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SUPER BOWL WATCH: Beyonce, avocados, practice

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SUPER BOWL WATCH: Beyonce, avocados, practice

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Around Super Bowl XLVII and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of everything surrounding the game:

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GRIDIRON TO LEMONADE STAND

Donald Driver didn't waste much time finding a new job.

The Green Bay Packers all-time leading receiver announced his retirement Thursday morning, then helped kids from Junior Achievement sell lemonade at a pop-up stand in the Super Bowl media center.

Not only did Driver help behind the counter, he loaded up four carrying cases and he and his three new friends set out to find customers. Their cases were empty when they returned.

``All the money they've raised will stay here in New Orleans,'' Driver said. ``What they're starting to do is learn how to run their own business, become entrepreneurs by themselves.

``I'm just here to raise as much money so maybe they can open up their own lemonade stand the next couple of years.

- Nancy Armour -http://twitter.com/nrarmour

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JUDGE FOR YOURSELF: BEYONCE

Wondering about Beyonce and her response inauguration lip syncing flap?

Judge for yourself - here's her full rendition of the national anthem during a press conference Thursday:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p2MTKCLNsY

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QUICKQUOTE: JERSEYS AND DRUGS

Authorities say buying a cheap imitation NFL jersey may be more harmful than you think.

Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Mexico, said there's evidence that Mexican drug cartels are getting involved in the counterfeit NFL black market trade because they can make quick money.

``A lot of folks may think that there's nothing wrong with buying a knockoff Denver Broncos jersey, but in reality, the money is being used to fund the drug war in Mexico,'' Abar said.

- Michael Kunzelman -http://twitter.com/Kunzelman75

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STAT OF THE DAY: 158M AVOCADOS

AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch has the stat of the day today: Americans are expected to consume 158 million avocados around the Super Bowl.

That's 79 million pounds of green goodness - up from 8 million pounds at the turn of the century.

So has the guacamole improved that much? Not really, it's just outstanding marketing and other factors.

- J.M. Hirsch -http://twitter.com/JM-Hirsch

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YUP, WE HEARD YOU, BEYONCE

Beyonce belted out the national anthem - for real - and America clearly heard.

Shortly after the singer's press conference on Thursday where she admitted singing to a backup track during President Barack Obama's inauguration, ``National Anthem'' became a trending topic in the United States on Twitter.

Millions of fans clearly approved of her impromptu performance, now reassured that her pipes are still fine.

- Oskar Garcia -http://twitter.com/oskargarcia .

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NO TAPE NEEDED

Beyonce's version of the national anthem was worth the wait.

The superstar singer, roundly criticized for lip syncing ``The Star-Spangled Banner'' at the inauguration 10 days ago, walked into Thursday's news conference for the Super Bowl halftime show and asked the ballroom filled with several hundred people to stand. She then belted out a spine-tingling version of the anthem, leaving no doubts about the power of her voice. Many in the room applauded when she finished.

``Thank you guys so much. Any questions?'' Beyonce said, drawing laughs.

Beyonce admitted she sang along with a pre-recorded track at the inauguration, saying she hadn't had time to rehearse with the orchestra. This was too big of an occasion to have it be anything less than perfect, she said.

``I did not feel comfortable taking a risk,'' she said. ``This was about the president and the inauguration and I wanted to make my country proud.''

She did promise to sing live Sunday, however.

``I am well-rehearsed,'' she said. ``This was what I was born to do.''

That was about all Beyonce was willing to spill, though. She wouldn't say what she'll be singing, though she did say it was ``not easy'' to choose a few songs from her many hits.

``All of my songs are like my children,'' she said.

As for that rumored Destiny's Child reunion, Beyonce wouldn't confirm it.

She didn't deny it, though, either.

``I can't really give you any details,'' she said. ``I'm sorry.''

- Nancy Armour -http://twitter.com/nrarmour

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TURF WARS

The Baltimore Ravens don't like the artificial turf at Tulane's baseball field.

So they've moved to the Saints' facility instead.

The San Francisco 49ers were already training at the Saints' complex in nearby Metairie.

