US Sports Veteran
The Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson won their first playoff game together this past season. General manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh have one of the NFL’s best teams, but Orlando Brown Jr. demanding a trade and free agent departures threaten Baltimore’s stability. Another productive draft haul should keep the Ravens well within the playoff picture.
Baltimore is 35-13 over the past three years but only has one playoff win during that time. The Ravens have plenty of talent, but depth issues along the offensive line, at wide receiver, and at linebacker remain a pressing concern. DeCosta must follow in his predecessor’s footsteps by finding Hall of Fame talent if Baltimore wants to win another Super Bowl.
I used The Draft Network’s mock draft machine and Pro Football Focus’ mock draft simulator to justify each of my selections. At least one website had the chosen players available at their listed picks over several simulations. I didn’t create any trades and included an “ideal pick” after every selection for optimistic fans.
This pick almost always comes down to Ojulari and Jayson Oweh. Ojulari is the more polished rusher, while Oweh is a freak athlete with arguably more tools than any defender in this class. Ravens fans won’t hate either of these players, considering they need replacements for Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue.
Oweh is an athletic monster, but Ojulari isn’t a slouch either. He ran a 4.60 40-time at Georgia’s pro day and jumped 127 inches in the broad. Ngakoue was PFF’s comparison for Ojulari, while NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein compared him to former All-Pro Joey Porter. There’s a reason why some New York Giants fans want the Georgia star at 11th overall.
Ojulari has an explosive first step and enough bend to dip around tackles. His upper body packs a punch, which he’ll need as an undersized edge rusher (249 lbs.) at the next level. Ojulari is already adding weapons to his pass rush arsenal, which separates him from Oweh. The former Bulldog can’t serve as an anchor in the running game, but he redirects from blocks well and has great closing burst in pursuit.
Baltimore started DeShon Elliott at free safety after the team released Earl Thomas last offseason. While the former sixth-round pick held his own despite the unexpected promotion, the Ravens can still upgrade over him in 2021.
In his final two seasons with Oregon, Holland intercepted nine passes and broke up ten other attempts from several positions, including deep safety, the box, and the slot.
Holland wins with his exceptional vision and football IQ, not pure athleticism. The former Duck doesn’t have ideal deep speed (4.46 40-time), and his transitions aren’t always clean. While Holland still offers value as a slot option in the NFL, his home is at safety.
Baltimore fans should love the idea of Holland surveying the field before making a splash play against the pass or run.
I also considered wide receiver Tylan Wallace here.
Ideal pick: Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota St.
Baltimore and Harbaugh generally do a good job avoiding drama, but it surfaced in their locker room this offseason when Brown requested a trade. The Pro Bowler played left tackle for most of 2020 as All-Pro Ronnie Stanley recovered from a season-ending injury. Brown wants to continue playing on the left side, even if that means leaving the Ravens.
Players of Brown’s caliber don’t grow on trees. It seems unlikely the Ravens trade him unless an offer blows them away. However, Baltimore should prepare for future clashes with Brown by getting some insurance at right tackle.
Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown is 6-8 and weighs 311 lbs. Despite his size, Brown ran a 4.88 40-time and 7.03 three-cone at his pro day. The towering tackle has excellent length and agile feet. However, Brown’s frame naturally gives up leverage, and his pass sets can get clunky. Despite his lean frame, Brown should get movement in the running game.
The Ravens could look at Clemson’s Jackson Carman if they want a more run-orientated offensive tackle.
Ideal pick: Tylan Wallace, WR Oklahoma St.
The Ravens have some of the most inefficient wide receivers in the NFL. Part of that is on Jackson, but Miles, Boykin, Marquise Brown, and Devin Duvernay aren’t making life easier on their star quarterback. Even after adding Sammy Watkins in free agency, Baltimore should target a receiver in the top 150 picks.
Fehoko weighed 222 lbs. at Stanford’s pro day and measured in at 6-3. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash and a 6.86 three-cone. Fehoko didn’t have noticeable production until his last two collegiate seasons. In 2020, he caught 37 passes for 574 yards and three touchdowns in six appearances.
Fehoko is a raw prospect with incredible upside. His route tree is severely underdeveloped, and he had some nasty drops this past season. Fehoko only goes this high because of his coveted physical skillset and ability to create mismatches.
Ideal pick: Tommy Tremble, TE Notre Dame
Brown could play on the outside or in the slot for an NFL team. In this scenario, he’ll likely begin as a slot corner and challenge Baltimore’s nickels for snaps. Despite his 5-10, 185 lb. frame, Brown intercepted five passes this past season. He lacks top-end speed but makes up for it with terrific instincts and quickness.
Brown’s testing numbers at his pro day didn’t reflect some of the plays he made in 2020. The 22-year-old mirrors routes well and holds his ground against contact. His playing strength is a significant plus. Brown is more of a playmaker than shutdown corner. He’ll inevitably get beat over the top a few times.
Ideal pick: Kary Vincent Jr., CB LSU
Hill played center and guard for the Bulldogs, and he saw significant playing time in each of the past three seasons. The Ravens have Patrick Mekari at center, who started eight games this past season. There’s nothing wrong with pushing the 23-year-old to up his game by bringing in some competition.
Hill’s large, wide 6-3, 319 lb. frame makes him an ideal interior lineman. He possesses good length for the position and generates movement in the running game. Hill already shed some bad weight this offseason and is working to adjust his body composition. He’ll have to show more bend and better hand placement to make an impact in the NFL.
Injury concerns could drop Hill past the fifth-round. He recently had surgery on both of his knees for meniscus tears.
Ideal pick: Sadarius Hutcherson, IOL South Carolina
The Ravens love their tight ends, but Mark Andrews is in the final season of his rookie deal and could ask for over ten million dollars per year. Davidson won’t replace Andrews should the Pro Bowl tight end sign somewhere else in 2022, but the Central Missouri product has tremendous physical tools.
Davidson is 6-7, 245 lbs. and coming off a 2019 season where he caught 40 passes for 894 yards and 15 touchdowns. He needs to add significant muscle mass before challenging for playing time.
Ideal pick: Christian Uphoff, S Illinois St.
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