- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Team needs: Receiver, inside linebacker, cornerback
Dream scenario: Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is a player the Ravens are very familiar with, as he made his name at the University of Maryland in nearby College Park. Heyward-Bey also opened a lot of eyes when he did extremely well at the NFL combine, running a lightning-fast 4.3 in the 40-yard dash. The Ravens could use Heyward-Bey to stretch the field to complement second-year quarterback Joe Flacco's strong arm and the team's power running game. Heyward-Bey entered the offseason as somewhat of a sleeper who was considered a late first- or early second-round prospect. But his performance at the combine may have moved him up the draft board a little too much for Baltimore to snag Heyward-Bey at No. 26 overall.
Plan B: Baltimore's secondary plan sort of falls in line with the team's ideal scenario, and that is taking the best receiver available. That player could be Hakeem Nicks from the University of North Carolina. The Ravens also could look for more talent at cornerback or an extra linebacker to compete for the vacant spot left by the departure of Bart Scott. This week's signing of L.J. Smith likely rules out Baltimore taking a tight end high in the draft. But a developmental project could be had there on the second day.
Scouts Inc.'s take: "For a young quarterback you need to find a pass catcher -- that's their No. 1 need. I've mentioned Nicks for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I think he would also be a terrific Raven. One thing when they're looking at receivers, they cannot afford to get a small guy. Percy Harvin is not someone they should go after. They need to get big-bodied receivers." -- Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.
Who has final say: Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has made his claim as one of the best talent evaluators in the NFL. With draft picks such as Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed, and most recently Flacco on his resume, the Ravens have the utmost confidence in Newsome calling the shots on draft day.
Now on the clock: Miami Dolphins, March 22.