The AFC champions were forced to practice in the outfield of the baseball facility Wednesday because Tulane has broken ground on a new football stadium. Coach John Harbaugh, star linebacker Ray Lewis and several other players said it was ``hard on the legs.''

After the Ravens approached the league about practicing on grass, the NFL arranged for them to follow the 49ers at the Saints training fields.

- Barry Wilner

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10 ADS TO WATCH

If you're a fan of Super Bowl ads, here are 10 to look out for during Sunday's game. With more than 111 million people expected to tune in, it's advertising's biggest showcase.

1. Samsung Mobile's 2-minute ad with ``Knocked Up'' actors Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen, directed by Jon Favreau (''Iron Man''). The company has not released details about the ad's plot other than to say that it shows Rogen and Rudd on a ``quest to become the next big thing.'' Teaser here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzfAdmAtYIY

2. Best Buy's 30-second ad in the first quarter stars Amy Poehler, star of NBC's ``Parks and Recreation,'' asking a Best Buy employee ``lots of questions.'' Teaser:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcmW8HCuLo8

3. Kraft enlists Tracy Morgan from NBC's ``30 Rock'' to introduce its new Mio Fit water enhancing drops in a 30-second ad during the third quarter. Teaser:http://www.youtube.com/user/makeitmio?feature=watch

4. Hyundai Motor Group's Kia invents a fanciful way that babies are made, blasting in from a baby planet in its ``Space babies'' ad for the 2014 Sorento crossover. Link:http://www.youtube.com/user/KiaMotorsAmerica?feature=watch

5. First-time advertiser Paramount Farms is touting its Wonderful Pistachios brand of nuts in a 30-second ad with Korean pop sensation Psy. The campaign:http://getcrackin.com/

6. First-time advertiser Axe shows a woman in the ocean getting rescued by a sexy lifeguard, but going for an astronaut instead. It promotes Axe's new cologne ``Apollo'' and its contest to send someone on the first suborbital space tour in 2014. Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGoU3VH7He4

7. Audi's 60-second ad in the first quarter, with an ending voted on by viewers, shows a boy gaining confidence from driving his father's Audi to the prom, kissing the prom queen and getting decked by the prom king. Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANhmS6QLd5Q

8. PepsiCo's Frito-Lay's Doritos ``Crash the Super Bowl'' ads are back for the seventh straight year. Two 30-second commercials made by consumers will make it on the air. Fans voted for one winner and Doritos chose the other.

9. Ford Motor Co. enlisted late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon to choose road trip stories submitted by Twitter with the hashtag (hash)steerthescript to base its Super Bowl commercial for Lincoln. The ad features rapper Joseph ``Rev Run'' Simmons, Wil Wheaton, who acted in the iconic science-fiction series ``Star Trek: The Next Generation.''

10. The Milk Processor Education Program, known as MilkPep and popular for its ``Got Milk?'' print ads, is featuring actor and professional wrestler Dwayne ``The Rock'' Johnson in a 30-second ad in the second quarter that is directed by Peter Berg (''Friday Night Lights.'')

- Mae Anderson

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BEYONCE, BUT WHO ELSE?

There's lots of hype for Beyonce's halftime performance at the Super Bowl, but she's far from the only A-list act in New Orleans this week.

The NFL has announced Jennifer Hudson is planning to sing ``America the Beautiful'' before the game with the chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Just add her to the already packed list. It also includes:

- Justin Timberlake, in his first major musical performance in four years (hosting Saturday Night Live doesn't count - he hasn't been an official musical guest on the show since 2006).

- Stevie Wonder

- CeeLo Green with his old hip-hop clique, Goodie Mob.

-Rascal Flatts with Journey.

And then there's the parties. Lil Wayne is throwing a bash. Jay-Z will host another event the night before his wife, Beyonce, takes stage. Jamie Foxx and Santigold are also performing, while DJs including Diplo and Questlove from The Roots are spinning.

Not that it's ever difficult, but it's extra easy to find a party in New Orleans the next few days.

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- Stacey Plaisance

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PUTTING POLITICS ASIDE FOR NEW ORLEANS

Long working on opposite sides of the American political spectrum, James Carville and Mary Matalin are pulling in the same direction when it comes to promoting their adopted home of New Orleans as a Super Bowl host.

Carville, a longtime Democratic strategist, and Matalin, a Republican pundit, are the co-chairs of the Super Bowl host committee. They're also married.

They've been making the rounds together from one event to the next in the convention center, which houses both the NFL Experience theme park and work stations for several thousand international media.

Carville is from Louisiana and the couple married in New Orleans. Then in 2008, they decided to move here from Washington, D.C. Now living in a stately home just two blocks off of historic St. Charles Avenue, they've been among the biggest boosters of the Big Easy's recovery from Hurricane Katrina, lending their support to a variety of community projects with goals ranging from restoration of fragile coastal wetlands to education and economic development.

The pair agree that while organizing a Super Bowl doesn't cost as much as a presidential campaign, it's just as hard because it's a multiyear project with a lot of moving parts.

Carville says he's always been a sports fan so the transition was natural for him. Matalin says one obvious goal is to get New Orleans back in the regular rotation as a Super Bowl host, but the larger goal is to help the city's future by demonstrating how successfully it can host one of the biggest single events in the sports world. While New Orleans is hosting its 10th Super Bowl, the NFL championship has not been played there since 2002.

Says Carville: ``If it goes the way we hope it does, it'll go beyond economic impact. It'll go beyond who won the game. It think there's something significant that's coming to a point here in the city.''

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- Brett Martel -http://twitter.com/brettmartel

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ZOO VS ZOO

File this in the quirky Super Bowl wager department: Zoos in Baltimore and San Francisco are gambling with the homes of two ravens and a rhino.

Leaders of The Maryland Zoo and The San Francisco Zoological Gardens have wagered naming rights to their respective exhibits with ties to their hometown football teams.

The zoo in Baltimore is home to official Ravens mascots, Rise and Conquer. If 49ers win, it will rename the ravens' enclosure the ``San Francisco 49ers exhibit.''

If the Ravens win, the San Francisco zoo has agreed to re-name the enclosure of its black rhino ``Boone,'' who is named after the 49ers offensive tackle Alex Boone, in honor of the Ravens.

The new name would last one month, starting Feb. 11.

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CATCHING THE COUNTERFEITERS

Shop wisely when looking for those Super Bowl souvenirs.

Federal officials have seized more than 163,000 counterfeit items worth more than $13.6 million over the last five months as part of Operation Red Zone, John Morton, director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, said. That's a ``significant'' increase from last year, when about $5 million worth of merchandise was seized.

``Everything from hats to jerseys to Nike shoes. My personal favorite is this counterfeit Super Bowl ring from Super Bowl XLIV,'' Morton said, holding up a massive gold ring. ``It's actually quite heavy and a better counterfeit than most. Just goes to show you the lengths people will go in this business.''

Equally troubling are websites selling counterfeit merchandise, some so sophisticated they include anti-virus logos and the seal of the Better Business Bureau - making them almost impossible to tell them apart from legitimate vendors.

Morton said federal officials have already seized domain names of 313 web sites, almost all of which originated overseas.

``Imagine what's going on when you're putting your credit card through this site. Really think about that,'' Morton said. ``The site is being run by overseas criminals in Asia.... You can imagine what the result is, and sadly many, many of these sites come with malware and other unfortunate ornaments on the Christmas tree.''

The easiest way to make sure fans are buying legitimate merchandise is to buy from an official vendor, Morton said. Each team has one, as does the NFL.

But the best way fans can prevent being scammed is to use common sense, Morton said. Look closely at items, and there will be signs they're fakes. If there are extra words in a website address - com.us - or misspellings, that's almost always a dead giveaway.

``We're not letting up,'' Morton said. ``We'll have teams out the next couple of days looking for counterfeit and scam artists.''

- Nancy Armour -http://twitter.com/nrarmour

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RENO: THE KAEPERNICK EFFECT

Casinos in the Biggest Little City in the World are expecting a bump in Super Bowl betting this year thanks to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, maybe enough to help Nevada set a record in wagering on the game.

Kaepernick played college football at Nevada, just down the street from casinos in Reno.

Now, most of those casinos are offering an especially large number of proposition bets on the quarterback.

Kaep-mania has run so rampant in Reno that sporting goods stores can't keep stocked in jerseys. More than 7,000 fans set what Nevada officials said was a world record when they all simultaneously kissed their arms ``Kaepernicking style'' during a break in last week's basketball game against San Diego State.

A Kaepernick viewing party is planned during Sunday's game at the student union.

- Scott Sonner

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NO MORE TALKING

The players can focus on football now - they're officially done talking to the media.

Ravens safety Ed Reed was the last guy at the podium on Thursday. After he finished talking with reporters, he scooped up a blue placard with his name on it.

``I'm going to give it to my mother,'' he said.

He said he's very glad that his interviews are done for the week.

Players had three hourlong sessions during the week, and Reed had another press availability on Monday.

The coaches for the 49ers and Ravens will speak with reporters again on Friday morning.

- Paul Newberry -http://twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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BROTHERLY ADVICE: BROOK LOPEZ

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh are hardly the only high-profile siblings who've squared off in their arena of expertise. The AP is asking some others who can relate how they'd handle going against a family member in the Super Bowl.

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez said after scoring 21 points in a loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night that it's a combination of joy and competitiveness.

``I know they're just going to treat it as a game. That's how I treat it whenever I play Robin,'' Brook Lopez said. ``I know they will enjoy it as well. But if I have any experience playing against Robin growing up, I know it's going to be competitive. I know they're going to want to beat each other.''

Brook's brother, Robin, plays for the New Orleans Hornets.

- Brian Mahoney -http://twitter.com/briancmahoney

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SORRY, MOM

The way Jack Harbaugh tells the story, Jackie Harbaugh was so shocked by her eldest son's decision to choose coaching over a career in law or politics, she fell face-first into a dish of mashed potatoes.

See, Jackie Harbaugh loves political science and politics. And as a political science major at Bowling Green with a high grade-point, John Harbaugh seemed headed for law school.

``Jackie was so excited about it,'' Jack Harbaugh said.

But both of the Harbaugh boys had been bitten by the coaching bug early. The practice fields at Iowa and Michigan were their playground, and they knew more about coaching before they got out of grade school than some veteran assistants.

``He came home one day and we're sitting around the table and we're having dinner. Jackie says, `John, what law school will it be?' John said, `Mom, I think I want to try coaching,' Jack Harbaugh said. ``To which Jackie went facedown into the mashed potatoes. She said, `What? Coaching? You've got to reconsider!'''

That's not exactly what happened, Jackie Harbaugh said.

``May I tell the truth? There were no mashed potatoes,'' she said. ``When he came home and talked about (coaching) and I saw that look in his eyes, my feeling was, you have to do what you want to do. If you want to try this and see where it takes you, that would be great.''

Seems like he made the right choice. After making the playoffs in each of his first four seasons, John Harbaugh has the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl on Sunday, where they'll face his brother Jim's San Francisco 49ers.

- Nancy Armour -http://twitter.com/nrarmour

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EATING RIGHT

How about some home cookin' in the Big Easy - as in 150 plates of it to feed a football team? That's what Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones' mother, Emily, presented the Baltimore players for dinner this week at the team hotel to kick off Super Bowl prep New Orleans-style.

``Gumbo, jambalaya, potato salad, bread pudding, macaroni, the whole nine yards. She made 150 plates,'' Jones said. ``All they kept saying is she put her foot in it. I love it.''

That's a real compliment around here.

Now, Jones might give his mother a break.

``I'm going to let her be. I might buy me some crawfish or something.''

And he knows all the best spots in New Orleans to get it.

- Janie McCauley -http://twitter.com/janieMcCAP

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EDITOR'S NOTE - ``Super Bowl Watch'' shows you the Super Bowl and the events surrounding the game through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across New Orleans and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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2017 NFL Draft: Final Mock Draft Thoughts

2017 NFL Draft: Final Mock Draft Thoughts

The time is here.

The 2017 NFL Draft, round one.

