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Ravens Draft: Would Safety Trump Linebacker?


Would Safety trump Linebacker? 

The Ravens lost safeties Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski to free agency. However, the team recently signed Sean Considine and last season acquired Emanuel Cook, (claimed off waivers mid-season) and Bernard Pollard started next to Ed Reed with solid results. So, there is some depth at safety.

The Ravens will always be looking to find a viable starter for the future. As far as a starter who is ‘NFL ready,’ that is pushing the envelope in this year’s draft. There are only two safeties rated as first round talents in Mark Barron, Alabama and possibly Harrison Smith, Notre Dame. Barron is recovering from sports hernia surgery, which might drop him down to the bottom of the first round. A few current mock drafts and analysts have Ravens taking safety. For example, ESPN’s Todd McShay projects “the Ravens to select safety Harrison Smith with the 29th overall pick.”  Harrison is an excellent safety prospect. Still, for the Ravens it might be a bit of a reach and they could find better value at the end of round one with the talent pool of linebackers in this year’s draft.

Taking a view of the Ravens defense, linebacker would trump safety as far as current needs and based on the depth of talent. The secondary is strong even with the loss of Nakamura and Zbikowski. The Ravens lost Jaret Johnson and though Paul Kruger is in the running opposite Terrell Suggs, the team will need to add some youth and depth to the linebacker position.  With that said, there are some outstanding safties for the Ravens to choose from after round one.

Take a Look At Some Top Prospects: 

George Iloka, FS, Boise State (6-4, 225)

Tall safety at 6-4, which makes him an intriguing prospect. Played corner and is physical in press coverage and good at defending the run. Would be an asset covering the taller tight ends/receivers in the NFL.  NFL Draft Preview video.

Projected Round: 2-3


Trumaine Johnson, FS/CB, Montana (6-2, 204) 

Athletic player, great ball skills (good hands), and has the speed needed to jump routes. Check out the highlight film, showcases his ball skills. Like the way he holds on to the football. A prospect coming from a smaller school (not facing ‘premier ‘college receivers) might knock his stock down some and the Ravens make a living off finding these lesser known gems.

Projected Round: 3


Markelle Martin, FS, Oklahoma State (6-1, 207)

Ball-hawk, athletic player, plays aggressive — attacks downhill is what most scouting reports are saying. Good in zone coverage and reads receivers routes well. Coming off an injury (knee) which happens a few months ago. Didn’t participate at the Combine.

Projected Round: 3-4


Mark Barron, SS, Alabama (6-1, 213)

Probably the top safeties in college and in the draft. A prospect that has good coverage skills– instinctive recognizing routes. Physical, plays the run/box well. Is “a NFL ready” safety.  Is coming off surgery (sports hernia). He missed the Combine and will most likely miss his Pro Day session. Injury concerns could drop him down to the bottom of the first round. Would be an excellent pick up for the Ravens.

Projected Round: 1


Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame (6-2, 213)

Probably the second rated safety in the draft. Can bring the hits (aggressive tackler) and has excellent instincts. Athletic and takes good angles; experience at linebacker which helps his football closing speed.  Todd McShay projects “the Ravens to select safety Harrison Smith with the 29th overall pick.”  Harrison is an excellent safety prospect.

Projected Round: 2



As reported by Aaron Wilson, Carroll County Times, “Turning their focus toward the secondary, the Baltimore Ravens hosted four defensive back draft prospects for official visits Friday. That included: Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson, the fastest player at the NFL scouting combine, LSU cornerback Ron Brooks, Syracuse safety Philip Thomas (scouting report) and Pitt cornerback Buddy Jackson.




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One Response to “Ravens Draft: Would Safety Trump Linebacker?”

  1. I trust the Ravens will make the right decision. Their track record seems pretty good when it comes to making personnel decisions. they aren’t talked about as much because of the lack of titles, but through the last decade or so the Ravens have consistently been at the top of the league.

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