The Baltimore Ravens hold the 17th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and they are expected to draft an offensive tackle or defensive back in the first round. There is a huge hole on the right side, and it’s a vacancy that Notre Dame product Zack Martin would do a good job of filling. Even though he has shorter arms and might project better at guard, Martin would be a solid tackle due to his technique and solid play as a run and pass blocker. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be there at 17, though, and there’s even less of a chance of the Ravens landing top safety prospect Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who doesn’t seem to be as high on the Ravens list as some would think. The Ravens could wait to draft a safety, but I doubt they take Jimmie Ward in the first (the best coverage safety in the class) or take him in the second, since he won’t fall there. However, they seem to be big fans of Ward’s game.
So who is the Baltimore Ravens top target in this year’s draft? Per sources close to draft insider Tony Pauline, the Ravens number one guy is North Carolina Tar Heels tight end prospect Eric Ebron, who is regarded as the top TE prospect in the class. His elite physical tools, size/speed/athleticism blend, and ability to make big plays after the catch overcome his poor hands and inconsistent blocking. Ebron can be a high-impact pass-catching tight end at the next level, and he fits in perfectly as a joker TE.
The Ravens already have a “move” tight end locked up in Dennis Pitta, but Ebron would be too good of a value to pass up on at 17. He isn’t expected to be available at 17, so it will be interesting to see if the Ravens suddenly feel compelled to make a trade up for him. I don’t think it’s worth it, but it’s possible if Ozzie Newsome, who likes moving around in the draft, could make the move if he likes him enough. Pauline notes that the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of Ebron’s suitors, and there’s a good chance of the Steelers passing on a CB to take Ebron at 15.