Thursday. My 11th and final mock draft, completed.

Before getting into all the picks, here are some final thoughts:

CLICK HERE FOR BEN STANDIG'S FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

  • Here are the five players that could really, really screw up my grand plans: QB Mitch Trubisky, ILB Reuben Foster, CB Marlon Humphrey, WR Corey Davis, S Jabrill Peppers. Why? Trubisky is the likely first passer selected. I’d bet the Browns land him with their second first-round selection. It just probably won’t be at 12. That means a trade up. Whether it’s the Jaguars (4), Titans (5) or Jets (6) makes a major difference in how the selections might unfold. Foster is a top-10 talent who some suggest could slide out of round 1 altogether because of various injury/off-field concerns. Humphrey might be the third corner selected. When he comes off the board, a run on corners begins. Does that run begin at 18 or 28? Last month Davis had top-10 projections. Because he hasn’t been able to work out for teams due to injuries, his range is now 10-30. Peppers is a big favorite for many talent evaluators, but where he plays every-down in the NFL is the concern

CLICK HERE FOR BEN STANDIG'S FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

  • Yes, we all know that the Redskins need defensive line help. Don’t freak out if that doesn’t happen on Day 1. There simply are not many (any?) viable options projected in the 15-35 range. Better they take talent for other need areas than reach. Oh, they also might have an issue in the second round for similar reasons. Cheers!
     
  • Speaking of strengths and weaknesses, teams seeking cornerback, safety, edge rusher and tight end love the first two rounds of this draft. Those hoping for offensive line, defensive and wide receiver are hoping for the best.

CLICK HERE FOR BEN STANDIG'S FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

  • For the last 10 mocks I’ve changed the selections for 30 slots numerous times. Two remain the same. Cleveland taking Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garett No.1 – and the Los Angeles Chargers going with Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. The former is clear; one league source told me he’s the best OLB prospect since Lawrence Taylor. As for Hooker, it just made sense from the jump in a Beautiful Mind sort of way.

 

  • If you make me pick a surprise for the top 10 – quarterbacks don’t count – give me Washington receiver John Ross, i.e. the guy who ran the fastest 40-time in the history of the NFL Combine. Teams picking 6-10 all need receivers.

 

  • The “Best Player Available vs. Need” debate is real with the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. Everyone acknowledges both need help at offensive tackle, badly. Viable players – Garret Bolles, Ryan Ramczyk, Cam Robinson – will start going off the board in that range. They just won’t be the best player available. The Broncos and Giants also need a tight end and Miami’s David Njoku could be there. Decisions, decisions.

 

  • Based on likely scenarios – meaning Jonathan Allen, Haason Reddick and Christian McCaffrey aren’t available -- here are the five players I like best for the Redskins at 17: Alabama ILB Reuben Foster, UCLA OLB Takk McKinley, G Forrest Lamp, WR John Ross, Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey.

 

  • Potential slider? Not saying I buy it, but Florida State running back Dalvin Cook slipping to Day 2 is something to consider. If you think Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is some top 10 lock

 

  • Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley's stock improved dramatically throughout the draft process to the point he may have been the second at his position off the board after college teammate Marshon Lattimore. That is until a recent rape allegation halted his rise if not flat out changed direction South. Teams are investigating the situation rapidly, but the uncertainty could drop Conley out of round one. Without knowing which way to turn I left him, but the fact that there are so many intriguing corners in this draft also works against him. Alabama's Marlon Humphrey could fill the second CB void starting with the Saints (11) or Eagles (14).

 

  • The Ravens, barring the unforeseen in front of them, will take one of these players: WR Corey Davis, OL Cam Robinson, edge rusher Derek Barnett/Takk McKinley.

 

  • Three players I like for the Redskins in round 2: Utah safety Marcus Williams, Michigan DL Chris Wormley, Houston pass rusher Tyus Bowser.

CLICK HERE FOR BEN STANDIG'S FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

Ok, here are my 1-32 picks.

Click here for my thoughts on each selection and the entire second round.

