Top Prospects Could Cause Ravens to Trade Up in NFL DraftPosted on April 16, 2014 by Ethan Felderstein
The Ravens haven't traded up in the 1st round of the NFL draft since 2008, when they selected OT Michael Oher, but this year's draft class could make them do just that.
Sitting currently with the 17th selection in the upcoming draft, the Ravens could be forced to trade up to get a prospect that they want. Here are the few possible selections that could force Ozzie Newsome and Co. to pull the trigger:
FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama:
A draft class that isn't full of depth at the free safety position could push the Ravens to trade up. The team did draft a free safety last year, Matt Elam, but the obvious move would be to shift Elam over to strong safety and put Clinton-Dix at the free safety position. The Ravens have already met with Clinton-Dix, and it doesn't hurt that he attended the same alma mater as Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome.
WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson:
The electric wide receiver out of Clemson is a long shot to fall out of the top-10, but if he gets past the Oakland Raiders at number 5, there's an outside chance the Ravens could pul the trigger. The Ravens could add Watkins if they want to add another playmaker, but he's not exactly the wide receiver they'd want to compliment the playing styles of Torrey Smith and Steve Smith.
WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M:
This would be one of the more logical moves for the Ravens to make. Evans is projected to go anywhere from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at pick number 7 to the New York Giants at pick number 12. If Evans gets into the double-digits, the Ravens would most likely give up a 1st and a 2nd round draft pick to get him. At 6-foot-5, he'd be the perfect complimentary receiver to the speedy Torrey Smith and Steve Smith, being the go-to guy in the end zone and on 3rd downs.
OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M:
Ranked by some as the top offensive lineman in the draft, it's possible that Matthews could fall to the double-digits, making the Ravens think about pulling the trigger and trading up. If he slips by the Rams at pick number 2 and other needy teams go for Auburn's Greg Robinson, Matthews could be for the taking. The Ravens would love to fill their offensive lineman need early with one of the best in the class.
OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan:
If offensive tackles come off the board quick and early, Ravens could react fast and trade up to get Lewan. He's definitely a powerful run blocker, but he comes with a lot of personal baggage. Lewan answered many questions at the NFL Combine about a 2009 incident where he allegedly intimidated a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons and another incident where he also allegedly assaulted an Ohio State fan.