At long last, the 2019 NFL Draft is finally upon us.
The Baltimore Ravens have undergone a significant transformation this offseason. Former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco was traded away, Eric Weddle and Michael Crabtree were released, C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, John Brown and franchise icon Terrell Suggs fled in free agency. Generational safety Earl Thomas and tailback Mark Ingram signed with Baltimore, yet general manager Eric DeCosta enters his first draft at the helm with a handful of primary and secondary positional needs remaining.
Adding to the uncertainty, the 2019 draft class is more unpredictable than any in recent memory. Little consensus has formed in regards to ranking the top prospects at the majority of positions. DeCosta could go in a variety of directions with the 22nd overall selection, the most appealing of all may be to trade down in order to acquire more draft capital.
Baltimore Beatdown’s first round predictions:
I believe DeCosta will follow Ozzie Newsome’s blueprint by picking a proven prospect who bolsters the trenches with his inaugural selection. With the best pass rushers unavailable, DeCosta will engineer a trade back that nets the Ravens a late first and additional third round pick.
And in the first round, he will select Texas A&M center Erik McCoy. He is an experienced, athletic center with heavy hands, nimble feet and a strong anchor to stonewall the AFC North’s powerful defensive tackles. McCoy is a great fit for Greg Roman’s blocking scheme. - Vasilis Lericos
Hoping to redeem themselves from the failed Breshad Perriman pick, the Ravens go receiver in round one. The AFC North won’t be Brown-less for long, as the Ravens look to provide Lamar Jackson with an offensive weapon by selecting Antonio Brown’s cousin, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown out of Oklahoma. - Sage Morander
With the top edge rushers and offensive lineman off the board, the Ravens will find a trade partner and will move back into the second round, while picking up additional picks in the process. They’ll use their early second-rounder to take one of the top remaining receivers, such as a N’Keal Harry or Marquise Brown, should they still be on the board. - Frank J. Platko
My prediction is the Ravens stay pat at 22 and select N.C. State center Garrett Bradbury. There’s a chance he could be picked earlier, but if not, I see either him, Clelin Ferrell and whichever wideout they like the most being the targets at this spot. - Jake Louque
I think the Ravens will trade down and select Texas A&M center Erik McCoy at the end of the first round. McCoy is a great fit for offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s power run scheme and would instantly upgrade the entire line. McCoy is powerful and mean in the run game, which is something Baltimore needs at the center position. - Dustin Cox
The Ravens will stay put at 22 after failing to find a suitable trade partner willing to give them enough value. They desperately need blue chip talent. The Harbaugh connection results in a pick that is widely criticized in 2019, but praised in 2021. With the 22nd selection in the 2019 NFL draft the Baltimore Ravens will select Chase Winovich, defensive end, Michigan. - Spencer Schultz