Pass rusher: Over the years, regardless of the head coach or defensive coordinator, Baltimore’s best defenses have had a good pass rush. With Matthew Judon entering free agency for the first time, Baltimore is faced with needing to address that aspect of their game. If Baltimore doesn’t land someone in free agency, it could turn to the draft. Terrell Lewis of Alabama in the first round or likely Day 2 picks like Zack Baun of Wisconsin or Josh Uche of Michigan make sense.
Defensive line: Baltimore’s defensive line played well last season and led one of the NFL’s better run defenses. But nose tackle Michael Pierce is a free agent, as is midseason acquisition Domata Peko. The team could find veteran help on the open market.
Wide receiver: The Ravens used two of their first three picks in last year’s draft on wide receivers, grabbing Marquise Brown in the first round and Miles Boykin in the third. Still, the Ravens could use another pass catcher. There are a few veteran options in free agency, but there will be even more value in the draft, especially when the Ravens pick at No. 28. Clemson’s Tee Higgins is not known for his speed, but the 6’4 outside receiver makes plenty of plays going up and attacking the ball. If Colorado’s Laviska Shenault should fall — and it’s possible in a loaded wide receiver group — he should be in play.
Rising second-year player Ben Powers would be the most logical choice. He stepped in for Yanda in the regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers when Baltimore rested some of its starters. Powers had the highest grade of any Ravens player in that game, per Pro Football Focus.
”I think he really grew from coming in as a rookie. It’s tough transitioning from college to the NFL — physically and mentally, the game slowed down for him,” center Matt Skura said. “The Steelers game was really big for him getting those meaningful reps. I think he’s ready to take his game to the next level and improve on the things he wants to.”
“On the field and on the grass when the time counts, it’s when you actually truly see if a guy is actually made up of what he says,” Yanda said. “And like I said, I’ve met a lot of guys where they say these things, and I find out in the heat of the battle they’re not what they say.”
Ravens seven round mock draft 2020: Baltimore loads up on defense in early rounds, receivers in late rounds - Bryan DeArdo
Round 1, 28th overall pick: Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Harrison was extremely productive during his final season with the Buckeyes, tallying 16.5 tackles for loss along with 3.5 sacks, 75 tackles, and two fumble recoveries.
Round 2, 60th overall pick: Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn
Round 3, 92nd overall pick: Khalid Kareem, EDGE, Notre Dame
Round 3, 106th overall pick: Josiah Scott, CB, Michigan State
In Davidson, the Ravens would acquire a player that made plays behind the line of scrimmage (he recorded 11.5 tackle for loss last season) as well as against opposing quarterbacks, recording 6.5 sacks in 2019.
Kareem, a 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive end, has similar numbers to Davidson’s 2019 stat line, with 46 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Scott, who recorded three picks and six passes defensed last season, could be a nice addition to a Ravens’ secondary that finished sixth in the league in pass defense last season.
Round 4, 129th overall pick: Zack Moss, RB, Utah
Round 4, 134th overall pick: Julian Blackmon, S
Round 4, 143rd overall pick: Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Round 5, 170th overall pick: Kevin Dotson, OL, Lousiana
Round 7, pick 225: Joe Reed, WR, Virginia
Moss, who rushed for 15 touchdowns while averaging six yards per carry last season, could be a nice complementary piece for a Ravens’ backfield that already includes Pro Bowler Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. Blackmon, who recorded four interceptions and two forced fumbles next season, would add solid depth to Baltimore’s safety position. While he is considerably underdeveloped, Dotson, a notable combine snub, could develop into a quality backup on the Ravens’ offensive line.
Johnson, one of the more underrated players in the draft, caught 25 touchdowns while averaging over 15 yards per catch during his final two seasons with the Gophers. Reed, who caught 16 passes during his final three years with the Cavaliers, was a prolific special teams player at Virginia, returning five kickoffs for touchdowns while averaging 28.7 yards per return.