 16 pick, I hope they take Landry. 

3. Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller (No. 3)

The undersized former walk-on remains the non-first-round pass catcher I most want to see the Ravens select. He's just too friggin' productive (2,990 combined yards from scrimmage and 33 touchdowns during his last two seasons) to ignore. Wherever he ends up, I'm going to end up watching him wistfully like I did last year with Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis (who, in fairness, the Ravens never had the chance to select). 

2. Maryland wide receiver DJ Moore (No. 2)

There have been comparisons to New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Dallas Cowboys seem to be a real threat to nab Moore if they get the chance. He's the do-it-all playmaker the Ravens badly seem to need. There's not a lot more to be said. 

1. South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert (No. 1)

A few things we learned during Goedert's Glenn Clark Radio interview April 19: 

A. He thinks he's a better choice than Gesicki, Hurst and Oklahoma's Mark Andrews because he's a three-down tight end and he doesn't believe the others are. He might well be right about that. 
B. He's keenly aware of the Ravens not really having a tight end right now and Flacco's success with players at the position in the past. He's intrigued by the possibility.
C. He's so athletic, he's ALSO A FREAKING UNICYCLIST. 

Now I really want to see a Ravens training camp race with Goedert on his unicycle and defensive tackle Brandon Williams walking on his hands. This needs to happen.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pittsburgh Athletics