With the first round of 2013 NFL Draft just 18 days away, it is time to start looking at the draft for the Ravens.
So far, the Ravens are reported to have met with four players, Florida State DE Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, Texas A&M OLB Damontre Moore, Ohio State OLB Nathan Williams, and Alabama RT D.J. Fluker.
Carradine met with the Ravens back in late March. Projected as a late 1st, early 2nd round pick, Carradine had 11 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss in 12 games this year for Florida State. However, Carradine tore his ACL in his right knee in late November against Florida. After playing DE at Florida State, Carradine is projected to be able to play DE or OLB in the NFL. If the Ravens drafted him he would play OLB in their 3-4 defense. When he visited with the Ravens, he wasn’t able to workout due to his ACL injury but he will have his own pro day on April 20th.
When asked about the possibility of playing with Ravens OLBs Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, Carradine said “I would feel great about it. I would fit right in with those guys because they’re impact players. I can be that guy who has ability and can learn from those guys and bring a lot to the table.”
Another highly rated pass rusher who the Ravens have met with is Texas A&M OLB Damontre Moore. A few months ago, Moore was projected to be a top ten pick but a bad combine and pro day have sent him falling down draft boards. He is still expected to go in the first round but he won’t go in the top ten anymore.
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Having played as a 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB, Moore is versatile enough to play in any type of defense. Last year he 12.5 sacks and 20 tackles for a loss as a 4-3 DE. His sophomore season, when he played as a 3-4 OLB, he had 8.5 sacks.
Even with Suggs, Dumervil, and last years second round pick, Courtney Upshaw, on the roster, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens took Moore if he was still on the board. While I doubt he falls that far, the Ravens would probably jump all over him as he would be the best player available and the Ravens like to draft pass rushers.
Like Carradine and Moore, Nathan Williams is an OLB. However, he isn’t a highly rated prospect. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of him until I heard the Ravens met with him. He is projected to be about a 7th round pick.
Williams missed all of the 2011 season after having microfracture surgery on his left knee. He played this season but dealt with soreness in his knee throughout the season. Like Moore, Williams has played DE and OLB in college. Since he weighs about 245 pounds, Williams will be an OLB in the NFL.
Finally, the Ravens have met with Alabama RT D.J. Fluker. Fluker is a big, powerful right tackle who was key to Alabama’s success running the ball last season. At 335 pounds, he is projected to be a first round pick on draft night.
A negative on Fluker is that he is strictly a right tackle. This is because he has struggled with pass rushers (especially speed ones) throughout his college career. At one point, it was thought he might have to move inside to guard in the NFL but, Fluker seems to have quieted those rumors for now.
Many teams who draft before the Ravens need offensive tackles so it is doubtful that Fluker drops to the Ravens pick. If he is still on the board, he could be the Ravens pick but the Ravens need a LT more than a RT.
These visits are all part of the Ravens doing their research on prospects so they can put together their final draft board ready for April 25th.