Post 536 – NFL Draft Needs: Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore has the twenty-eighth pick and were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. 

Last year featured the breakout of Lamar Jackson, the league MVP. This is one of the best organizations in the NFL and usually draft very well.  

The Ravens have nine picks in the draft: a first, two seconds, two thirds, two fourths, a fifth, no sixths, and a seventh. Of the extra choices, the second comes from Atlanta, their third is compensatory, and their fourth comes from New England.  

I list the needs below, including major, for depth, and areas they are unlikely to look at. I may add categories for a particular situation. 

Major Needs (No Particular Order): 

Wide Receiver: First-round pick Marquise Brown had a good year and Willie Snead is a good, downfield blocker and had 31 receptions. Miles Boykin was a third-round pick and looks to improve. Jaleel Scott, Chris Moore, and De’Anthony Thomas are also on the roster. Seth Roberts left in free agency. There is room for another receiver and at least one will be chosen in the draft.

Offensive Line: This is a very good unit, but the retirement of long-time star Marshal Yanda leaves an opening. The left side is in good shape with tackle Ronnie Stanley being first team All-Pro and Bradley Bozeman had a good year, playing every snap. Matt Skura is the center and was ably replaced by Patrick Mekari when he went down injured. Orlando Brown is becoming a top tackle heading into his third year. Second-year Ben Powers will probably replace Yanda at right guard. In reserve are Will Holden and Andre Smith. Parker Ehinger and Hroniss Garsu are unsigned. I expect a pick to be used for depth and for competition at guard.

Outside Linebacker: One spot is in good hands with Matt Judon, who was one of the best pass rushers and he was franchise tagged this offseason’s free agency. With Pernell McPhee being unsigned. They were happy with third-round pick Jaylon Ferguson last year and he could slip into a starting role. Tyus Bowser had 5 sacks off the bench last year and Michael Onuoha is also on the roster. The Ravens will look for a pass rusher and they have had success in the past in all stages of the draft. They could use one and they don’t know how long they can keep Judon. 

Inside Linebacker: This may be the biggest area of need. LJ Fort started eight games and the free agent signing of Jake Ryan may result in him starting, but more help is needed. Chris Board is a special teams player and Otaro Alaka rarely played. Josh Bynes (Cincinnati) and Patrick Onwuasor (NY Jets) left in free agency. The Ravens will select one or two players here.


Quarterback: The Ravens have a different kind of weapon with Lamar Jackson at the controls: he can change games with his legs and his passing has improved. Barring injury, they should be in good shape for years. Robert Griffin III is his backup and Trace McSorley is also on the roster. It would take a lot for them to draft a quarterback.

Running Back: Behind a good line, Mark Ingram gained 1,018 yards and averaged 5.0 yards a carry, while Gus Edwards gained 711 and averaged 5.3. Justice Hill is behind them and Robert Picard plays fullback when one is needed. They could pick one in the mid-to-late rounds. 

Tight End: This is a deep enough situation to trade Hayden Hurst to Atlanta. Mark Andrews caught 64 passes and High Point alum Nick Boyle is one of the best blockers in the league, while catching 31. Charles Scarff fills out the roster. I only see them picking here for depth purposes. 

Defensive Line: Brandon Williams is the lone returning starter. The Ravens traded for Calais Campbell from Jacksonville and signed Derek Wolfe signed from Denver as a free agent. That looks like their starting unit. They re-signed Justin Ellis and Jihad Ward. Also on the roster are Daylon Mack and Aaron Adeoye. Domata Peko is unsigned. Good unit and they could still draft one more for depth. 

Cornerback: The Ravens have one of the game’s best pairs in Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. The reserves are Jimmy Smith, Woodbury alum Anthony Averett, and Iman Marshall. Brandon Carr is unsigned. They may pick somebody for depth.

Safety: Chuck Clark filled in admirably at strong safety last year and worked well with Earl Thomas. In reserve are Jordan Richards, DeShon Elliott, and Anthony Levine. Tony Jefferson was released, while Brynden Trawick and Fish Smithson are unsigned. Depth is in question here and they will probably pick a safety somewhere.

*Information from various sources, including Pro-Football Reference, Sportac, and ESPN. 

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