Our resident Ravens GM, praeceps93, has channeled his inner Ozzie Newsome to select one of the most dominant 3-4 defensive end prospects to come out of the college ranks in several years.
With the sixth pick of the 2016 BRB Mock Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select DeForest Buckner (DL--Oregon).
A picture-perfect physical example of a 3-4 defensive end at 6'7", 297 lbs, Buckner is easily in the discussion for top defensive lineman in this draft. Buckner is known for having a high motor, using an array of moves to attack opposing lineman, and possessing a truly massive wingspan (34 3/8" arms) to hold his ground and swat passes down at the line of scrimmage. Seen as a slightly stronger run stuffer than as a QB killer, Buckner made huge strides in his pass rushing with 11 sacks in 2015 on his way to a Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award.
Drawing Calais Campbell comparisons, Buckner fills a need for the injury-plagued Baltimore Ravens following their disappointing 2015 season. The Ravens allowed 25.1 points per game in 2015, good for 24th best in the league. While DE Brent Urban has emerged recently, the "State of the Ravens" press conference in January indicated a strong preference for pass rushers in the 2016 Draft. The Ravens do have some big needs on their offensive line and secondary, but the available value players for those positions is not ideal at this pick. With Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil off the board, Buckner's talent is too much to pass up here. His pure power and high motor remind me of the Ravens defense of old, which made its name by being aggressive and extremely strong in the trenches.
With Terrell Suggs getting older, Buckner could represent a much-needed young cornerstone to slowly rebuild around; the current average age of their defense is 27, good for 21st in the NFL. While Buckner wouldn't directly replace Suggs (he's more of an interior DT/DE than the pure edge rushing role that Suggs plays), his presence would open up more opportunities for other edge rushers as he takes up blockers with his large frame on the inside.
While the Baltimore Ravens are picking 6th in the Draft, that doesn't tell the whole story of their season. The football gods were ruthless to any player dressed in purple as major injuries completely destroyed their season (and their depth chart). At various points in the year the Ravens lost Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith, and many others to season-ending injuries. In fact, over the course of the season eight of the Ravens' week one starters ended up on IR, including 6 on offense. In short, the Ravens got screwed, but it does put them in a unique position: they can pick up an elite talent without having to entirely rebuild their roster. Luckily, in this case, the talent matches up with a need.
Potential other picks: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame; Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida; Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State (actually came really close to picking Zeke; he's really talented).
The San Francisco 49ers are now officially on the clock. Their pick is due at 7 p.m. CDT and will be posted at 10:00 a.m. CDT tomorrow morning.
1. Tennessee Titans--Laremy Tunsil (OT--Ole Miss)
2. Cleveland Browns--Joey Bosa (DE--Ohio State)
3. San Diego Chargers--Jalen Ramsey (CB/S--FSU)
4. Los Angeles Rams--Carson Wentz (QB--NDSU)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars--Myles Jack (LB--UCLA)
6. Baltimore Ravens--DeForest Clucker (DL--Oregon)
7. San Francisco 49ers--astrosbro95
8. Philadelphia Eagles--XinMing Kuon
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers--denerrigoli
10. New York Giants--H&Hguy
11. Chicago Bears--C.Nelson42
12. New Orleans Saints--Lionlocker
13. Miami Dolphins--Free2shred00
14. Oakland Raiders--BostonianToro
15. Dallas Cowboys--Roll.Texans.Roll (VIA TRADE)
16. Detroit Lions--Huggy The Bear
17. Atlanta Falcons--athens_murder
18. Indianapolis Colts--FreedomRide
19. Buffalo Bills--Texstros9495
20. New York Jets--Houstonkingo
21. Washington Redskins--whiteiron
22. Houston Texans--BRB Staff
23. Minnesota Vikings--King_of_the_Gridiron
24. Cincinnati Bengals--Summer of Watt
25. Pittsburgh Steelers--GannonNash
26. Seattle Seahawks--thepencilneck
27. Green Bay Packers--FeedEmToTheWolves1099
28. Kansas City Chiefs--Senor Stan
29. Arizona Cardinals--HovaFlow
30. Carolina Panthers--Vance87
31. Denver Broncos--viper17d