clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Roundtable: Identifying the Ravens’ biggest needs ahead of the draft

The Baltimore Beatdown crew talks what the Ravens need most before the draft

Syndication: York Daily Record Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

With the 2023 NFL Draft coming up later this week, the staff of Baltimore Beatdown has decided to identify what the top three needs currently are for the Baltimore Ravens.

Cornerback is the number one need on this team. While other positions certainly need to be looked at, outside of the ever-mystifying quarterback position, the only spot the Ravens need a true starter is opposite Marlon Humphrey at cornerback. Outside of corner, the next two are fairly obvious. Depth at wide receiver and left guard is desperately needed. With no real insight on more additions in free agency and no guarantee of guys like James Proche and Tylan Wallace keeping their spots, an infusion of youth to pair with Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman is paramount at the receiver position.

With Ben Powers leaving in free agency, the Ravens are left with no penned-in starter at left guard. Ben Cleveland, John Simpson, and Daniel Faalele will all compete, but adding a young body for depth and competition should be a priority in the draft. Zack Canter

After upgrading the receiver room in free agency, the Ravens' draft day focus should be bolstering the pass defense. Starting perimeter cornerback across from Marlon Humphrey is easily Baltimore’s top need. Adding another cornerback to compete for the slot cornerback job is also needed. Neither Brandon Stephens, Jalyn Armour-Davis nor Pepe Williams have shown enough promise to be handed roles near the top of a contender’s depth chart.

Lastly, one more pass rusher would round out the defensive front. Ideally, a jumbo edge defender who can reduce inside on passing downs to replace some of Calais Campbell and Jason Pierre-Paul's contributions to coordinator Mike Macdonald’s 2022 unit. If general manager Eric DeCosta adds these three skillsets, Baltimore will have the pieces necessary to maintain a championship-caliber defense. — Vasilis Lericos

Recent additions to the wide receiver room have given the Ravens some much-needed draft flexibility. The AFC features no shortage of All-Pro quarterbacks and maintaining an elite secondary will be key if Baltimore has championship aspirations. This draft features incredible talent at the cornerback position and the Ravens could trade down and still grab a top prospect.

Despite the signings of Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor, Baltimore could use an infusion of play-making to their offense which is why wide receiver should still be a consideration if the right player is there at pick No. 22. After that, the Ravens should reinforce the edge position.

The loss of Calais Campbell will be felt on the field and in the locker room, but this is a deep edge class and the Ravens have had success developing players at the position. An inside/outside edge defender could help take pressure off of young pass rushers Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo. — Stephen Bopst

Following the offseason additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor to the wide receiver position, cornerback is now the clear-cut top need for a mostly rock-solid roster for Baltimore. Outside of Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens do not have a proven and reliable option at the cornerback position. 2022 first-round safety Kyle Hamilton found a home in the slot to finish his rookie season, but with the trade of veteran strong safety Chuck Clark, Hamilton may be needed more on the backend of the defense this season, thus opening up a need at slot corner alongside needing a starter on the boundary opposite of Humphrey. Luckily for Baltimore, the 2023 draft class is filled with quality cornerback prospects.

After cornerback, the Ravens could still add another wide receiver. With Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay coming back from season-ending injuries and Beckham and Agholor only being under contract for one year, Baltimore could be wise to grab a receiver or two in the draft. Offensive guard is another position the Ravens could stand to improve with the exit of Ben Powers in free agency and the age of veteran Kevin Zeitler. — Dustin Cox