clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ravens News 4/20: Sweet Spot and more

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: OCT 18 Ravens at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Manager Power Rankings: NFL draft edition! - Gregg Rosenthal

17) Eric DeCosta, Ravens

Best pick: J.K. Dobbins | Round 2 (No. 55), 2020

Worst pick: N/A

Ozzie Newsome left big shoes to fill, especially after selecting Lamar Jackson, Orlando Brown and Mark Andrews in his final draft. It’s early, but DeCosta’s first two hauls look unlikely to produce a difference-maker. Last year’s first-rounder, Patrick Queen, was the lowest-graded rookie linebacker by Pro Football Focus (min. 20% of snaps), but it’s too early to put a “worst pick” tag on him. The team’s first-round pick in 2019, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, has played his best in the playoffs.

Ravens ‘Insulted’ By Lack of Faith in Young Wide Receivers - Clifton Brown

“I’m aware that there’s some fan discontent with our wide receivers and with our drafting and all that,”DeCosta said. “But in general, I look at our record and how we win games, and how we play football, and I’m proud of the team. We’ve got some really good young receivers. It’s insulting to these guys when they hear that we don’t have any receivers. It’s quite insulting. I’m insulted by it. We’ve got some guys who want to show everybody what they can do.”

“More and more players are coming out at that position that are developed,” Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. “The way the college game is going, I think we’re going to continue to see it. It’s a unique class because there’s versatility. There’s a lot of outside guys, slot guys, and like Eric mentioned earlier, there’s value throughout the draft. The board is just stacked. It’s not like there’s a couple of high guys and then a gap. It’s nice to go into a draft knowing throughout the draft there’s going to be options.”

“We’ll find certain wide receivers in the draft that fit us, fit our needs, fit how we play, fit our quarterback and fit our personality,” Harbaugh said. “We know who they are already, we’ve had the meetings.”

Ravens’ contract talks with Lamar Jackson are ‘fluid’; team looking for ‘sweet spot’ in NFL draft - Jonas Shaffer

‘Sweet spot’ for picks

The Ravens have seven picks in next week’s NFL draft, but DeCosta, as always, indicated that the front office wants more. As for how many more?

“If your team is strong and if you think you have a pretty good roster, then it’s tougher for guys to make the team,” DeCosta said. “So you don’t want to have 15 picks or 13 picks or 12 picks every year. But this is a good draft. We see a lot of talented players at the starter level, potentially, so if we have the chance to get a pick or two extra, then we’ll probably do that. We don’t necessarily want to have 11 or 12 picks this year, but there is a sweet spot.”

The Ravens have picked an average of 10 players over the past three drafts, including eight in 2020. They last drafted fewer than eight prospects in 2017, when they took seven. DeCosta said there are about 200 players the Ravens consider draftable in this year’s class, “which is a very strong, healthy number.”

2021 NFL Draft DB Superlatives: Best range, most versatile, best in press coverage and more - Michael Renner

BEST RANGE: ANDRE CISCO, SYRACUSE

Cisco’s range is the main reason why he is one of PFF’s favorite single-high prospects in the class. Over the course of his Syracuse career, he racked up 13 picks and 13 pass breakups in only 23 games. That is some pretty special ball production, even if there is a lot of ugly on his tape. Hopefully Cisco doesn’t lose a step after tearing his ACL this past season

BEST TACKLER: DEOMMODORE LENOIR, OREGON

This is why Lenoir is one of our favorite candidates to transition from corner to safety. Lenoir notched 159 tackles and only nine total misses in his Oregon career. After three years as a starter, he’s never missed more than three tackles in any single season in his career. He’s not particularly fleet of foot, so it will be hard for him to hack it on the outside, but he’s a very physical and assignment-sure player who could thrive at safety.

Baltimore Ravens 7-Round Mock Draft: April Edition - Ryan Fowler

ROUND 1 (NO. 27 OVERALL): JAYSON OWEH, EDGE, PENN STATE

Oweh would immediately provide the jolt outside the Ravens need in their odd-front defensive scheme as an outside linebacker. Although he does need a high level of volume to truly develop into the defender he can be, I don’t see Baltimore going elsewhere if Oweh is still on the board here.

ROUND 2 (NO. 58 OVERALL): RICHIE GRANT, S, UCF

Grant is everything Baltimore has lacked as a do-it-all talent at the apex of their defense. Chuck Clark has done a nice job as a sixth-round flyer in 2017, but with a secondary touting headline talent in Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, a safety that complements the two corners would be a home run addition for Don Martindale’s ultra-physical defense.

ROUND 3 (NO. 104 OVERALL): STONE FORSYTHE, OT, FLORIDA

This is purely need over value here with the current scenario surrounding Brown. Forsythe is a mountain of a man at 6-foot-8 with excellent pass-setting skills, highlighted by surprising mobility traits considering his frame.

ROUND 4 (NO. 131 OVERALL): SETH WILLIAMS, WR, AUBURN

ROUND 5 (NO. 171 OVERALL): CHAUNCEY GOLSTON, EDGE, IOWA

ROUND 5 (NO. 184 OVERALL): DRAKE JACKSON, IOL, KENTUCKY

ROUND 6 (NO. 210 OVERALL): IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE, WR, IOWA

A talented and clean route-runner, Smith-Marsette could initially make his name as a special teams ace in his first season due to a crowded receivers’ room, but his talent is hard to ignore. One of the smoothest athletes at receiver in the class, his track speed is evident, but he’s more than just a vertical presence.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Denver Broncos select Alabama’s Mac Jones at No. 9 overall, Trey Lance falls to the Patriots at No. 15 - Steve Palazzolo

27. BALTIMORE RAVENS: EDGE AZEEZ OJULARI, GEORGIA

Like many of the other edge defenders in the class, Ojulari has a small sample size of college data, but he emerged last season with the best pass-rush grade in the draft class at 91.7. Ojulari has an old-school 3-4 outside linebacker feel, and that’s a good fit for the Ravens, who want versatility for their blitz-heavy scheme. With good burst, length, and the willingness to get dirty in the run game, Ojulari will join Tyus Bowser and Pernell McPhee to form a solid trio of edges in the Baltimore defensive front.