The Baltimore Ravens have the 16th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. With that selection, many believe that Baltimore will draft an offensive playmaker. Among those believers is R.J. White of CBS Sports, who has Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Calvin Ridley going to the Ravens in his latest mock draft:
“Ozzie Newsome obviously loves to grab Alabama prospects in the draft, and here’s a guy that also fills a major need for the team,” wrote White. Ridley is so much more than his pedestrian college stats suggest, and while teams will give him a pass for his production in that offense, he’ll need to show the ability to bulk up a bit if he wants to jump into the top half of the first round. By placing him here, I think he’ll check that box for teams just fine.”
As stated by White, Ridley’s numbers weren’t as gaudy as one would expect from a receiver that could go number one in the draft. He finished with 224 receptions, for 2781 receiving yards, 12.4 yards per reception and 19 touchdowns over three seasons. His best year came as a freshman in 2015, where he finished with 89 receptions, 1045 receiving yards, 11.7 yards per reception and seven touchdowns.
However, one has to remember that he played in a run-first offense on a championship-caliber team. He also possesses a majority of the qualities that Baltimore needs in a receiver. This includes his hands, route-running ability, speed and the ability to get separation against tight coverage.
Currently, Baltimore has just Breshad Perriman, Chris Moore and Jeremy Maclin and Tim White under contract next season. If Mike Wallace bolts in free agency, it is an almost foregone conclusion that the Ravens will select a receiver in the first couple of rounds. Ridley would be just the shot in the arm that Baltimore could use in their struggling passing offense, which ranked 29th in the NFL.