With the NFL draft fast approaching, the always-right mock drafts have started. As you can tell by this bit of sarcasm I've inserted, I'm not really sure why anyone puts much stock in these things.
If networks like ESPN did them once, the week of the draft maybe, ok, they wouldn't be so bad. But they do them all the time. And these things are speculation -- nothing more, nothing less.
One thing I've noticed in a few of the mock drafts I've seen is that some are predicting that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o could slide all the way down to No. 32 where the Ravens would take him. How realistic is that?
Here's the answer: Who knows?
The Ravens are the only people who know what they want. They've already said they want to improve in the middle on defense. Coach John Harbaugh's team is losing Ray Lewis to retirement and, if things don't go right, could lose at least one more key player.
They will need another inside linebacker one way or another. And there was much made over Harbaugh's apparent reaction to Te'o's not-so-fast time at the combine.
In the end, the Ravens are always faithful to their board. If somehow Te'o falls to No. 32, and they feel he's the best player for them, they'll pick him. This is a rookie who's going to come with baggage. The question is will that baggage weigh him down. If he came to Baltimore, here's guessing that the Ravens would go out of the way to make his life easier in that area to try and let him concentrate on being a rookie in the NFL.
That's if he comes here.
And we just won't know that for a little while.