NFL Draft Rumors: Ravens Contemplating Moving Out of First Round

Share
Jim John Harbaugh

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The draft-day trade chatter continues as May 8 draws closer, and one team now gaining momentum as a potential mover is the Baltimore Ravens.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, “teams are convinced” the Ravens move will out of the No. 17 pick, perhaps opening the door for teams in need of a wide receiver — the New York Jets or the San Francisco 49ers — to move up to nab their guy.

Both the Jets and Niners have been linked to wide receivers at the No. 18 and 30 spots, respectively, though San Fran has frequently been identified as a team likely to move up in the first round.

It’s unlikely Clemson’s Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M’s Mike Evans will be available at that point in the first round, leaving the most likely wide receiver targets as Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr., USC’s Marqise Lee, Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, and Indiana’s Cody Latimer.

The Jets have been linked to Cooks, Lee, and Beckham in recent weeks, and it wouldn’t take too much ammunition to move up one spot to grab the best wide receiver available.

Both Benjamin and Latimer have caught the attention of San Francisco, with the latter being one of the fastest-rising prospects in the entire draft. The team met with Latimer for 90 minutes after the Indiana Pro Day, and have a history of doing that with its first-round selections.

Throughout the offseason, the 49ers have been eyeing the top available wide receivers. But from DeSean Jackson to Julian Edelman, the team has been unable to upgrade at the position, and had to settle for Brandon Lloyd, who sat out all of the 2013 season.

The Ravens and Niners have a history of making trades. After Baltimore’s Super Bowl triumph, the team sent Anquan Boldin to the Bay Area. And given the Niners’ need at wideout and Baltimore’s desire to move out of that slot, ESPN sees a potential deal as very likely.

If the Ravens successfully move to the back of Round 1, the team can address either its offensive or defensive line, or perhaps take the best wide receiver available. Safety could also be an option, although the team drafted Matt Elam in the first round in 2013.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.