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Ravens News: 3/11: WR pairings, small school prospects and more

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Georgia vs Texas Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports



Baltimore is near desperation mode when it comes to the wide receiver position. They’ve cut Michael Crabtree and John Brown is a free agent, leaving Willie Snead and a bunch of question marks. While their tight end position is unquestionably deep enough, they need pass-catching talent in a big way.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson showed adeptness as a thrower as a rookie, but can still struggle with anticipation. He fails to deliver timing passes with consistency, and prefers to throw into wide windows or improvise. For him to take the next step as a passer, Baltimore will need to replace the speed and route running ability that John brown provided.

Mecole Hardman possesses all of these qualities, and ripped off numerous big play touchdowns at Georgia. The electric slot receiver will be an option for a lot of teams on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, especially after logging a 4.33s 40 yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Hardman emerged from Georgia’s talent laden depth chart last season, producing seven touchdowns and 15.5 yards per reception.

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Jazz Ferguson, WR, Northwestern State

Yet another size and speed specimen in this class, the almost 6-5, 227-pounder from Northwestern State -- who started his career at LSU -- ran 4.45 and had a 37-inch vertical leap, which indicate a huge catch radius. His three-cone time in Indy wasn’t shocking for someone his size (7.25, 7th percentile), but Ferguson shows decent agility on film in some instances.

He plays to his size too, often physically overwhelming corners and safeties at the catch point. In 2018, Ferguson accounted for 36.1% of Northwestern State’s receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, a solid figure.

Darryl Johnson, EDGE, North Carolina A&T

The 6-6, 253-pound edge rusher with 33-inch arms has serious NFL size, and he has room to grow into his frame. On the field, Johnson is a springy, bendy defender who flashes high-level pass-rushing moves.

He loaded the stat sheet in 2018 with 10.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Adding weight and power will be the two biggest priorities of the early portions of his pro career. With a strong pro day, Johnson could land on Day 2. He didn’t work out at the combine.

From Joe Flacco and Nick Boyle to Brandon Williams and Matthew Judon, the Ravens have consistently drafted small school products. Expect Eric DeCosta to continue this tradition.

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22. Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Offseason needs: Edge rusher, wide receiver, linebacker, running back

If the Ravens are serious about getting playmakers for quarterback Lamar Jackson, it has to start with a quality wide receiver. The Ravens showed last season they can scheme run success. But it’s clear that in the passing game, Baltimore needs talent at wide receiver. Brown would immediately assert himself as the Ravens’ lead wideout and give Jackson an excellent deep target.

Notable prospects that were available when Kadar pegged Brown to Baltimore include Josh Jacobs, A.J. Brown, N’Keal Harry and Devin Bush.