Rolando McClain’s poor showing at this week’s workout could have the Ravens hoping harder that Alabama inside linebacker C. J. Mosley is available with the 17th pick. The starting inside linebacker spot opposite Daryl Smith remains a question mark. Second-year player Arthur Brown and Josh Bynes will compete for a starting job. But Brown was a situational player as a rookie, and Bynes lost his starting job last year to Jameel McClain, who signed with the Giants during free agency.
The Ravens obviously cannot count on a McClain making a comeback. He abruptly retired last season at age 24, he has had off-field issues, and he was not impressive during a workout with the Ravens on Tuesday.
Right tackle and free safety are the two most obvious needs for the Ravens. But what if Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan are both gone when the Ravens pick at No. 17? Other options for the Ravens could be Louisville safety Calvin Pryor, or Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin. But will either Pryor or Martin be good enough to start as rookies.
Many scouts believe Mosley has the talent to start at inside linebacker as a rookie. That’s another reason why this draft will get really interesting for the Ravens around the 13th pick, held by the Rams. Either Clinton-Dix or Mosley could anywhere from No. 13 to No. 16.
Seeing Mosley fall to No. 17 may be wishful thinking for the Ravens. Pro Football Talk’s latest mock draft has Mosley going No. 14 to the Bears.
However, if Mosley slips past the Bears, the Ravens are just three spots away. If Mosley were still on the board at No. 17, would the Ravens take him over an offensive tackle or safety? That is a choice the Ravens probably hope they have to make.