NFL Draft rumors 2013: Ravens could trade up for Lane Johnson

Joe Robbins

Baltimore could trade up for a new starting left tackle.

The Baltimore Ravens are still attempting to upgrade their offensive line, specifically at left tackle. Armed with 12 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, Baltimore could trade up to select former Oklahoma Sooners left tackle Lane Johnson, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Former Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie remains a free agent, and he has voiced his willingness to return to Baltimore -- but on his terms, and as a starter. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome hasn't ruled out the possibility of re-signing McKinnie, either, but it's clear that Baltimore would rather find a long-term solution, and Johnson appears to be a long-term solution.

As with any personnel move in the NFL, much depends on the cost. If the Ravens can trade up for Johnson at a reasonable cost, then it seems likely that Newsome will pull the trigger.

Baltimore enters the 2013 NFL Draft with 12 selections. Baltimore has one pick at the bottom of each of the first three rounds, and then has two fourth-round picks, two fifth-round picks, three sixth-round picks and two seventh-round picks. Only the San Francisco 49ers have more picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.

In SB Nation's latest mock draft, Johnson fell out of the top 10, all the way to No. 11. If such a slide occurs on Thursday night, Newsome and the Ravens could very well attempt to trade up.

Baltimore currently has Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele on its roster competing at left tackle. Since the Ravens are considering bringing McKinnie back, it's clear that Newsome and the coaching staff aren't comfortable with the current options on the roster.

The Ravens gave Joe Flacco the richest deal in NFL history earlier this offseason, and protecting that asset is one of Baltimore's top priorities. If Baltimore is fortunate enough to trade up at a reasonable price in order to select Johnson, then it's simply another case of the rich getting richer.

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