The 2015 draft is over, so it's naturally time to look ahead to the 2016 draft. Hey, it's only 50-some weeks away.
In the spirit of fun (and fan interest), ESPN's Todd McShay put together a way-too-early mock draft for next year and his pick for the Baltimore Ravens makes plenty of sense. McShay chose Auburn edge rusher Carl Lawson to go the Ravens at the No. 23 overall pick (records based on Football Outsiders' predictions).
Lawson missed all of last season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in spring practices, and he's expected to be one of the top pass-rushers in college football in 2015. He told reporters in March that he feels he is faster than he was in 2013, when he finished with four sacks during his All-SEC freshman season.
Pass-rusher could be among the Ravens' top needs entering next year's draft. Baltimore's sacks leaders, Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, are both in their 30s. The Ravens drafted Za'Darius Smith in the fourth round this year, but it remains to be seen whether he can fill the void of Pernell McPhee.
Though there is validity to this pick, the better choice would be a cornerback. Baltimore didn't address that position early enough in the 2015 draft, and the Ravens might be looking for a starter-quality cornerback if Lardarius Webb struggles. McShay only had two cornerbacks (Florida's Vernon Hargreaves and Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller) getting taken before the Ravens' pick.
In last year's way-too-early mock draft, McShay had the Ravens selecting Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving. Baltimore didn't have a chance to consider him last week because the Cleveland Browns drafted him at No. 19, seven spots ahead of the Ravens.