Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta bolstered the existing strengths of pass coverage and rushing offense at the start of the new league year. The team’s primary remaining positional needs are clearly identified as wide receiver and edge rusher. The interior of the offensive line, inside linebacker and tailback could also benefit from additional depth.
DeCosta will utilize his draft capital to construct a roster capable of defending Baltimore’s AFC North crown. With a touch of luck, value and need could merge to produce the perfect 2019 Ravens draft:
Pick #22: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
Ferrell lacks the flashy athleticism of his draft mates Josh Allen, Montez Sweat and Brian Burns, but he projects as a three-down ‘rush’ linebacker who can step in immediately at Terrell Suggs’ spot. Clelin’s edge setting ability makes him a complete player who would complement returning situational rushers Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser. An intelligent and powerful pass rusher with impressive collegiate production, the Clemson product is the definition of a ‘solid double’.
Pick #85: Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State
Jenkins would be a fine consolation prize if the Ravens miss out on top interior lineman Erik McCoy, Garrett Bradbury and Chris Lindstrom. An experienced SEC performer, his best attributes are a sturdy anchor and heavy hands. Elgton could compete with Matt Skura for the starting center job and eventually develop into a solid long-term solution at the pivot.
Pick #102: Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
The Ravens should take advantage of depth at receiver with this selection. McLaurin is a burner with run after the catch ability who displayed polished route running at the Senior Bowl. The former Buckeye possesses the skillset to serve as a high-end number-2 wideout in the NFL. He would provide an instant upgrade to the Ravens concerning receiver corps.
Pick #113: Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
Double-dipping at receiver in this range would be ideal. Hall has inconsistent hands, but his big play ability is unquestioned. With prototypical long speed and quickness, he would become the downfield threat Baltimore needs to create space for their returning possession receivers underneath.
Pick #123: Jalen Jelks, Edge, Oregon
Jelks is a bit of a ‘tweener who often played as a down lineman despite suboptimal size. His unique ability would be an asset in Don Martindale’s scheme if deployed as an interior rusher. With the quickness and motor to devour guards in obvious passing situations, Jalen could help compensate for the loss of Za’Darius Smith.
Pick #160: Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M
A devoted third down back would round out Baltimore’s committee of Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon. Williams’ pass catching, open field elusiveness and pass blocking fit the bill. Considering his proven production and upside, Travyeon would be a value selection in the fifth round.
Pick #191: Dru Samia, OG, Oklahoma
Another interior blocker to bolster competition on the line. Baltimore has several options at guard, nevertheless developing a succession plan behind stalwart Marshal Yanda would be wise. Samia is an adept pass blocker with the aggression to become a well-rounded starter after improving his technique.
Pick #193: Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke
A late rounder would not adequately replace C.J. Mosley, but the defense does not require a great inside linebacker now that generational safety Earl Thomas will be patrolling the middle of the field. And Giles-Harris does share Mosley’s best trait - run stopping instincts. A situational rotation between this rookie, Patrick Onwuasor and Kenny Young could be quite effective during the next few seasons.