Perfect Picks: Baltimore Ravens
With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Draft Network Mock machine and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.
We will highlight five players that could help each team. This will include a ‘flex’ pick where we give you two ways a potential pick could go depending on how the board falls. All in all you will get picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper. This time we focus on the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens got their first taste of a full season with Lamar Jackson at the helm in 2019. It was electric. They ensured the offense was catered to Jackson’s elusivity and took advantage of his ability to find receivers deep down field. Despite not reaching the Superbowl expect them to draft well and be right in the hunt again.
Round 1 - Pick 28 - Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Perhaps the most obvious need for the Ravens defense in 2020 is middle linebacker. WIth Patrick Onwuasor and Josh Bynes as current incumbents and also impending free agents they could certainly address the spot in round 1. One option could be Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma.
Murray is considered top tier but with limitations that would see him come off the board later than some of the previous year’s crop of linebackers. He is a physical, thumping presence in the middle of the field. There is some feeling that his coverage ability is a weakness but he demonstrated sufficient athleticism at the combine to suggest he can improve that aspect.
Flex Pick - Pick 28 - Laviska Shenault Jr, WR, Colorado
Part of what makes the Ravens so dangerous is their unpredictability. They have speed on the outside and a downfield presence in Marquise Brown. Lamar Jackson is a dazzling athlete as well as an excellent passer. Don’t be surprised if they add to that with an offensive weapon like Laviska Shenault.
Shenault had an underwhelming year in 2019, coming into it as one of the top receiving talents. Injuries have been a recurring issue for the Colorado wideout. That affected his production last year and also impacted his recent combine performance. Surgery awaits, but if he returns to his best he is a dynamic threat. Used as a wildcat QB, running back and receiver, his addition would add to the creativity of the Ravens.
Round 2 - Pick 60 - Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
In this mock, having addressed the defense with the first round pick, I have the Ravens adding extra weaponry for Lamar Jackson. With a bevvy of tight ends and Hollywood Brown making an immediate impact as a rookie, Jackson certainly isn’t short of options. With plenty of talent available in this draft, adding more speed isn’t out of the question.
TCU wideout Jalen Reagor offers exactly that. His speed paired with Brown would be eye-watering. Reagor is much more refined than just a deep threat. He is a strong route runner and has the ability to win in contested situations. His drop rate could see him be available at this spot for the Ravens.
TCU WR Jalen Reagor:— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) March 14, 2020
- Dynamic athlete
- Great deep speed
- Electric Vertical threat
- Extremely dangerous after the catch
- Return ability
- Can climb the ladder and win jump balls
- Wins at all three levels of the field
- High Football IQ Player
Mid Round Gem - Pick 134 - Kenny Willekes, Edge, Michigan State
The Ravens slapped the franchise tag on Matt Judon but whether he stays or is traded remains up in the air. It is unlikely that Baltimore would fear losing Judon considering they have been so good at developing talent at edge rusher. Judon himself arrived as a fifth rounder and has accounted for 28.5 sacks in his first four years. The Ravens will almost certainly seek to add another player to the production line.
Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes has Ravens player written all over him. His tough nosed, physical attitude is the type that fits so well in Baltimore. Despite not being the most athletic, Willekes makes up for it in effort. He projects as a rotational piece who could be refined into more in the right system.
Late Round Sleeper - Pick 170 - Shyheim Carter, S, Alabama
The Ravens have a love affair with drafting Alabama prospects. They already have several Alabama alumni on the roster and it’s clear why. The Crimson Tide produce NFL ready prospects who are used to meeting a high standard under the stewardship of Nick Saban. Shyheim Carter fits that mould and could be a late round option.
Carter played the star role in the Bama defense. A position that meant he had to play several spots. Something that should appeal to NFL teams. With Earl Thomas filling in the free safety role in Baltimore, Carter could eventually become a roving chess piece in the secondary. His best play comes when near the line of scrimmage and he could be used as a de-facto linebacker on passing downs. He certainly has value as a special teamer early in his pro career.
Draft in full
28. Kenneth Murray (LB)
60. Jalen Reagor (WR)
92. Alex Highsmith (EDGE)
106. Damien Lewis (IOL)
129. Michael Ojemudia (CB)
134. Kenny Willekes (EDGE)
143. Hakeem Adeniji (OT)
170. Shyheim Carter (S)
225. Kendrick Rogers (WR)
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.c