One of those weird Ravens news days where you get a lot of offseason eye-candy but not a whole lot of substance….
First, though, here's a photo of the Star Wars version of the Ravens helmet…I mean, the "Mygeeto Siths"…
In a project posted on behance.net, artist John Raya shows off his Star Wars-themed redesigns of helmets for all the teams in the AFC and NFC. Raya substituted each NFL city with a planet from the Star Wars universe and each NFL mascot with a character or creature from the the sci-fi staple.
So why the Mygeeto Siths?
As the 2000 Ravens embraced their defensive identity and a run-first offensive strategy, head coach Brian Billick — coordinator of wide-open passing offenses in Minnesota — joked that he'd been "pulled over to the dark side."
Actually, the artist kinda goofed when he named the Ravens the "Siths"….as "Sith" is the proper plural reference.
In somewhat more substantial but equally fantasy-land stuff, ESPN's draft guru Mel Kiper released his first review of draft prospects likely to be targeted by the Ravens in the first 3 rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.
“If [tight end] Eric Ebron from North Carolina is there, he’s a heck of a pick,” Kiper said Thursday during a national conference call. “They need a tight end desperately added to this team.”
Kiper has the Ravens taking Ebron in his latest mock draft. The Ravens have either the No. 16 or 17 pick, and the exact pick will be determined at the combine later this month after a coin flip with the Dallas Cowboys.
Ebron, 6-foot-4, 231 pounds, was a highly productive player during his three years at North Carolina. He racked up 62 catches for 973 yards and three touchdowns last season.
He brings a good mix of size and speed, and he would give the Ravens a talented pass catcher to work the middle of the field. Bringing in a new tight end is a priority this offseason, especially with Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, both unrestricted free agents.
“Ed Dickson moves on, they’ve got Pitta, but Ebron to me is a guy who could really help Joe Flacco and be a viable pick at that point,” Kiper said.
Ebron has generated some buzz as a potential top-15 pick, and Kiper said that Ravens may not get a chance to take him if they stay at their current pick.
“If he goes earlier, then maybe you look at Marquise Lee, a wide receiver from USC, or Mike Evans, a wide receiver from Texas A&M,” Kiper said.
Lee and Evans are two of the top receivers in this year’s draft class, and they bring different skill sets to the table.
Lee, 6-foot-0, 197 pounds, has good speed and is a reliable pass catcher. He had a down season in 2013, putting up 57 catches for 791 and four touchdowns. But he had a huge season in 2012 when he racked up 118 catches for 1,721 yards and 14 scores.
Evans, 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, is known for using his size and ability to take advantage of much smaller defensive backs. With quarterback Jonny Manziel throwing to him last year, Evans had 69 catches for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“Evans is the big receiver with the great ball skills out of Texas A&M, great hand-eye coordination,” Kiper said.
If the Ravens decide to wait until the later rounds to get a pass catcher, Kiper indicated that there are still quality targets available.
Here are some possible options that Kiper highlighted for the second and third rounds:
TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech (6-foot-5, 257 pounds)
Second round. 106 catches, 1,352 yards and 7 touchdowns
TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame (6-6, 270)
Second round. 32 catches, 498 yards and 5 touchdowns
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington (6-6, 276)
Third round. 36 catches, 450 yards, and 8 touchdowns
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa (6-7, 265)
Third round. 30 catches, 299 yards, and 6 touchdowns