As Eric DeCosta approaches his fifth draft as Ravens general manager, here’s how we grade his first four - Childs Walker
Grades then: ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: B+; NFL.com’s Chad Reuter: A; Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit: B.
Grade now: C- … Brown was not a bust, and DeCosta picked up another first-round pick when he flipped him. But three second-round wide receivers from that year — Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf — have outproduced him. RB Justice Hill is the only player from the eight-man class left on the team. Fourth-round CB Iman Marshall and fifth-round DT Daylon Mack combined to play four games total.
Grades then: ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: A; NFL.com’s Chad Reuter: A; Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit: A-.
Grade now: B+ … The Ravens’ top three picks have all become productive starters with upside remaining for each. Third-round WR Devin Duvernay is a Pro Bowl kick returner. Fifth-round DT Broderick Washington and seventh-round S Geno Stone played significant roles last year and could again this year. Phillips and fourth-round G Ben Bredeson are gone and did not do much to fortify the offensive line. Sixth-round WR James Proche II is probably down to his last chance for a breakout.
Grades then: ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: B+; NFL.com’s Chad Reuter: A; USA Today’s Nate Davis: C+.
Grade now: C- … This could go up in a hurry if Bateman is healthy all year and Oweh produces as he did at the end of last season. But aside from Stephens, none of the others in this eight-player class have given the Ravens much. DeCosta traded offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to improve his draft position, so the results are even more disappointing in that light.
Ravens’ best-/worst-case scenarios, sleepers and wild cards as NFL Draft nears - Jeff Zrebiec
Best-case scenario in Thursday’s first round
That the run on cornerbacks and wide receivers doesn’t start well before they are on the clock. When pick No. 22 comes up, they’d ideally have their choice of one of the top cornerbacks or one of the top receivers, and their phone is also ringing with potential offers to move back and get more picks. Of the cornerbacks, Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon and Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez will almost certainly be gone. However, the Ravens would have to consider Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr., Maryland’s Deonte Banks and Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes.
There’s less certainty about when receivers will come off the board. The four to watch are Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, USC’s Jordan Addison, Boston College’s Zay Flowers and TCU’s Quentin Johnston. If a few of the above-mentioned cornerbacks and wide receivers are still there, the Ravens can take the best player on their board. If they have a trade option, they can move back with confidence that they’ll still get a player they covet.
The Ravens’ quintessential best player available could be …
Clemson edge rusher Myles Murphy.
Murphy is an intriguing prospect with the combination of size, speed and athleticism Baltimore looks for. He’s also scheme versatile.
Ravens mock draft: Need an impact CB and a bigger class? First-round trades pave the way. - Jonas Shaffer
Round 1 (No. 29 overall): Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks
The predraft buzz around Banks is building. If he’s the third cornerback taken in the draft, he might not even be available at No. 22. But in this scenario, Banks makes perfect sense. He’s a first-round pick, giving the Ravens control over his contract for up to five years. He’s an elite athlete with a “bully” mindset, which fits the defense’s ethos. And he could step in and start at a position of need, rounding out a secondary with impressive pedigree at nearly every position.
The 6-foot, 197-pound Banks is far from a finished product. He struggled at times to stay in phase with receivers when he couldn’t win early in press coverage. But he’s smooth in zone schemes, difficult to beat on vertical routes and got his hand on passes more often than all but a few corners in this draft class, according to Sports Info Solutions. The Ravens need another outside cornerback to pair with Marlon Humphrey, and Banks has all the makings of a longtime starter.
The Ringer’s Final 2023 NFL Mock Draft - Danny Kelly
22. BALTIMORE RAVENS
LUKAS VAN NESS
EDGE RUSHER, IOWA
HEIGHT 6’5”, WEIGHT 272
YEAR RS SOPHOMORE, AGE 21.8
As a big, tough, versatile, and athletic defensive lineman, Van Ness checks a lot of boxes for the Ravens. He can line up at multiple spots on the defensive front and provides a power element to the team’s pass rush.
Van Ness is a load to handle for offensive lineman, combining top-tier size, length, and strength. He has a quick first step and uses that as the foundation of his bull-rush. He’s a relentless hand-fighter and has a heavy punch, landing blows with a heavy thud as he locks his arms out to forklift offensive lineman off their spot. He uprooted and carried Paris Johnson Jr. into C.J. Stroud when the team played Ohio State. He gives maximum effort in his rush and is always working to gain leverage and extricate himself from blocks. He has a strong upper body and plenty of torque to rip and wrench opponents out of the hole or off his feet. He has a forceful push-pull move. As a run defender, he plays with excellent leverage and can really grow roots on the edge. He uncoils out of a four-point stance when rushing inside and shows the ability to push interior linemen onto their heels, running his feet to collapse the pocket.
2023 NFL Mock Draft - Cris Collinsworth
22. BALTIMORE RAVENS: WR ZAY FLOWERS, BOSTON COLLEGE
I’m not crazy about this wide receiver class, but Flowers gets open and makes plays. Jaxon Smith-Njigba‘s hamstring issues at Ohio State make me want to take a guy like Flowers over the Buckeyes wideout here. I love how Flowers uses his speed to get away from people on shallow crosses.