Left Tackle Lane Johnson, coming out of Oklahoma, seems like a definite top 5 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, which means that a team like the Baltimore Ravens, very interested in using their first round pick on him, will have to trade up in order to get him.
Various mock drafts have the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Diego Chargers, two teams with a big need to fill in their offensive line, picking Johnson, who has been moved around from quarterback, tight end, defensive end before finding himself as an offensive tackle during his college career.
But the Ravens have a problem with their LT position – Bryant McKinnie is still a free agent, and he might opt to sign with another team, as there’s still plenty of interest in him, especially coming from the West and the Chargers. In general, the Ravens do not have true depth at tackle, with both McKinnie and Michael Oher, their right tackle, not having anyone behind them to cover in case of an injury.
The Ravens have a long way to go in order to reach the top 10, and especially the top 5. They do have 12 draft picks at their disposal, but they currently hold the number 32 pick in the first round, meaning it’s going to take quite a lot for them to enter the elite group of players projected to be taken with the first few picks in a draft that’s top heavy with offensive linemen and pass rushers.
Johnson is a little bit of both thanks to his athleticism, durability and actual history of playing the position, which makes scouts talk of him as a offensive lineman who plays with the nastiness of a defensive lineman. Still, in order to make the most of that nastiness, the Ravens might have to give up more than they’re willing to.