A few random draft thoughts

- I know all Cam Newton has done the last two years is win, both at the Junior College and D-I level, but I’m still not convinced the likely No. 1 overall pick will ever be anything more than an average NFL quarterback. He’s got the size, the athleticism, the ability to extend plays and make things happen with his feet. Yes, I’m aware of all that. But NFL teams will attack Newton by forcing him to remain in the pocket, and when he’s stuck being a pocket passer, I don’t think he has the ability to consistently make on-target throws down the field. Just one man’s opinion.

- The Ravens almost certainly won’t get a wide receiver in the first round, but look for them to grab one on Day Two. There are a number of guys in the second tier of this year’s wide receiver class (below A.J. Green and Julio Jones) that will fall into that second-to-third-round range, and the Ravens should be able to slide up or down to secure one that tickles their fancy.

- I really don’t understand how Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder is being discussed as a possible first-round pick. I know the quarterback class is weak this year and Ponder tested well in the pre-draft process, but come on now. I watched Ponder play at Florida State the last three years, and not once did I think, “Boy, this kid sure looks impressive. I really think he could make a great NFL quarterback.” Not once. I’m certainly not an NFL talent evaluator, but I’ve seen plenty of negative tape on Ponder, and don’t understand how that suddenly can be ignored. (UPDATE: Just saw the latest mock put out by ESPN’s Todd McShay, and he has him as the third QB off the board, getting selected early in the second round. The third QB taken? Are you kidding me?)

- There’s a vast discrepancy from one mock draft to another in how many quarterbacks will be selected in the first round. Some draft analysts predict as few as two, others have said there could be six taken tonight. I expect four signal-callers to get picked on Day One - Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Andy Dalton.

- If the Ravens don’t get a pass rusher in the first round tonight, keep an eye on Nevada’s Dontay Moch on Day Two. Moch was a defensive end at Nevada, but projects as an outside linebacker in the NFL. He’s got incredible speed, flies to the quarterback, and makes plays. Moch should come off the board sometime in the mid-to-late portion of the second round.

- As for offensive lineman who could be an option on Day Two, I really like Benjamin Ijalana out of Villanova. He’s a guy that was projected as a first-round pick early in the draft process, but has slipped a little bit. He’s coming off sports hernia surgery in December, which has prevented him from working out fully the last few months, but he has good bulk, incredibly long arms, and works hard.

- This is the weakest draft class in terms of running backs and safeties that I can remember. We’ll likely only see one running back (Mark Ingram) come off the board in the first round, and there’s a decent chance two full rounds goes by with only one safety (Rahim Moore) getting selected.

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