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Ravens News 4/1: Optimizing Gains and more

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NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver relocations: Kenny Golladay, Sammy Watkins will flourish; Will Fuller to fade - Nate Burleson

Sammy Watkins

Baltimore Ravens · Age 27

Watkins played an instrumental role in the Chiefs’ explosive offense over the last three seasons, though the former first-round pick never surpassed 700 yards in any season. He now steps into a larger role for a Ravens offense looking to improve a passing attack that ranked last in yards in 2020. Watkins struggled as a No. 1 receiver early in his career, but with the experience and confidence gained in Kansas City, he should thrive in his return to that role.

2021 projection: 60 receptions, 800 yards, seven TDs.

2021 NFL mock draft 2.0: Analytics-based picks to maximize wins - Cynthia Frelund

Pick 27

Baltimore Ravens

Terrace Marshall Jr.

LSU · WR · Junior

Even with the addition of Sammy Watkins in free agency, this move optimizes offensive gains.

2021 NFL Draft: Biggest pro and con for each of PFF’s top WR prospects - Anthony Treash

6. TERRACE MARSHALL JR., LSU

Biggest pro: Catch radius

Marshall’s physical profile is driving his draft stock. He could add some more meat to his frame, but the 6-foot-3 receiver pairs a massive catch radius with the kind of speed coaches crave at the NFL level. Marshall can snag off-target throws with his long limbs and impressed in contested scenarios throughout his time at LSU. He hauled in 20 of his 32 contested targets over the past two years.

Biggest con: Sinking in route breaks

The big problem with Marshall is his route-running and the fact most of his production at LSU was schemed. He’s pretty stiff, and it shows on his breaks.

Marshall also had a tough time getting off press relative to the rest of the 2021 class. His 1.66 yards per route run against press coverage ranks 18th among the 28 qualifying Power 5 receivers in this draft class and last among the players named in this article by more than three-quarters of a yard.

The former five-star recruit has a lot of potential and may not come in and dominate the league right away, but the 20-year-old still has a high ceiling.

2021 NFL Draft: Forward-thinking prospect fits for all 32 NFL teams - Ben Linsey

BALTIMORE RAVENS: CB CALEB FARLEY

Farley is not a name that has been frequently linked with Baltimore. That’s partially because cornerback isn’t one of the team’s biggest needs, but the primary reason was that there seemed to be little chance Farley would drop out of the first half of the first round. That has since changed with recent reports about Farley’s recent back surgery — his second in as many years.

That’s the kind of value that could tempt the Ravens even with Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith and Tavon Young on the roster. Farley’s bottom line in the PFF Draft Guide reads, “Farley has the physical tools necessary to be an elite NFL corner, and he played like one in 2019.” He earned a 90.5 coverage grade that season, allowing a passer rating of just 26.8 on throws into his coverage.

Farley could potentially start with Peters and Humphrey as a rookie while also giving Baltimore the flexibility to move on from some of their cornerback contracts next offseason. It’s hard to have too much depth in the secondary.

2021 NFL Mock Draft (3.0 – Two Rounds) - Mike Tagliere

1.27 Baltimore Ravens – Jayson Oweh (EDGE – Penn State)

There are many who have a wide receiver going to the Ravens, but what they did – or didn’t do – in free agency said a lot about how they value the position. They did lose both Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue on the edge and couldn’t replace them in free agency, so they need to find a startable pass rusher in the draft. Oweh may not be a completely finished product, but he’s oozing with upside.

2.26 Baltimore Ravens – Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR – USC)

We all know the Ravens need a wide receiver, but the question continually comes up in my mind: “Do they utilize one enough to justify a high draft pick on one?” They may decide to wait longer than this because of that, but St. Brown would complement Marquise Brown very well as a possession-style receiver who operates underneath. Even if he doesn’t start, he’d provide insurance for the oft-injured Sammy Watkins.

Baltimore Ravens Seven Round Mock Draft 2021 - Ben Ramos-Salsberg

1st Round (27th-overall): Jaelan Phillips (Miami) – EDGE

His mix of violent hands and raw athleticism make him a huge problem for offensive tackles.

2nd Round (58th-overall): Jevon Holland (Oregon) – Safety/Cornerback

There is room for Holland to improve as a run defender, but his instinctive play mixed in with his versatility makes him a good fit in a Ravens defense that asks for a lot out of their safeties.

3rd Round (104th-overall): Dyami Brown (North Carolina) – Wide Receiver

Brown’s ability to win 50/50 balls is an element that has been missing from the Ravens offense for a long time.

4th Round (131st-overall): Walker Little (Stanford) – Offensive Tackle

At 6’7″ 320 lbs, it is really hard to find offensive linemen that are built like Little. The agility he displays at his size is freakish and gives him a tremendous amount of upside.

5th Round (171st-overall): Patrick Johnson (Tulane) – EDGE

Johnson has great straight-line speed off of the edge that allows him to blow by certain offensive tackles while occasionally dropping back into coverage.

5th Round (184-overall): Tre’ McKitty (Georgia) – Tight End

His natural athleticism has helped him excel as both a pass-catcher with the ability to create yards after the catch and his big-man mindset makes him an adequate blocker in the trenches.

6th Round (210th-overall): Tay Gowan (UCF) – Cornerback

Gowan’s size a physicality could make him a good developmental prospect on Day 3.