1. CLE — Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2. SF — Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3. CHI — Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
4. JAX — Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5. TEN (via LA) — Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
6. NYJ — O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
7. LAC — Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8. CAR — Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
9. CIN — Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
10. BUF — Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
11. NO — Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple
12. CLE (via PHI) — Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
13. ARI — Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
14. PHI (via MIN) — Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
15. IND — Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16. BAL — Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama
17. WAS — Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
18. TEN — John Ross, WR, Washington
19. TB — Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
20. DEN — Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
21. DET — Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
22. MIA — Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
23. NYG — David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)
24. OAK — Jarrad Davis, MLB, Florida
25. HOU — Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
26. SEA — Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
27. KC — Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
28. DAL — Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
29. GB — Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
30. PIT — Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
31. ATL — T.J Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
32. NO (Via NE) — Kevin King, CB, Washington

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Ravens Mock Draft Roundup: Looks like Baltimore's getting a new wide receiver

Ravens Mock Draft Roundup: Looks like Baltimore's getting a new wide receiver

This is it. It’s finally the week of the 2017 NFL Draft, signaling the end to all of the mock drafts and educated guesses about which move your favorite team will make in the first round.

As for the Baltimore Ravens, there are a number of different directions they could go — add some youth to their receivers, buff up their defensive line or pull a move that could surprise everyone.

With the countdown to the NFL Draft now down to days, here’s a look at which players draft experts and analysts think the Ravens will take with their No. 16 first-round pick.

 

Corey Davis, WR from Western Michigan

Ben Standig, CSN Mid-Atlantic: He argues the Ravens need to prioritize their receiving unit to give Joe Flacco more consistent opens.

“The 6-foot-3 Davis wasn't just a receiver in 2016. We're talking playmaking monster after catching 97 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns.”

But he also offers up the idea of an edge rusher for the Ravens too.

See Ben Standig's complete 2017 NFL Mock Draft 10.0

Chris Wormley, DE from Michigan

Cameron DaSilva, FOX Sports: Although he asserts Wormley deserves to be a first-round pick somewhere, the Raven’s No. 16 pick could be a bit too high but thinking he’ll still be around by the team’s second-round pick at 47 is “risky.”

“Often overshadowed by other playmakers on Michigan’s defense (Taco Charlton, Jabrill Peppers), Wormley is a great player in his own right, and fits perfectly as a 3-4 defensive end. He can eat up blocks on the edge for Terrell Suggs and Baltimore’s other dynamic pass rushers, while also generating pressure himself.”

Mike Williams, WR from Clemson

Rob Rang, CBS Sports: With the losses of Steve Smith, Sr. and Kamar Aiken, he’s not the only one to point out the Ravens need someone Flacco can rely on, and Williams might be it.

“The Ravens need help at edge rusher and offensive tackle, as well, but general manager Ozzie Newsome may have a hard time letting a prototypical split end like the 6-4, 218-pound Williams slip any further. His ability to box out defenders and win contested passes could make him a quick favorite for Joe Flacco…”

Corey Davis, WR form Western Michigan

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: His argument is quite simple.

“At some point, they have to get Joe Flacco more help outside. This is a player who will end up being the best receiver in this class.”

Cam Robinson, OT from Alabama

Chad Reuter, NFL.com: No matter what’s left by the time the Ravens’ pick rolls around, he argues Baltimore will find someone for the O-Line.

“If Buffalo takes this physically dominant tackle from Alabama at 10, then Ozzie Newsome will find another bargain here.”

 O.J. Howard, TE from Alabama 

Evan Silva, Yahoo Sports: In a year of stand-out tight ends, he asserts this might be the right move for the Ravens.

"Tight ends ordinarily do not make first-year impacts, and the depth of the class could work against the top-end talents. At No. 16, however, I think Howard would be too appealing for GM Ozzie Newsome to pass. 2015 second-round pick Maxx Williams has been a colossal disappointment, and Dennis Pitta is on his last legs. Howard is the pro-readiest tight end in this class." 

John Ross, WR from Washington

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report: His point is to basically have the Ravens strengthen their offense so it’s reliable and they can leave it alone while working to improve other areas.

“So fast. So record-shatteringly fast. Can also run routes and catch and stuff.”

MORE NFL DRAFT: 15 first-round NFL Draft busts