BALTIMORE RAVENS NFL DRAFT PLAN OF ATTACK
WR, LB, OL, S, CB, RB
FREE AGENT ACQUISITIONS:
DE Calais Campbell (trade), OLB Matt Judon (franchised), C Matt Skura, CB Jimmy Smith, DE Jihad Ward, DT Derek Wolfe, LB Jake Ryan
FREE AGENT LOSSES:
WR Seth Roberts, TE Hayden Hurst (trade), G Marshal Yanda (retired), OL James Hurst, DT Michael “The Juggernaut” Pierce, DT Domata Peko, LB Patrick Onwuasor, LB Pernell McPhee, S Tony Jefferson, CB Brandon Carr
ROUND 1 TARGETS:
DE A.J. Epenesa, DE Yetur Gross-Matos, G/C Cesar Ruiz, DE Curtis Weaver, DE Terrell Lewis, CB AJ Terrell, CB Jaylon Johnson, CB/S Antoine Winfield Jr., LB Kenneth Murray, LB Patrick Queen, WR Brandon Aiyuk, WR Tee Higgins, WR Jalen Reagor, RB D’Andre Swift, RB Jonathan Taylor, RB JK Dobbins,
ROUND 2 TARGETS:
OLB Julian Okwara, CB Damon Arnette, CB Noah Igbinoghene, CB Trevon Diggs, LB Willie Gay Jr., WR K.J. Hamler, WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Michael Pittman Jr., S Ashtyn Davis, S Jeremy Chinn, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
ROUND 3 TARGETS:
CB Amik Robertson, CB Cameron Dantzler, CB Troy Pride Jr., CB Bryce Hall, CB Michael Ojemudia, CB Cameron Dantzler, CB Darnay Holmes, CB Troy Pride Jr., OLB Josh Uche, OLB Jabari Zuniga, LB Malik Harrison, LB Troy Dye, S Terrell Burgess, S K’Von Wallace, S Kyle Dugger, RB Cam Akers, RB Zack Moss
PLAN OF ATTACK:
The Ravens hold the 28th overall pick this year and would love to be able to add a new leader to the middle of their defense. They would be chirping loudly if either Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray fell to them. These guys are both athletic linebackers who can drop into coverage and cover a ton of ground. Either one could make an impact in year one. If they are both gone as they should be, then the Ravens could look to give Lamar Jackson a new weapon. A guy who would be a nice fit is Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk. The team already has a speedster on the roster in Marquise Brown and Aiuyk is a big-bodied pass catcher, who is a smooth route runner and catches everything in sight. If he’s gone they could go with big Tee Higgins out of Tennessee. He is 6’4 and would add some needed size to the Ravens’ flock of pass catchers.
The Ravens could also go a couple of other ways with their first-round choice. They could add some talented youth to their secondary with a corner like AJ Terrell or Jaylon Johnson, or go with a playmaking safety Antonie Winfield Jr. One dark horse position for them could be running back. The Ravens are set for now with Mark Ingram but he’s 30 years old. That is the age running backs not named Frank Gore, begin to decline. They could have their pick of the litter and choose between Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, and JK Dobbins.
The Ravens have two second-round picks after trading Hayden Hurst to the Falcons. With those picks, they could first look for a playmaker for Lamar Jackson. It’s unclear which receivers will still be on the board, but one that would make sense is Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. Shenault Jr. is built like a running back with a compact frame. He moves extremely well and has good top-end speed. He has the talent to make an impact as a rookie. The Ravens could also grab some youth and depth for their secondary. They are getting a little old in the safety department and could consider California’s Ashtyn Davis. He is a high energy player who is a big hitter and aggressive in coverage. He has all the tools to be a star at the next level. If he’s gone they could go with big Jeremy Chinn out of Southern Illinois. He’s a versatile playmaker who definitely should develop into a starter.
The Ravens could also bolster the interior of their offensive line with a guard like Lloyd Cushenberry or Robert Hunt. If they want that running back of the future then LSU’S Clyde Edwards-Helaire would be an attractive option in Round 2.
The Ravens also have two third-round pick sand should look to grab a running back with one of them. Like we mentioned earlier, Mark Ingram has hit that dreaded age of 30. They need some fresh legs in their running back room. In round 3, they’d do well to get Cam Akers or Zack Moss. These are both a couple of physical runners who can help in the passing game. Either one could come in and be groomed to be the Ravens lead back of the future.
The Ravens could also get a wide receiver here like Bryan Edwards, or Collin Johnson. They could bolster their secondary with a safety like Terrell Burgess or Kyle Dugger. If they haven’t landed a linebacker yet, then Malik Harrison or Troy Dye would be considered. One option that is likely to be addressed here in the third round is center. Matt Skura’s future with the team is foggy at best. The Ravens could consider players like Tyler Biadasz or Matt Hennessy. These guys are not just centers but can swing over to guard if need be, and the Ravens love that kind of position flexibility.
Round 1: Kenneth Murray LB, Oklahoma
Round 2: Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado
Round 2: Jeremy Chinn S, Southern Illinois
Round 3: RB Cam Akers, Florida State
Round 3: C Matt Hennessy, Temple