Wide receiver is almost a perennial need for the Ravens, and it is one we’ve seen them address more seriously over the last few years. Being more aggressive in free agency, valuing them in the top rounds of the draft, and giving some of their younger options at the position more opportunities has led to a good deal of improvement at wideout for Baltimore recently.
They still have some ways to go until they’re stacked at the position though, which is something that made itself quite apparent in the playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. Pass catchers struggled to get open and those who did had serious issues with drops.
Marquise Brown was maybe the sole bright spot at the position (or for the entire team, really) in that game, which is encouraging because it shows the top brass just what an injection of top-tier young talent at wide receiver can do for you. For everyone else who believes that, you’ll be excited by the most recent first round mock draft from SB Nation’s Dan Kadar, who followed that philosophy to a T for Baltimore. At 28, he has them picking LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson with the explanation below:
After LSU’s national title win, Jefferson jumped to the NFL and could land a spot in the top 32. He has impressive hands, and is coming off a season with 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Ravens may have taken Marquise Brown in the first round last year, but they need another pass catcher.
It’s hard not to get excited about the prospect of Brown and Jefferson lining it up across from one another, especially since they’d be such a perfect match. At 6’3, 192, Jefferson is the perfect foil to Hollywood’s diminutive frame and speed oriented playing style; the more diversity at pass catcher the better, as Lamar Jackson doesn’t have much of an established rebounder to work with right now (until Miles Boykin fully develops, anyway).
There were a few intriguing picks behind the Ravens in this scenario that will surely catch the eye of draft loving fans. Kenneth Murray, the Oklahoma linebacker who’s been linked with Baltimore for a while now lands with Kansas City at 31, while Terrell Lewis who the Ravens spoke to at the Senior Bowl lands with Tennessee at 29.
While it’s a very early look at a potential first round option, it’s an intriguing one nonetheless as the Ravens offseason is officially kicking into gear. On that note, keep an eye out for plenty of draft related content heading to Baltimore Beatdown very soon.