Since winning Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens have only made the playoffs twice. A major criticism among fans has been the lack of talent drafted since 2012, especially on the offensive side of the ball. This series looks at all of Baltimore’s drafts following their Super Bowl victory. 2016 featured potentially Ozzie Newsome’s best draft in years with stellar mid-round picks.
2016 Draft Picks
- Round 1, Pick 6 OT Ronnie Stanley
- Round 2, Pick 42 OLB Kamalei Correa
- Round 3, Pick 70 DE Bronson Kaufusi
- Round 4, Pick 104 CB Tavon Young
- Round 4, Pick 107 WR Chris Moore
- Round 4, Pick 130 OG Alex Lewis
- Round 4, Pick 132 DT Willie Henry
- Round 4, Pick 134 RB Kenneth Dixon
- Round 5, Pick 146 OLB Matt Judon
- Round 6, Pick 182 WR Keenan Reynolds
- Round 6, Pick 209 CB Maurice Canady
After an injury-plagued 2015 season led to a 5-11 record, the Ravens held the sixth-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Faced with such a high draft pick for the first time in a very long time, Ozzie Newsome had to get it right. Newsome selected left tackle Ronnie Stanley out of Notre Dame with the sixth pick to help fix an offensive line which contributed to quarterback Joe Flacco tearing his ACL during the previous season. Although it wasn’t a an exciting pick, Stanley looks the part of a franchise left tackle, which is incredibly hard to come by in the NFL. Stanley has fought through multiple injuries to continue playing throughout his time in Baltimore, which puts to bed the pre-draft narrative that he lacked of passion.
Newsome’s second-round pick of Kamalei Correa was a highly questionable one, especially since UCLA inside linebacker Myles Jack was still available before the Ravens traded back from their original round-two pick. Jack was a top-ten prospect who fell due to a knee injury. The pick was further questioned when coaches converted Correa, a 4-3 defensive end at Boise State, to an inside linebacker. Needless to say, Correa never really caught on to his new position. Going into his third season, Correa was moved to outside linebacker. After an extremely strong preseason rushing the passer, Correa was traded to the Tennessee Titans.
Bronson Kaufusi is another player who failed to develop in Baltimore. Kaufusi missed his entire rookie season due to injury and only played in 2017 before being cut in 2018. Up to this point the 2016 draft was not very successful, however, everything changed in the fourth round where the Ravens had a whopping five picks. Cornerback Tavon Young, guard Alex Lewis, and running back Kenneth Dixon all made sizable contributions in their rookie seasons. Wide receiver Chris Moore has since become a key special team’s player and is in line for a much larger role on offense in 2019. Defensive tackle Willie Henry has missed considerable time with injuries but has been a solid interior pass rusher when on the field.
Young has already been rewarded with a three-year extension as he enters his fourth season. Young has proven himself as one of the league’s top slot corners. Another player who could see an extension is Baltimore’s fifth-round pick Matt Judon. Judon was a productive pass rusher at Grand Valley State, a rather small school, which led to questions about his translation to the NFL. Judon has emerged as a steal of a pick for Newsome with 19 sacks over three seasons. With Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith departing in free agency, Judon is now the top pass rusher and leader of the outside linebacker group for the Ravens.
Keenan Reynolds entered the draft as a wide receiver after playing quarterback at Navy. Reynolds was seen as a project player with potential as a return specialist. Unfortunately, Reynolds never played in a regular season game for Baltimore and was cut before his second season. Cornerback Maurice Canady was the Ravens final draft pick. Although he has been placed on injured reserve in every season so far, Canady has looked the part of a starting-caliber corner when he has played, including as the team’s slot corner during the final stretch of the 2017 season.
After two big misses in the second and third rounds, Newsome salvaged the draft in the fourth round and turned it into one of the best in franchise history.
Best pick: Ronnie Stanley
Worst pick: Kamalei Correa