Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome looks to have done a good job with his 2016 draft class. Players such as Ronnie Stanley and Matthew Judon emerged as standouts in their first two seasons, along with Alex Lewis and Tavon Young returning from injury next season looking to build off of their solid rookie campaigns. Entering last years draft, Newsome had momentum on his side.
Newsome looks to have got his first-round pick right for a second consecutive year with cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Humphrey was not only the best rookie on the team, he was one of the better rookies in the league. After Humphrey, the class underwhelmed and it is full of question marks. The Ravens selected Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams, and Chris Wormley in the second and third rounds, and all three of them contributed little. Nico Siragusa missed the season with a torn ACL, MCL, and PCL he suffered in training camp, while Jermaine Eluemunor is still a project. Chuck Clark did do well on special teams.
NFL.com's Jeremy Bergman and Nick Shook graded the 2017 Ravens draft class as a C+. Noting the class as underwhelming due to the lack of contribution from their mid-round picks. Below is what they wrote about Baltimore’s draft class.
"Humphrey started to grow into the corner Baltimore was hoping it would be getting at No. 16 overall, but the 21-year-old's still a season or two away from reaching his full potential. The rest of this class was fairly spotty, with Bowser leading the way as the most important contributor (11 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 1 interception) not named Humphrey. Siragusa unfortunately had his season wiped out by a serious knee injury, and the majority of these mid-round picks were stuck at the bottom of the two-deep behind more experienced players, with Williams suffering from a lack of playing time at the most. Credit GM Ozzie Newsome for unearthing two-way throwback Patrick Ricard, who did a nice job replacing Kyle Juszczyk."
It's hard to judge a draft class after one year, but a C+ or even lower is probably the right grade for this class at the moment. The Ravens need this 2017 draft to show up more in 2018. While Humphrey will look to establish himself as one of the premier young cornerbacks in the league.
It's important for Wormley, Williams, and Bowser to get going next season. Wormley is the player Newsome selected with the pick that was acquired in the Timmy Jernigan trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, and the two pass-rushers picked in between Wormley will need to show why they were effective in college. Not to mention, they must show they can assist Judon now and into the future, because the clock is ticking on Terrell Suggs.