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Ravens News 4/9: UDFA Destination and more

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 UTEP at Texas Tech Photo by Travis Tustin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With Depth at Inside Linebacker, Ravens Could Wait to Find Their Guy - Clifton Brown

While the Ravens never did completely replace C.J. Mosley after he departed in last year’s free agency, it doesn’t mean they’re intent to do so this offseason either. Baltimore could wait until the middle rounds to bolster the unit, and General Manager Eric DeCosta named inside linebacker as one of the positions with the most depth this year.

”I think when we look at the board, there’s obviously guys who can do all three things – play the run, cover and blitz,” Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz said. “But I think when we look at the guys throughout the draft, there are players that can help us in specific roles.”

On Day 2 or Day 3 of the draft, the Ravens could find a prospect who might have more limitations than Murray or Queen, but be the complementary piece they need at a way cheaper price.

”I think with our versatility and the way Wink and those guys use guys in their specific roles, it helps us evaluate players that maybe can’t do all the things but can do one thing well,” Hortiz said.

Two mid-round inside linebackers who could fit the run-stopping bill would be Ohio State’s Malik Harrison and Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks.

No Pro Day, No Problem: Ravens Confident They’ll Be Destination for Undrafted Rookies - Todd Karpovich

“Historically, we’ve done a good job with the guys that aren’t invited to the Combine and non-all-star guys,” Hortiz said. “Our scouts do a great job of getting the information from their sources at the schools – the trainers, the strength coaches. So, we have a lot of estimated 40 [-yard dash] times. Our analytics crew can help us with that as well. They do a great job of getting information, so I think we can get the information necessary.”

Baltimore is a prime destination for undrafted rookies because they know they’ll get a fair opportunity to make the final roster. The Ravens have a streak of keeping an undrafted rookie on their Week 1 roster for 15 consecutive seasons.

Top 5 2020 NFL Draft prospects by position 3.0 - Bucky Brooks

[Xavier] McKinney is a box-area defender with a knack for finding the action as a “see ball, get ball” playmaker. He brings toughness, tackling and range as a projected strong safety.

[Grant] Delpit is an athletic middle-of-the-field defender with outstanding range and awareness. However, he has shown some inconsistencies as a tackler and questions persist regarding his overall physicality/toughness.

[Jeremy] Chinn is a versatile second-level defender with the potential to thrive as a hybrid in a creative defense. The big-bodied safety brings cornerback experience to the position, while also displaying standout skills as a box defender.

[Antonie] Winfield’s fabulous performance at the combine could send his stock soaring as evaluators take a closer look at the film and factor in his pedigree. The former Minnesota standout is an active playmaker on the second level, but size could be a concern with his playing style.

[Ashtyn] Davis checks off all of the boxes as a smart, fast and tough defender. He brings a high IQ and top-end speed to the position as a natural center fielder.

GET TO KNOW MICHIGAN C CESAR RUIZ - Jordan Reid

Q: You’ll be entering the NFL as a 20-year-old rookie; that has to be something to be extremely proud about, right?

R: I’m positive that I’m the youngest interior offensive lineman in this draft. For me to be considered one of the best combined with my age, that’s definitely a plus for me. My film shows everything. It also shows the work that I put in and my talent. Really, I think it’s something working in my favor because a lot of guys don’t really get to the league until they’re 22 or 23 years old. I can come in and hold it down for a long time.

Q: What would you say is your biggest strength and weakness as a player?

R: My biggest strength is definitely my athleticism and my ability to do different things. I can get up to the second level and get out in open space. Those are some of my biggest strengths. One of my biggest weaknesses is my footwork and the consistency with it. In the run game, sometimes my footwork isn’t as efficient as I would like it to be.

Q: What’s significant about playing center? Why is it so important?

R: It’s important because I like being in charge. I like being in charge of the show. Really, a lot comes with it and a lot of people can get overwhelmed by it, but I love having all of those responsibilities and being responsible for a lot of people. That’s just really how it is. I just like calling the shots. Honestly, it’s something that I’ve played my whole life. In little league, there’s not much responsibility, but as you get older, you start to learn more. It starts to become more natural. That’s just something that I fell in love with. A lot of people growing up said I don’t want to play center and I was the guy that said, “Look, I’ll play.” After that, I fell in love with it.

PFF 2020 NFL Three-Round Mock Draft: Colts take Jalen Hurts, Eagles pick Jacob Eason on Day 2 - Michael Renner

28. BALTIMORE RAVENS — LB KENNETH MURRAY, OKLAHOMA

The Ravens look to be in luck with the way the draft is shaking out in the fact that there will be an explosive linebacker on the board for them when pick No. 28 rolls around. Murray plays as if he were shot out of a cannon, evidenced by his 38-inch vertical and 10-foot-9 broad jump at 241 pounds.

55. BALTIMORE RAVENS (FROM NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VIA ATLANTA FALCONS) — IOL LLOYD CUSHENBERRY III, LSU

The Ravens’ interior looks considerably different in 2020 without Marshal Yanda. While Cushenberry had a rough junior campaign, he earned a 77.1 overall grade as a sophomore in 2018.

60. BALTIMORE RAVENS — EDGE JULIAN OKWARA, NOTRE DAME

Okwara’s 22.9% pass-rushing win rate over the past two seasons ranks fifth among all edge defender in college football. He’s got the length and athleticism to win at the NFL level.

92. BALTIMORE RAVENS — WR JOHN HIGHTOWER, BOISE STATE

The Ravens are assembling a track team offensively, and Hightower’s 4.42 40 will fit in nicely. His 12 deep catches were the 17th most in college football last year.

106. BALTIMORE RAVENS — S GENO STONE, IOWA

Stone attacks with reckless abandon and is the perfect nickel/dime safety for the Ravens’ defense. He trusts his reads and attacks unlike any safety in this class and allowed just a 44.0 passer rating in coverage for his college career.