Bleacher Report’s NFL draft analyst Matt Miller recently released a three-round mock draft with one month remaining until actual draft day. In his mock, he has the Ravens addressing two of their biggest roster needs, wide receiver and pass rusher, as well as linebacker.
In the first round, Miller has the Ravens selecting WR D.K. Metcalf with the 22nd overall pick. Metcalf, a sophomore out of Ole Miss, had arguably the most impressive combine performance of any prospect in the draft.
He ran the 40-yard dash in just 4.3 seconds, which is impressive for anyone, let alone someone who is 6’3”, 230 pounds and possesses a 40.5” vertical. Metcalf is seen by many as the top receiver in this draft class, but despite his impressive attributes, Miller envisions him being available when the Ravens pick.
“Evaluators we spoke to still maintain that Metcalf and the receivers in this class are more likely to be selected in the 20’s than in the teens,” said Miller.
There are some questions regarding Metcalf’s route-running. However, for a Ravens team that has had little luck finding and developing wide receivers over the years, Metcalf would be a home-run type selection and would certainly excite the fanbase.
In the third round, where the Ravens have two picks, Miller has the Ravens using the 85th selection on linebacker David Long Jr. and the 102th pick on edge rusher D’Andre Baker. With the departures of C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, and Za’Darius Smith in free agency, both of these selections make sense in theory.
Long opted to enter the NFL draft after a productive junior season at West Virginia, where he totaled 99 tackles, six sacks, and two forced fumbles. His numbers improved every year in college and CBS Sports ranks Long 12th among all linebackers in this class.
With Mosley out of the fold, Patrick Onwuasor and Kenny Young are currently the projected starters at linebacker. However, Baltimore will likely look to add another player into the rotation and thus, taking a mid-round flier on a player like Long wouldn’t be surprising.
So too is the case with D’Andre Walker, who Miller has the Ravens selecting at the end of the third round. Walker didn’t participate at the scouting combine after suffering a hernia injury in January. However, Walker is a talented pass rusher and is part of a draft class that is loaded at the edge position.
Last year, Walker recorded 45 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. At 6’3”, 245 pounds, Walker possesses good athleticism and fluidity, which helps compensate for a lack of polished, refined technique.
The Ravens certainly have a need for pass rushing with Suggs and Smith no longer on the roster, so whether it be in the first or third round, as Miller projects, Baltimore will certainly address the position at some point and likely double up on edge players.
What do you think of the results of Miller’s three-round mock draft for the Ravens? Leave your thoughts below!