Ravens draft preview: For offense in search of a star receiver, Rashod Bateman could be quite the catch - Jonas Shaffer
Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman
Why he’d fit: The Ravens need a receiver who can get open — ideally, an outside receiver. That’s Bateman. He was good in the slot at Minnesota but great out wide. According to Pro Football Focus, Bateman had a top-10 rate of separation over the past two seasons, and ranked first among Power Five conference receivers in yards per route run (3.74) when lined up on the outside.
According to SIS, in 2019, Bateman ranked first in the Football Bowl Subdivision in first-down rate (88.3%) and fifth in yards per target (12.4).
Bateman wins with savvy route running, impressive body control and respectable deep speed. His big hands (69th percentile among receivers) and long arms (82nd percentile) show up on his highlight reel of one-handed grabs and jump-ball catches. The Ravens lacked an after-the-catch threat last season, and Bateman has been tough to bring down, breaking 36 tackles on 147 career receptions at Minnesota, according to PFF.
23. Joseph Ossai, LB, Texas: A consensus All-American and first-team all-conference performer in 2020, Ossai was the kind of versatile defender who could make the entire unit better. He was among the national leaders at the end of the season in tackles for loss, but he could also drop back off the line to defend passes or make plays in pursuit of a ball carrier in the open field. As one of the top talents coming out of the Houston area, there was always excitement about Ossai’s potential with the Longhorns. In 2020, it felt like it all came together with him showing out as one of the best defensive players in the entire country.
31. Rashad Weaver, DL, Pitt: After missing all of 2019 due to injury, Weaver returned to lead the ACC in sacks per game and tackles for loss per game en route to consensus All-American honors. Pitt has become known for its defensive line development, and Weaver adds to the narrative, arriving as one of the top two-way talents (defensive line, tight end) coming out of 7A ball in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area and leaving college as a pro-ready edge threat.
10 undervalued 2021 NFL Draft prospects - Anthony Treash
PFF Big Board Rank: 186
Smith started his college career as a highly coveted four-star recruit who chose Florida over Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and many others. However, his time in Gainesville didn’t last long, as an off-field issue eventually forced him to leave the program and enroll in JUCO.
Smith did make his return to the FBS ranks with UAB in 2019, and he immediately looked like the player Gator nation was expecting to see. He posted a 91.5 pass-rush grade in his first year on campus then followed it up with a 91.4 mark in 2020. He was one of two FBS edge defenders who earned a 90.0-plus pass-rush grade in both 2019 and 2020.
His poor pro-day performance led to a rapid fall down draft boards, but he has a prototypical frame at 6-foot-6 and 264 pounds with 33 5/8-inch arms. He also has a fantastic get-off, good bend for a lanky man and possesses advanced-level hand usage. If he’s still on the board on Day 3, teams should consider taking a shot on Smith whether they need an edge rusher or not.
2021 Predictive Mock Draft - Benjamin Solak
Sounds like Joe Tryon is a fringe first-round player. I wouldn’t be taking him quite at this premium, but the combination of size, functional power, and flashy quickness is understandably alluring. I think Tryon will be at his best as a stand-up rusher using long runways to set up his long-arms and bull-rushes, though he can work with his hand in the dirt if necessary.
Good fit for Baltimore then, who now has two first-round selections following the Orlando Brown trade. I don’t think they’ll go early at tackle (only Ronnie Stanley on last year’s offensive line was a first-round pick) or wide receiver (they want to work by a committee there), so EDGE is clearly the biggest position of need they’ll be willing to attack in Round 1. Tryon fits their mold of big-bodied outside rushers who can occasionally drop into coverage (though that may get dicey early with Tryon).
Jayson Oweh was very much in play here.
I gave the Ravens Trevon Moehrig at 27 last week; here, he falls to them at 31. It is a dangerous game, as Moehrig is a candidate for the Saints at 28 and Packers at 29 (and like, every single team in the 20s, to be frank). But they get their man here.
2021 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers lock in on Ohio State QB Justin Fields, Broncos trade up for NDSU QB Trey Lance - Eager & Chahrouri
The Ravens got a great deal of value in the Orlando Brown Jr. trade last week, and they start to cash in on it here with his replacement: Teven Jenkins. Jenkins doesn’t have the longest arms, but this can be overlooked in favor of his college grades, including the third-best mark in the country last year. Plus, the Ravens’ system is conducive to good tackle play.
At this time last year, the Ravens had the now-released Earl Thomas III in the fold. Moehrig is the best safety in this draft from the market’s perspective, and he would give Baltimore another great secondary player in what is already a stellar unit.