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Ravens News 4/15: Pass on the edge and more

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Appalachian State v South Carolina Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Ravens Could Draft Pass-Catching Tight End - Clifton Brown

“We like to have a bunch of guys with multiple skills sets who can do different things to help us,” General Manager Eric DeCosta said, regarding drafting a tight end. “If there’s a guy there in the right spot it would really be foolish for us not to consider him.”

Hunter Bryant, Washington

Junior, 6-foot-2, 248 pounds; 52 catches, 825 yards, 3 touchdowns

He moved all over Washington’s formations during college, creating mismatches with linebackers and defensive backs. Bryant has the pass-catching skills to fit into Baltimore’s offense and take over the reps vacated by Hurst.

Chase Claypool, Notre Dame

Senior, 6-foot 4, 238 pounds; 66 catches, 1,037 yards, 13 touchdowns

He played wide receiver in college but many scouts project him as an NFL tight end.

Thaddeus Moss, LSU

Junior, 6-foot-2, 250 pounds; 47 catches, 570 yards, 4 touchdowns

The son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss, Thaddeus Moss showed a willingness to block in college, and that certainly meshes with what the Ravens want from tight ends.

Re-ranking Baltimore Ravens’ positional needs before the NFL draft - Aaron Kasinitz

8) Offensive tackle

Both the Ravens’ starting tackles, Orlando Brown and Ronnie Stanley, made the Pro Bowl last season. Still, general manager Eric DeCosta might welcome additional young talent at the position considering Baltimore released backup James Hurst last month in a cost-cutting move and Stanley’s contract is in line to expire after the 2020 season.

2) Interior offensive line

Eight-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda announced his retirement in March about a week before the free agency period opened, but the Ravens did not sign his replacement. Maybe 2019 fourth-rounder Ben Powers can step into a starting job. Or perhaps center Matt Skura can recover from his knee injury to provide relief for offensive line. For now, however, it’s not clear how Baltimore will proceed— and coach John Harbaugh said last week that addressing the interior of the line was “job one or two” for the team.

1) Inside linebacker

The Ravens have three inside linebackers on the roster and none have played more than 35 percent of a team’s defensive snaps for a season. One, Otaro Alaka, hasn’t appeared in any NFL game. L.J. Fort’s the only member of last year’s three-man rotation who remains on the roster, and even if the Ravens plan to scoot safeties up into the box regularly, they’d struggle to get by without adding a little more help for Fort. The value of inside linebackers has shrunk in the modern NFL, and Baltimore can get creative to make do without a wealth of talent at that spot. But if we’re defining positional need as the necessity to address an area of the roster, inside linebacker has to top the list.

2020 NFL Draft: Final PFF Top 250 Big Board - Michael Renner

DEEPEST WR CLASS IN PFF ERA

Everything you’ve heard about this receiver class is true. We finished with seven receivers within the top 25 players on our board and 23 with grades in rounds 1-4.

A couple of guys we’re likely higher on than most are Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. and USC’s Michael Pittman Jr. Both are big-bodied, 220-plus pound wideouts, but that’s about all they share in common. Shenault is a dynamo after the catch who led the draft class with 29 broken tackles in only nine games back in 2018. Pittman is a very sudden route-runner for his size with a massive catch radius and has only dropped five of 176 career catchable targets.

PASS ON THE EDGE

The one position you don’t want to be in need of is edge-rushing help. Only Chase Young finished inside our top 25 players as a true edge defender — we see A.J. Epenesa’s best fit split more inside in the league — and only three others made our top 50.

Two names getting first-round hype are LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson and Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos, who check-in at 46th and 68th, respectively, on our board mainly due to a serious lack of production. Chaisson only had 35 pressures and a 78.9 pass-rushing grade this past season despite a good deal of obvious passing situations, while Gross-Matos had 38 pressures and an 81.8 pass-rushing grade for the Nittany Lions.

2020 NFL Draft Better-Than Team: 20 guys I like more than the scouts do - Pete Prisco

Terrell Lewis, DE, Alabama

When you watch Lewis on tape, there is a lot to like. The problem is that there isn’t a lot of tape. He was bothered by injuries at Alabama, including a torn ACL in 2018, but he came back and played well last year for the Tide. He is long and lean, and needs to add some bulk, but he has that first step that coaches love.

Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming

Wilson is one of those guys who just shows up on tape. He isn’t overly fast, but this former receiver developed into a tackling machine at Wyoming. He does a really nice job in pass coverage, getting four picks last year, including one off a tip for a touchdown against Jordan Love. He will be a standout special-teams player early in his career, and then become a quality starting linebacker.

Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri

When you watched Missouri play last season, Okwuegbunam stood out as a physical specimen. Yet the production wasn’t there. He is long and looks the part and he can run with a 40 under 4.5. If he gets with the right team, he will be a big-time tight end on the next level. The talent is there. Like many good ones, he has a basketball background.

NFL mock draft 2020: Complete 7-round edition pairs Patriots, Raiders, Colts with new QBs - Vinnie Iyer

28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma

55. Baltimore Ravens (from Patriots through Falcons)

Tyler Biadasz, G, Wisconsin

At 6-4, 314 pounds, Biadasz’s strength is converting his frame into pure power for the downhill running game.

60. Baltimore Ravens

Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

Dugger, with his size (6-1, 217 pounds), speed, strength and explosiveness that wold have dominated in FBS, can be the complete package, capable of starting at either safety spot because he brings it hard against the run and has the hands and instincts to blossom as a coverage player.

92. Baltimore Ravens

Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina

The Ravens have some speed and athleticism in their receiving corps for Lamar Jackson, but need to add a tough target to the mix. Edwards (6-3, 212 pounds) projects as a physical possession receiver who can dominate the short-to-intermediate area.

106. Baltimore Ravens (compensatory): Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU

129. Baltimore Ravens (from Patriots): Harrison Bryant, TE, FAU

134. Baltimore Ravens: Evan Weaver, LB, California