With the 32nd pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2013 NFL mock draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker. Lions_sucker is serving as the Ravens' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
While looking at this pick, OT was not even a position I was really considering. My main areas of interest were ILB, WR and S, as I felt the Ravens would get the best player available at the biggest area of need at No. 32. I had strongly considered Kevin Minter of LSU at ILB, but I felt that this was a reach in the first round. Keenan Allen of Cal also was intriguing at WR, but I think the drop-off between an OT now and one later was greater than at WR. But with Rolando McClain being signed, the top safeties off the board and good depth remaining at WR, OT is the obvious choice when looking at my big board.
D.J. Fluker is not in the same class as Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson, but at No. 32, a top-five offensive tackle is a steal. With the recent payday of Joe Flacco, it is imperative that the Ravens keep him healthy and upright and surrounded with talent. Flacco's postseason success was largely due to the improved play of Bryant McKinnie, but he is a free agent and seems unlikely to land in Baltimore.
Fluker's strength is in the run game, and while he has had struggles in pass protection against elite college players like Sheldon Richardson, he showed flashes of ability against Barkevious Mingo. Fluker was a key to the Crimson Tide's success running the ball and is a prototypical road grader. As a three-year starter at Alabama, he was a leader with a mean streak and set the tone for the offensive line. While his pass technique could improve, it was apparent in games that if he gets his hands set he will win any one-on-one battle.
I viewed Fluker as an overall safe pick and a steal at No. 32. He could take over at RT and allow Michael Oher to slide back over to LT. If Oher struggles with this transition, the Ravens could bring back McKinnie and plug Fluker in at guard. Being so dominant at run blocking, Fluker should be excellent at guard and provide the Ravens with options. This pick covers both a need with the team and how I think a GM like Ozzie Newsome drafts, taking players that have slipped after other teams have passed on them.
Check out the 2013 Pride Of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.