BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens are approaching the 2017 NFL Draft with a few holes to fill. The team needs to find a linebacker
to pair with All-Pro C.J. Mosley on the inside. They also need to add depth to their cornerback group.
Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome played college football for Alabama before the launch of his Hall of Fame NFL career. Newsome has tapped his former school numerous times while with the Ravens and there is a good chance Newsome could add another player from Alabama starting with the No. 16 pick in the draft. Here are some prospects that could be the next player to go from Alabama to Baltimore:
Jonathan Allen (DL)— If the Ravens decide to trade up to get a prospect, Allen would be an ideal target. He brings experience in a similar scheme and has the versatility to play anywhere on the defensive front.
Allen is a true impact player, using his violent hands to quickly get into the backfield. The Ravens could use a jolt to the pass rush after trading Timmy Jernigan to the Eagles.
Reuben Foster (LB)— Foster is considered to be a top 10-prospect. There are medical issues that could cause him to drop in the draft. He has a history of shoulder stingers. It would not be likely for him to make it past the Ravens if he tumbled into the second half of the first round.
Foster’s coverage skills as well as sideline-to-sideline pursuit would be a welcome addition after the Ravens lost Zachary Orr to retirement.
Marlon Humphrey (CB)— Hump- hrey is possibly the most physical cornerback in the 2017 draft. He relishes opportunities to make plays against the run and beat up receivers at the line of scrimmage preventing them from getting into their routes.
While he may not have the ball skills to register a lot of interceptions, he is still a solid cover corner that fits the Ravens tough guy mindset.
Tim Williams (OLB)— Williams was a force as an edge pass rusher at Alabama. He gets a tremendous jump off of the ball, forcing offensive linemen to hurry out of their stance.
Given the release of Elvis Dumervil and the need for more pressure on the quarterback, Williams would be an ideal fit as a situational pass rusher. He is at his best when he is unleashed and able to solely focus on hunting down the quarterback.
Ryan Anderson (OLB)— Anderson is another edge player that would fit the Ravens. He is not the speedy pass rusher that Williams is, but he will use his strength and sheer effort to get to the passer.
Terrell Suggs had a solid season in 2016, but how much longer he will be able to go remains to be seen. Anderson would be a solid option to eventually take over for Suggs.
ArDarius Stewart (WR)— At 5’ 11’’ and 204 pounds, Stewart is built like a running back. Stewart brings physicality to the receiver position and would be most useful as a slot receiver.
The Ravens would be able to use him on screens and jet sweeps to get him the ball in space and allow him to gain yards after the catch. Stewart has the toughness to go across the middle and make tough catches in traffic. Having lost Steve Smith Sr. to retirement, Baltimore needssome toughness on the offensive side of the ball.
Dalvin Tomlinson (DT)— Tomlinson is another player that could help the Ravens defensive front. He is more than capable of occupying two gaps, which is what Baltimore wants their guys up front to do so the linebackers don’t have to deal with offensive linemen. Like Jernigan, Tomlinson can locate the ball quickly and is eager to chase down running plays.
Don’t forget: O.J. Howard (TE) and Cam Robinson (OL) are great prospects too.