There are a bevy of options for first-year General Manager Eric DeCosta to choose from at pick #22. Some of the safer prospects that could potentially be available are N.C. State center Garrett Bradbury and Clemson edge rusher Clelin Ferrell. Here are three potential picks that carry some potential red flags but could very well hear their name called for the Baltimore Ravens tonight.
Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Gary is advertised as one of the top edge rushers of this year’s class, although his college production would never suggest as much. Finishing his three-year career at Michigan with only 9.5 sacks, Gary never fully realized his potential. On top of his limited college production, Gary has a shoulder injury that may affect his rookie season.
What makes Gary such a coveted prospect is his eye-popping physical traits. At 6’4” and 277 pounds, Gary possesses an outstanding combination speed, power, and agility. This is why Gary was the top recruit out of high school in 2016 and why a team will be willing to take a chance on him early in the draft this year.
The Ravens have shown in the past that they like to select pass rushers with college production, making Gary a sketchy pick. DeCosta has several safer options to choose from in the first round.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Speaking of injury concerns, limited college production, and freakish athletic ability, wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is another high-risk player who could hear his name called on the first night of the draft.
Metcalf stole the show at the combine with a blazing 4.33 second 40-yard dash, 40.5 inch vertical jump, 134 inch broad jump, and 27 reps on the bench. Oh, and he did that while weighing 228 pounds at 6’3” and almost alarmingly low percentage of body fat. One area that Metcalf failed to impress at was the three-cone drill, where he performed worse than even Tom Brady. This concerned scouts about his lateral movement and even led to many wondering if he had too much muscle mass for a receiver.
Metcalf possesses extreme potential, especially as a deep threat, but his lack of production combined with multiple career injuries makes him possibly the riskiest top-end prospect in this year’s draft.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, WR, Oklahoma
My final player is none other than Antonio Brown’s cousin, Marquise. Brown was an electric playmaker at Oklahoma for years. Quite possibly the fastest receiver in this years class, Brown is a home-run threat every time he gets the ball in his hands. So, what’s the knock against the little cousins of one of the NFL’s best receivers?
Brown is severely undersized at 5’10” 170 pounds, which begs the question of how well he can hold up in the NFL. Brown is also recovering from a Lisfranc injury which caused him to miss the combine. It’s unknown if Brown will lose some of his game-breaking speed because of the foot injury and many teams might not be willing to take a chance on the speedster in round one.
Several safer wide receiver prospects can be had in the back of round one instead, such as Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown and Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry.