The Ravens took Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum with the No. 25 overall pick Thursday night, adding the draft’s top center after two trades.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Linderbaum’s fit in the Ravens’ rushing offense is up for debate — team officials have typically targeted bigger interior linemen for their power-heavy concepts — but his high-level production and athletic profile are indisputable. A former wrestler and consensus All-American, Linderbaum watched his stock drop after his measurables fell short at the NFL scouting combine.

With Linderbaum’s arrival, Patrick Mekari will likely return to a swing tackle position. Earlier Thursday, the Ravens drafted Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton at No. 14 overall.

The pick was the byproduct of two draft night trades. Minutes after taking Hamilton with the No. 14 overall pick, the Ravens announced they’d traded leading wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and a third-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for the No. 23 overall pick. Forty minutes later, they swapped spots with Buffalo, acquiring the Bills’ picks at Nos. 25 and 130 overall.

At his predraft news conference earlier this month, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta suggested that the Ravens were looking for centers bigger than the 6-2, 296-pound Linderbaum.

”Our philosophy, honestly, is, we want big guys. We want big guys at every position, across the offense, across the defense [and] in general. So it’s a tough position to fill via the draft at times.

”If there’s a guy … If there’s one or two outstanding prospects in the draft, they typically go pretty high, and then after that, you’re looking at a bunch of guys that might be pretty good, or they might not be pretty good. I think one of the cool things about this draft at the center position is we see four or five guys that we like that might not be first round-type picks and that might be second-, third-, or fourth-round guys that we think would be good players at center this year. It’s a tough position to play. There’s a physical component. There’s also a very, very strong mental component, as well. Leadership is important. So you’re really looking for the perfect guy to play that position, and it’s very tough to find.”

The Ravens now have six fourth-round selections, all of them within a 31-pick span (No. 110 to No. 141). They’ll entire Day 2 with a second-round pick (No. 45), …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


After two trades, Ravens draft Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum with No. 25 pick in NFL draft

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