After an exhausting draft that saw the Baltimore Ravens select nine players, the Ravens and fans likely all have the same questions about each player selected. We'll look at those questions and give some insight on how we think they'll play out.
Round 1: Breshad Perriman
Can he develop into a true #1?
The Ravens have yet to have a real #1 receiver in the last 20 years, despite looking long and hard for them in the draft. Perriman is the 22nd wide receiver drafted in the Ravens' history and appears to have the team the most excited I can remember them being about a prospect.
Perriman has some knocks on him, most notably his hands, but has all the other markings of a talent that could develop into a legit threat from all over the field. Between the prototypical size and the blazing fast speed, Perriman should be able to contribute right away for the Ravens. The biggest things that Perriman needs to do is to show that he can run routes crisply and catch the balls thrown his way. With Steve Smith on the roster and coach Engram giving him pointers in addition to his father, a 10 year veteran wide receiver, Perriman has the absolute best set of people behind him to give him a chance at developing and honing those skills.
Round 2: Maxx Williams
Can he step in immediately?
The Ravens are still unsure of tight end Dennis Pitta's status. He appears to be okay according to doctors, but after his second straight year with a hip injury, it is unknown if Pitta can come back mentally. A relatively common problem for players that have undergone major injuries like this, Pitta might just not have the mental fortitude to get over his latest injury without babying it and not giving 100%.
So that brings Maxx Williams into the fold. With Owen Daniels leaving for Denver, Williams will likely be asked to play a heavy amount of snaps immediately and contribute. With new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman coming in and expecting big things from his tight ends, Williams will have all the opportunity to be a major playmaker for Baltimore if he is ready. As we covered earlier, Williams certainly has the ability to do major things in this offense but he needs to get over the rookie jitters that comes with playing in the pro game and be consistent.
Round 3: Carl Davis
Can he be consistent?
Carl Davis was mocked to the Ravens in the first round a few times and was generally expected to go well before his 90th overall selection. While he has a chip on his shoulder and seems to be a fiesty player, the knock on him going into the draft was that he would sometimes take plays off and wasn't conditioned well enough to play three-down ball.
With the Ravens defense, Davis won't be asked to do that, but he should see plenty of action this season. Can Davis play with the fire that he is showing now and live up to his potential, or will he be another Cody that sees him just being a big body in the middle of the line but generating no push or pass rush? If he can, he has the potential to be another Haloti Ngata for the Ravens.
Round 4: Za'Darius Smith
Can he generate a pass rush?
The Ravens have made it no secret that Smith will be expected to immediately fill departed Raven Pernell McPhee's role in the defense. In order to fulfill that, Smith will need to get his pass rush skills honed even further and get used to a 3-4 system unlike the 4-3 system that he ran in Kentucky. That is a switch that a lot of prospects have trouble with as they are not used to being on their feet and still generating the same quickness and strength that they are used to from a down position.
Round 4: Javorius Allen
Can he be the Ravens goal line back?
At 6-foot and 221-pounds, Allen has the physical capability to be the Ravens goal line rusher. But can he actually deliver on that size and power through the line to take over those responsibilities? With Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro likely splitting carries somewhat between the 20s, the Ravens will need someone that can lower a shoulder and power behind one of the more dominant offensive lines in the league, especially in the AFC North where tough football is a way of life. Allen will get to learn behind one of the best running back coaches in the league in Thomas Hammock. With former Ravens running back Bernard Pierce being given every chance to show his worth in 2014. Allen should be given all the opportunities to find the goal line a good deal in 2015 and beyond.
Round 4: Tray Walker
Can he develop?
The Ravens got another big, physical corner in Tray Walker at 6-foot-2 and 191-pounds. However, Walker is about as raw as they come despite his physical presence. With the Ravens having faced so many injuries in the secondary last season, the Ravens might need Walker to develop sooner rather than later.
The positives for Walker is that he does have the physical aspect needed down by just being so big. Next is that he will get to learn from another top corner in Jimmy Smith, who is also big and plays with the same intensity that Walker had shown in college. If he can stick with Smith for long enough, some of the lessons that Jimmy learned in his first few years in the league should get imparted quickly to Walker. Plus it won't hurt that Walker will likely see the field in expanded secondary packages to put him directly into the fire in 2015.
Round 5: Nick Boyle
Can he block at the next level?
The Ravens have their pass catching tight ends already, so Boyle won't be asked to get into the second level and make plays. He will however, be asked to block some of the best pass rushers in the league to help out a rushing attack that will be focused on by opponents and needed to keep defenses honest. With the Steelers picking up Bud Dupree in the first round, Boyle could quickly find himself matched up against an athletic freak in order to keep quarterback Joe Flacco off his back.
The biggest thing going for Boyle is that this is what he did in college and excelled at it. He has the right size at 6-foot-4 and 268-pounds to play as a glorified athletic offensive lineman for Baltimore and will have one of the best offensive lines in the league to keep him likely just chipping pass rushers versus having to go toe to toe with them.
Round 5: Robert Myers
Can he present good depth?
One of the reasons that the Ravens were so good last season was the health and play of the offensive line. Coming from a season before that saw guys injured and playing sloppily, the Ravens cleaned up that image in a hurry, but injuries happen around the NFL and the Ravens are not exempt from that. Myers will be backing up Kelechi Osemele and Marshall Yanda, both Pro Bowl caliber talents that anchored the offensive line last season. If either player goes down, the Ravens could immediately look to Myers to start.
Just like Boyle, Myers has the right size and technique to make the transition to the NFL but he needs to hone his game a little more and ultimately prove it. The positives are also similar in that the Ravens will have top talent around Myers in the case that he needs to make a start so that the transition should be a little easier for him in that case.
Round 6: Darren Waller
Can he put it all together?
We covered the competition at wide receiver earlier and Waller presents one of the more intriguing prospects on the Ravens' roster. A physical freak at 6-foot-6 and 232-pounds and a 4.46 second 40-yard dash time, Waller has all the physical tools to be an absolute force in the passing game. However, he has yet to really put it together even in college and will be jumping up to bigger, stronger, faster, better competition. He also has quite a few other players on the roster that he'll have to beat out to simply make the team at all.
If Waller can take coaching and begin to play up to his size and speed, he could jump quickly up the depth chart and see big play potential on a weekly basis. He'll have veteran Steve Smith and coach Engram to help him out on the intricacies of the game, but it will be up to Waller to use it to his advantage.