Jettisoning Anquan Boldin might not have been the best plan for the Ravens following triumph in Super Bowl XLVII. Finding a playmaker to line up opposite Torrey Smith is an option. As is shoring up a leaky secondary. Despite those glaring needs, general manager Ozzie Newsome could simply opt to draft the best player available.
Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
March 8: Report: Spagnuolo watches Ward's pro-day workout
Ravens secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo was in attendance for Northern Illinois' pro day to watch safety Jimmie Ward's workout, according to the Baltimore Sun. The Ravens are expected to shift Matt Elam from free safety to strong safety, the Sun report says, and are looking to add "a play-making centerfielder." Ward, who plays both free safety and strong safety, is Mike Mayock's No. 3-rated safety in the draft.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Arkansas State
March 5: Ravens among teams showing interest
At Arkansas State's pro day, Crowell said the Ravens were among three teams that have shown the most interest since the NFL Scouting Combine. The Ravens are in a transition of sorts at the running back position. The Ravens ranked No. 30 in the NFL in rushing last year, and leading rusher Ray Rice followed his least productive season in five years with an embarrassing arrest.
Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, Georgia Tech
Feb. 22: Attaochu meets with Ravens at combine
Attaochu -- who didn't work out at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a partially torn hamstring and hand injury suffered at the Senior Bowl -- met with the Ravens at the event, the Baltimore Sun reported. Attaochu was a third-team All-American and second-team All-ACC pick in 2013.
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Feb. 20: Mayock: Receiver makes sense
On a conference call with reporters, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock broke down the Ravens' options at pick No. 17 in the first round of the draft, saying, "I really believe when the Ravens get on the clock, that probably at least one, if not two of those three (top receivers), will be available, and they bring different things to the table. (Marqise) Lee can play inside or outside. He's a dangerous kickoff-return guy."
The AFC North champions have a talent-laden roster, and that has resulted in three consecutive playoff appearances. However, the Bengals are still chasing that elusive first-round playoff victory, and shoring up some areas on defense could make that unit among the NFL's best. The secondary and linebacking corps could be areas of focus in the draft.
Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
March 7: Bengals DB coach watches Verrett
Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph attended TCU's pro day Thursday, when Verrett posted a 39 1/2-inch vertical jump and 19 reps in the bench press. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah lists cornerback as one of the Bengals' three biggest draft needs. Verrett is currently Mike Mayock's No. 5-rated cornerback in the 2014 draft, and all four NFL.com mock drafts have Verrett going in the first round.
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
March 5: Report links Murray to Bengals
Murray was among the players interviewed by the Bengals at the NFL Scouting Combine, and the club is believed to have interest in the Bulldogs' record-breaking quarterback. A number of signs point to Murray making sense for the Bengals. One would be the club's apparent affinity for Georgia players. There are seven on the roster, something Murray was aware of as far back as the Reese's Senior Bowl.
Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Feb. 20: Mayock: Cornerback, but which one?
On a conference call with reporters, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock broke down the Bengals' options at pick No. 24 in the first round of the draft, saying, "I think (Darqueze) Dennard and (Justin) Gilbert will be gone before Cincinnati is on the clock. ... I am a Kyle Fuller guy. I think he makes a ton of sense (for the Bengals) but we need to see what he runs (at the combine). I have him ranked higher than most of the corners out there."
The Cleveland Browns possess a roster with intriguing young talent at virtually every area, except quarterback. Gifted with a bevy of extra draft picks, the Browns might be in the market to make an aggressive move to finally acquire that elusive franchise quarterback.
March 6: Browns skipped all QB interviews at combine
The news that the Browns did not interview Johnny Manziel at the NFL Scouting Combine created some buzz earlier this week. As it turns out, the franchise did not conduct formal interviews with any quarterbacks in Indianapolis.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Arkansas State
March 5: Browns among teams showing interest
At Arkansas State's pro day, Crowell said the Browns were among three teams that have shown the most interest since the NFL Scouting Combine. The Browns are in transition at the running back position after trading former first-round pick Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts during the 2013 season. Filling that position with talent will certainly be an offseason priority for Cleveland, whether through the draft or free agency.
Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
March 4: New Browns head coach attends Buffalo's pro day
Outside linebacker doesn't appear to be a position of immediate need in Cleveland, but Mack's extraordinary upside makes him an intriguing prospect for any team. First-year Browns coach Mike Pettine -- a defensive-centric coach -- chose to attend Buffalo's pro day. The Browns could be faced with a choice between Mack and the unpicked quarterback. And if the club isn't sold on what's left at the quarterback position, Mack could easily be the best option.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Feb. 28: Cosell: Browns should take Watkins at No. 4
Sure, quarterback appears to be the position many figure the Browns will address with that No. 4 overall draft pick, but NFL Films producer Greg Cosell echoed NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock on Thursday, when he said the Browns should draft Watkins instead. "I think this is not a very good quarterback class," Cosell said on Colin Cowherd's radio show, "but I do think Sammy Watkins is that good." NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah agrees with Cosell and Mayock in his latest mock draft.
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Feb. 26: Jeremiah: Browns prefer Carr over Manziel
Before the Browns parted ways with CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi, Cleveland was widely seen as an operation smitten with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. However, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah says we've been focused on the wrong guy all along. Said Jeremiah: "Their guy is (Fresno State quarterback) Derek Carr and they're going to take a different player with the fourth pick and they want to take Derek Carr with their second one (at No. 26)."
Offensive line continues to be a bugaboo for Pittsburgh, and the team figures to maintain interest in prospects at those positions in the 2014 draft. An aging secondary might also be an area of focus for the Steelers.
Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame
Feb. 20: Mayock: Nose tackle is top need
On a conference call with reporters, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock broke down the Steelers' options at pick No. 15 in the first round of the draft, saying, "The only guy that's even worth looking at that early would be Louis Nix, and you have to buy into the fact you're going to (need) a significant number of snaps from him, and I'm not sure you can."
Feb. 20: Colbert: This is most immature draft class I've seen
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert thinks this year's draft class is the deepest he's seen, but it's also the most immature class he's evaluated in his 30 years in the profession. "Experience has told us that a lot of these younger players aren't ready for this," Colbert said.
Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Feb. 19: Davis: Evans 'fits perfectly' with Steelers
NFL Media draft analyst Charles Davis said the big and physical Evans would be a good fit to work with big and physical Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
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