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2017 NFL mock draft: Baltimore Ravens take Carl Lawson

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The Ravens get the pass rusher they need in the Auburn star.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Auburn Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past three seasons, the Baltimore Ravens have dropped in team sacks from 49 in 2014, to 37 in 2015, and down to 31 in 2016. As they approach the 2017 NFL draft, it’s clear that Baltimore needs to get at least one pass rusher.

That’s exactly the aim of Kyle Barber of Baltimore Beatdown, who is here to explain his second-round pick in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft.

47. Baltimore Ravens: Carl Lawson, OLB/DE, Auburn

Barber: Father Time is inching closer on the Baltimore Ravens’ elite pass rusher, Terrell Suggs. The Ravens’ six-time Pro Bowler turns 35 in October. Also, Baltimore released Elvis Dumervil this offseason. The current depth at pass rush is lacking, and Carl Lawson will help bring about the youth movement.

As it stands, the Ravens’ edge relies heavily on Sizzle, but both Matt Judon and Za’Darius Smith are also on the roster.

The pick came down to Lawson or Tim Williams, but in the end Lawson wins. Williams feels more one-dimensional and his off-the-field issues are worrisome. It wasn’t only the “bad” that kept the Beatdown from not taking Williams, though — Lawson produced at a first-team All-SEC level in 2016, stuffing the stat sheet with 13.5 tackles for loss, nine of them sacks.

The Ravens spent money this offseason rebuilding the secondary. Big money on Tony Jefferson and a contract for Brandon Carr shows the Ravens defense wants to become the best. With a full secondary, Baltimore needs to utilize the draft, finding new outside linebackers and pass rush weapons to collapse the pocket and take down the competition. Carl Lawson is a plug-and-play pass rusher; with Baltimore, Lawson could become the next terrifying linebacker in the AFC North.

Analysis: If I were making this choice, I’d also be down to Williams and Lawson. It’s really a coin flip decision. Williams is limited, but what he can do rushing the passer he can do really well. Lawson is the better all-around player, but he did have some injury issues at Auburn. Williams is also more comfortable playing in space. But the off-field issues could cause him to drop in the draft like he did in this mock, and they make taking Lawson over him highly plausible.

Dan's top five players remaining

  • 26. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
  • 39. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
  • 41. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
  • 43. Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
  • 45. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

Ravens picks:

  • 1-16: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
  • 2-47: Carl Lawson, OLB/DE, Auburn

The Minnesota Vikings are finally on the clock and Christopher Gates from Daily Norseman will check in at 3 p.m. ET with his pick.

Poll

How do you grade the choice of Lawson by the Ravens?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    A
    (146 votes)
  • 41%
    B
    (169 votes)
  • 13%
    C
    (55 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (22 votes)
  • 4%
    F
    (19 votes)
411 votes total Vote Now