Outside of wide receiver, edge rusher is probably the Ravens biggest need heading into the draft. Baltimore lost their two leading sack-getters last season in Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs, who combined for 15.5 sacks between the two of them.
There was obviously some justification for letting both of them walk but that’s a lot of production to replace, nevertheless. Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser are being counted upon to step into larger roles, but will either of them emerge as a starter opposite Matthew Judon? We’ll have to wait and see. However, the Ravens desperately need to add some talent ad competition into the mix.
In terms of outside linebackers and defensive ends, this draft class is talented at the top and fairly deep with guys who can rush the passer. That’s good news for the Ravens and gives them some flexibility. Here are the edge rushers they should have on their radar.
1) Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Brian Burns was a consideration here, but frankly it appears his draft stock has risen to the point where he’s out of the Ravens range. However, there’s still an outside shot that Clelin Ferrell is available for the taking in the first round. If so, it would be a no-brainer selection for Eric DeCosta. Ferell was extremely productive at Clemson and possesses all the tools to be a three-down edge rusher at the next level.
2) Montez Sweat, Mississippi St.
Here’s an interesting case. Prior to the recent discovery of an undisclosed heart condition, Montez Sweat was expected to be a top-10 selection. However, his stock has reportedly taken a huge hit and there’s a chance he’ll fall on draft night. If this development plays out, the Ravens might have to roll the dice. Sweat’s upside is as high as almost any player in this draft and if the Ravens can snag him at 22, or even trade back and do so, watch out.
Montez Sweat stock bottomed out due to team medicals. Have heard from a few clubs that have him off the board. Of course it only takes one team, but the expectation now is he will drop. Could fall out of Round 1— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 22, 2019
3) Jaylon Ferguson, Lousiana Tech
Jaylon Ferguson has as good of a resume as any edge rusher in this class, but concern over competition level may cause him to slip into the second or third round. The Ravens would be wise to pounce if that were to indeed happen. Ferguson broke Terrell Suggs’ FBS sack record in 2018 and has an advanced pass-rushing skill set. He’s also solid against the run, which suggests he can be more than just a situational player.
4) Chase Winovich, Michigan
After a strong senior season, Chase Winovich has crept his way onto the late-first, early-second round radar for most teams. Winovich has a high, relentless motor and never takes any plays off. He also possesses good intangibles and leadership qualities, which the Ravens lost at the position with Suggs’ departure. Winovich could be a solid option on day two for Baltimore if they trade back into the second round.
5) Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion
Similar to Ferguson, Oshane Ximines did a number on competition at a lower level. The Ravens have shown to value college production when selecting edge rushers and Ximines recorded 27 sacks over the past three seasons. He’s not the most polished prospect in terms of discipline and technique, however, his talent and pass-rushing acumen cannot be ignored. Realistic target for the Ravens in round three.
Notable exlusions: D’Andre Walker, Jachai Polite, Christian Miller
What do you think of these edge rushers and which guys would you like to see the Ravens select this weekend? Leave your thoughts down below and stay tuned for more draft coverage from Baltimore Beatdown!