Coming off a 5-11 season, with only one winning season in the past three years, the Ravens need a home run or at least an extra base hit in the 2016 NFL Draft. I like their chances. They have the sixth pick in the first round, early picks in the second and third and fourth rounds (four picks in the fourth round) so barring a trade Baltimore will have nine picks in the first six rounds.

Last year’s 5-11 season can give you a headache but also a chance to get better with that early pick. History tells us that with the sixth pick in the draft Ozzie Newsome will get a special player. The Ravens, who recently signed franchise quarterback Joe Flacco to a long term deal, basically have the fourth pick in this draft.

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The Rams and Eagles have traded up and are expected to grab quarterbacks with the first two picks, so if the Ravens stay at six they’ll get one of the top four players on their board. The last time the Ravens picked in the top six they grabbed Jamal Lewis with the 5th pick in the 2000 draft.

The franchises other top 6 picks are Peter Boulware (4) in 1997 and Jonathan Ogden (4) in the team’s first draft in 1996. Ogden has a bust in Canton and Jamal Lewis and Boulware are in the Ravens Ring of Honor. Those are the kind of impact players you expect to add with the fourth rated player on your draft board.

As Ozzie Newsome gets ready for his 21st draft in Baltimore some fans wonder if one of the NFL’s best talent evaluators has lost his fastball. He admits to some recent disappointment, but says the sky’s not falling.

Take a look at the mixed bag in the Ravens last six number one picks:

2008- Joe Flacco (Franchise QB, Super Bowl MVP)

2009- Michael Oher (Not what they hoped he’d be)

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2011- Jimmy Smith (Solid corner, best yet to come?)

2013- Matt Elam (Swing and a miss)

2014- C.J. Mosley (Pro Bowl rookie year, foundation player)

2015- Breshad Perriman (Knee injury, yet to post)

Three of the above are expected to be key players for John Harbaugh’s 2016 Ravens and Perriman should get a chance to show us why the Ravens spent a first round pick on him. The only bust in this group is Elam who hasn’t been a factor in his first three seasons.

Sure, there have been other early round whiffs like Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody who the Ravens drafted with their first two picks in the 2010 draft (2nd round) and linebacker Arthur Brown drafted in 2013 hasn’t lived up to his 2nd round selection.

On the plus side, Torrey Smith and Kelechi Osemele were nice second round hits. Lardarius Webb, Brandon Williams and Crockett Gillmore all scored in the third round and Dennis Pitta, Arthur Jones, Pernell McPhee, Tyrod Taylor(6th), Rick Wagner, John Urschel, Za’Darius Smith and Buck Allen all came in the 4th round or later.

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The 81st annual NFL draft starts next Thursday night at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, by the time it ends on Saturday Mel Kiper will need a good night’s sleep and Ravens fans pray that Ozzie Newsome and his staff will have repaired a 5-11 football team.