Where should the Ravens focus in the draft?


Draft night is fast approaching and the Ravens hold ten in the clip. That’s a good number to have when trying to hit a target, but therein lies the problem. They don’t try to hit a single target, but rather multiple targets, with a single shot for each. With each draw, they must aim for a different target. The later in the draft the pick, the smaller the target becomes, making it harder to hit. So how do you make the target easier to hit? Well, you get closer and magnify the target.

The Ravens are in pretty good shape right now with nine picks in the first four rounds, all 150 or less, including four top-100 picks and eight top-140 picks. That’s a pretty good first nine to have. But can they do better? And more importantly, should they? This is what we will explore here. The different levels of the draft and where the Ravens should aim.

The tweet above is what sparked this thought experiment, but we’ll take it a step further and break down draft games by talent rather than turns. We’ll discuss the top 25 first-round picks and call it Tier 1. Then we’ll consider 25-60 Tier 2s for first-round guys who get away and second-round guys who just missed the cut. on the big boards. Around the 60-90 zone will be level 3, for proven day two guys. Finally, level 4 will be the rest of the talent pool from day two and the guys from the start of day three, pick 90-140. This is the area where the Ravens currently have the most picks, with five in Tier 4 and only one pick in the other tiers.

Level 4, 90-140

The best place to start is probably the most likely. Although general manager Eric DeCosta was pretty coy about the Ravens’ moves during the draft and whether or not they finish it with more or less than 10 picks, it’s hard to see predicting anything different from the plan. usual in Baltimore. More likely than not, they’ll make a few small moves, stay where they are for the most part, and let the value come back to them.

Not a bad year for that. With college players getting an extra year of eligibility, this draft is very deep with what is essentially an extra class of seniors coming out of it. This loads later rounds, usually filled with a lot of questions, with guys who would have been third- or fourth-round options in a normal draft. There are many intriguing names in this round that Raven fans have grown accustomed to as the draft draws closer.

Cornerbacks in this area are particularly attractive to a team that has elite-level starters but plenty of depth to fill. Names like Coby Bryant, Montaric Brown, Josh Jobe, Zyon McCollum and Mario Goodrich are names that have intrigued the Flock lately. There are also plenty of offensive line options for development at this stage of the draft, with central options such as Brock Hoffman, Cam Jurgens and Luke Fortner, as well as tackles such as Max Mitchell, Zach Tom and Abraham Lucas. this range of choices.

It’s a very easy area for the Ravens to accumulate depth and develop guys without having to spend capital and find business partners.

Level 3, 60-90

This is an interesting grouping of players in this level. You’re likely to find the two players who will be your typical depth in this area, who might not see a lot of snaps, while also having the option of finding players who can compete for starting jobs based on their position. There are more corners to be found here, such as Alontae Taylor, Tyriq Woolen and Cam Taylor-Britt, three intriguing options that might yield cliches but certainly need time to develop as well.

There is also a more serious group lineman here, both offensive and defensive. Cole Strange is a popular choice who could come in and immediately compete with Patrick Mekari for the starting center position. Rasheed Walker is another popular prospect who can fill the much sought-after swing tackle role while also potentially being an option at left tackle if Ronnie Stanley isn’t ready to leave. Defensive linemen Phidarian Mathis and Zachary Carter also looked set to play in that area.

There are also highly rated edges that can slip into this range, such as Josh Pascal, Sam Williams and Drake Jackson. It’s a very talented area of ​​the draft that might not be too difficult to trade for some good depth contributors and maybe a possible starter or two.

Level 2, 25-60

This is an area the Ravens could come back to from 14. Filled with good and great players, maybe not elite level, there are plenty of Day 1 starters in all sorts of positions. Corners in this tier include Day 1 outside starter Kaiir Elam and Roger McCreary, a versatile inside-out guy who could immediately deliver an 80% instant share. There also seems to be a strong possibility that Andrew Booth Jr., one of the top 10 talents in this draft, will slip into that range due to a lack of test numbers and some medical issues.

There’s a ton of talent out there outside of this position as well. Edge players such as David Ojabo, George Karlaftis, Arnold Ebiketie, Boye Mafe and Nik Bonitto are all superb players who could range from filling roles such as running stops and third specialists, to possibly starting opposite Odafe Oweh. The inner pressure can also be found here with Travis Jones, Logan Hall and Perrion Winfrey. Offensive linemen such as Trevor Penning and Kenyon Green could slide into the 20s while blockers like Daniel Faalele, Bernhard Rainmann and Jamaree Sayer should be the top two picks.

There are also non-desperate needs positions that can be obtained cheaply. Off-ball linebackers to assist Patrick Queen, such as Nakobe Dean, Chad Muma and Quay Walker, will be drafted from this area. Many wide receivers in this lineup with first-round talent, including Treylon Burks or Drake London, could well slip. Or prospects Jahan Dotson, John Metchie, Calvin Austin and Ravens Flock favorite George Pickens could be atop the draft board. Security options such as Dax Hill, Lewis Cine and Jaquan Brisker should also be available.

Level 1, 1-25

The most famous group of guys. It’s a fluctuating project, more than ever. It seems like no analyst can really agree on a group of top dudes. Even the first 3 choices are not agreed. We could see guys like Kyle Hamilton, Derek Stingley, Sauce Gardner and Travon Walker go as high as the second pick in the draft or fall all the way to the Ravens at 14. Will wide receivers go top 10, top 15 or even top 20? Will the Lions take their future quarterback at two or will there even be a first-round quarterback this year? No one seems to be able to give a definitive answer. A wide receiver probably goes top 15 and there are likely multiple first-round quarterbacks, although no one knows where the run will start.

All this shows the violent storm that marks the top of the first lap. Because of that, Baltimore might have a chance to move. Sneak into the top seven to catch Kayvon Thibodeaux and maybe come back in late teens to catch a Jordan Davis. There are plenty of interesting names to be had. Early tackle options like Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu and Charles Cross would certainly take the stress out of questions at left tackle. The top seven players such as Jermaine Johnson, defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt and linebacker Devin Lloyd have all been heavily researched by the Baltimore community and would certainly have an immediate impact.

One thing is certain: getting multiple picks in this lineup would cost a pretty penny and give the Ravens several bonus starters from this draft.

The verdict?

The Ravens’ best attack range is Tier 2. They already hold pick 45, can probably pick up at least two more with a trade of 14, and hold tons of ammo in rounds three and four for a trade in the 50s if they wish. With three to four picks in that lineup, they can fill plenty of holes, including a dependable cornerback, point players to partner with Odafe Oweh and help relieve an injured Tyus Bowser, rejuvenate on the defensive line or add a playmaker at the wide receiver to push the offense overboard.

While level 1 would be nice, it’s a little rich, both for my tastes and probably for Eric DeCosta’s taste. Levels 3 and 4, while having some nice depth and possible starting potential, shouldn’t be enough to satisfy a team looking to hunt rings for the next two years. With such a deep class coming out, pushing talent down and with all the ammunition the Ravens currently have stockpiled, it’s a really good year to make everyone’s job a little easier and shoot some closer targets.


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