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Ravens News 4/22: Best Case Available and more

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Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Twelve Ravens thoughts at start of offseason training program - Luke Jones

While I’d still endorse Eric DeCosta taking a swing on a bigger wide receiver later in the draft, I see a healthy Rashod Bateman taking a substantial step forward with a full spring and summer. Some extra offseason time put in with Lamar Jackson can only be a positive.

Asked to assess his play through two seasons, Patrick Queen said he was pleased with his improvement getting off blocks while acknowledging the need to find the ball more quickly in pass coverage. That will be critical in determining whether the Ravens choose to exercise his fifth-year option next spring.

Justin Madubuike said he’s “grateful” to play with Calais Campbell another season, but the third-year defensive tackle acknowledged this being a big year. “I have a lot more to do, and I feel like I didn’t even peak yet. I feel like I can be great.” The Ravens are waiting.

AFC North Whiparound: First-round best-case scenarios, ranking needs, who’s trading up/back - Jeff Zrebiec

What is the best-case scenario for the first-round pick of the team you cover?

That they’ll be on the clock and at least three of these players are available: Florida State outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson, LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning, Davis and Lloyd. At the very least, that would guarantee the Ravens would get a player who fills a major need. Also, if all those guys were available, the Ravens would have the luxury of trading back a few spots to pick up more draft capital, and they still would be assured of getting one of those guys. It’s always hard to tell how a team feels about a particular player in the draft with all the subterfuge and misdirection. However, if Johnson or Stingley falls, the Ravens should run up the card.

What position(s) do you expect the team you cover to pursue after the draft, as picks will make older players expendable?

Edge rusher and corner are the positions that stand out. We saw the former happen last year when the Ravens added Justin Houston during the first week of training camp. Their depth chart at edge rusher is so thin and so dependent on Odafe Oweh and Tyus Bowser, two players who had offseason surgeries, that even if they draft an outside linebacker early, they still will likely look to add a vet. So many of those guys are available, including Houston, Trey Flowers, Jerry Hughes, Carlos Dunlap, Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul, that they should be able to get one cheap. As for cornerback, they pretty much have Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and a handful of guys who spent last season on the practice squad or injured reserve. I fully expect them to draft two corners next week, but even if they do, they could use another competent veteran to provide depth at a position where the Ravens never seem to be at full strength.

Five Things to Know About Derek Stingley Jr. - Clifton Brown

“His 2019 tape is top-five pick stuff – elite,” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said on the ”The Lounge Podcast.” ”If your glass is half full, you’ve got Stingley as the steal of the draft, we’ve got a top-three player and somehow we managed to get him. If your glass is half empty you say, ‘Well, 2019 was a long time ago. If we have the guy that we’ve seen on tape the past few years, you’re going to be severely disappointed.’ That’s why he’s such a tricky evaluation.”

Ravens inside linebacker Patrick Queen played with Stingley in 2019 when LSU won a national championship. During practices, he Queen saw Stingley pick off Joe Burrow. He saw Stingley get the best of wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

“Derek [Stingley Jr.] was different the day he came in,” Queen said. “You could see it. Every day at practice he was going up against Ja’Marr and ‘J.J.’ [Justin Jefferson], just locking them down. So, I probably knew he was like that [since] the Auburn pick, where he like turned his head three different times and found the ball; best play I’ve ever seen in my life. If he falls to us, I’ll be so happy.”

Potential 2022 NFL Draft Scenario For Ravens: Interior Defensive Lineman - Ken Zalis

Who could it be?

• Jordan Davis, Georgia

• Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

So, who would the second-round targets be?

The Ravens could target an offensive lineman, edge rusher or cornerback in Round 2. Here are some options for each position of need in the second round.

Cornerback:

• Tariq Woolen, Texas-San Antonio

• Roger McCreary, Auburn

• Kyle Gordon, Washington

EDGE:

• Cameron Thomas, San Diego State

• Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State

• David Ojabo. Michigan

Offensive tackle gets thin fast in this draft. Yes, there are players who could develop, but the middle of Round 2 is where surefire starters stop in 2022. Cornerback depth is strong in this year’s draft, so if the Ravens decide to go this route, they could double up at the cornerback position. The defensive line has solid prospects through Round 5, just not a ton of Day 3 talent. EDGE is one of the deepest positions in 2022.

2022 NFL Draft Day 2 & 3 Offensive Tackle Sleepers - Justin Melo

RASHEED WALKER, PENN STATE

Penn State’s Rasheed Walker enters the draft as a highly experienced three-year starter with the Nittany Lions. Walker arrived at the collegiate ranks as a big-time recruit out of North Point High School in Waldorf, Maryland, and he did not disappoint. On tape, Walker is a highly athletic blocker with the foot quickness necessary to mirror opposing edge defenders in pass protection.

Walker was unfortunately unable to test physically during the NFL Scouting Combine or Penn State’s Pro Day, but he typically showcased excellent athleticism on tape. While playing against Michigan this past season, Walker enjoyed several impressive reps against the likes of Aidan Hutchison and David Ojabo. He didn’t win every single rep, but it still qualified as an excellent showcase for his overall pre-draft selling package. An excellent anchor, strong and precise hand placement and the desired overall timing of his punch makes Walker a worthy Day 2 offensive tackle. If he slides to the fourth round, several teams should jockey for position to draft him.