The Ravens had two third round picks, and selected two players on the defensive front, Chris Wormley and Tim Williams. This is following the selection of outside linebacker Tyus Bowser in the second round.
Let’s start with Wormley, the Ravens first third round pick. I give this pick a grade of a B.
I like this pick for the Ravens because it fills a big need. The Ravens lost both of its starting defensive ends from 2016, Timmy Jernigan and Lawrence Guy. Wormley really fits the model of a 3-4 defensive end, and according to Pro Football Focus, he really knows how to get after the passer.
His pass rushing ability as shown in the graphic above may be one one of the leading reasons why the Ravens selected the Michigan product.
From the tape I have watched on Wormley, the Michigan product shows really great body control. He is able to adjust to the offensive lineman, and then use his strength to push his way into the backfield.
An AFC scout told Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, “You can see the athleticism and talent with him but I just don't know that he's consistent enough. He has to make more plays instead of just flashing. His coordinator loves him though. Vouches for his football character, which is important."
As the quote states, Wormley does show a lot of talent, that’s why many analysts, including Zierlein viewed Wormley as a second round pick. But this AFC scout is correct that Wormley did not show this on every play. If the Ravens coaching staff can develop him the way they developed Timmy Jernigan and Lawrence Guy, Wormley has the potential to be a special player for the Ravens. His ceiling is much higher than that of Guy, the player Wormley is likely to take over for.
In summary, I give this pick a B because it fills a need, and this pick could end up being a huge steal. However, for that to happen, Wormley needs to become more consistent.
The Ravens also selected Tim Williams in the third round. This is one of the more controversial picks of the whole Draft because Williams has major character concerns. In his college career, Williams failed multiple drug tests, and was also arrested on a misdemeanor gun charge. What makes this pick even more strange is that the Ravens passed on Reuben Foster in the first round who had character concerns, but filled a big need, however the Ravens were ok with the character issues that come with Williams. Ozzie Newsome does have deep connections at Alabama, and I’m sure the staff knows something about him that we don’t.
However, despite the character concerns, I give this pick a B+. That is because the Ravens just got an absolute steal. Based purely on football talent, Williams would have been a lock to go in the first round. He was arguably the best pass rusher in the best defense in the nation.
An NFC scout told Zierlein, “He's like the Predator. When he's allowed to do just one thing -- get the quarterback -- he is really good at it. Don't ask him to do much more than that, though. He's going to be a high-rep player and I don't know if NFL defenses are going to trust him to do more than just rush.”
This sums Williams up pretty well. Williams is very fast, and is relentless until the whistle to get the quarterback. Williams also knows how to come around the edge better than many other pass rushers. He bends very well, and he has great body control.
However, there are concerns that Williams may not be able to handle a complicated scheme at first. As Dean Pees said at today’s introductory press conference for Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens have a complicated scheme. Thus the defense staff may need to take its time with Williams, as the learning curve could be steep.
Like the Ravens, I am willing to overlook the character concerns as well as the other ones I mentioned, because this player is just so talented. If the Ravens can help develop him, he has Pro-Bowl potential. Thus, I gave the pick a B+ grade. The Ravens got a great player, but one that has concerns.
After the first two days of the Draft, the Ravens have only selected defensive players. They have addressed the need for depth in the secondary as well as the need for a rejuvenated pass rush. This defense now has a lot of talent, and a lot of depth. The Ravens are looking to recapture the days of old when the Ravens had a dominant defense, and they are well on their way to do doing so.