Baltimore Ravens 2018 Recap
10-6, AFC North Champs
Last year was the changing of the old guard for the Ravens going from longtime starting quarterback to Lamar Jackson. Prior to Jackson taking over the season looked lost with a 4-5 record with Flacco as the starting quarterback.
Jackson took over after an injury to Joe and didn’t look back propelling the team to a 6-1 record as the starter and having them win the AFC North before being eliminated from the playoffs. The change in the offense to a run heavy scheme to go with the league’s top ranked defense seemed like a great recipe for success.
Wide Receiver – The Ravens receiving group struggled last year and the Ravens let the majority of them walk minus Willie Snead. The Ravens need to add at least two pass catchers in this year’s draft to help give Jackson the weapons he needs in order to succeed. While this has been an area of concern in the draft for the Ravens in prior years a new Gm in Eric Decosta is bringing a different mentality to the team which means prior draft trends may not be there.
Interior offensive line– James Hurst and Matt Skura aren’t going to be enough to cut it up the middle for a team that runs the ball as much as the Ravens do. Adding a guard or center gives the Ravens a solid base at 4 of the 5 line spots which will help keep the offense chugging along.
EDGE rusher- For the first time in years Terrell Suggs isn’t in Baltimore leading the teams pass rush after taking a contract in Arizona. To go with Suggs leaving so did starting pass rusher Za’Darius Smith who go a huge contract in free agency. Now the Ravens have to decide do they trust the young guys in the building to go along with Matt Judon rushing the passer or do they look towards the NFL Draft. Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser are both day 2 picks who have failed to live up to the hype but they also have not been in line to start before. Unless a top tier EDGE falls in the first round this will be something that will be address later in the draft.
Baltimore Ravens 2019 NFL Draft Targets
1st Round, 22nd Overall: N’Keal Harry – WR- Arizona State
N’Keal Harry is the most complete receiver in this year’s draft and has the skillset in place to be a team’s top option. Harry is a big bodied receiver who is one of the most physical players at his position to come out in a long time. Harry will allow for Jackson to throw the ball up and beat defenders on 50/50 balls and is dynamic in the short passing game as well being able to run after the catch.
Picking Harry immediately give the Ravens a better receiving option then anything they had last year and is a huge upgrade to the offense.
2nd Round, 86th Overall: Connor McGovern- IOL – PSU
The Ravens rush offense was the top in the league once Jackson took over but the line still has a pair of holes in it at right guard and center. McGovern is a fantastic run blocker who can be a plug and play starter at the guard spot opposite of Yanda. On top of being a major addition to the run game, McGovern helps protect the Ravens new franchise quarterback.
3rd Round, 103rd Overall: Darrell Henderson- RB- Memphis
Providing a little bit of lightning to Mark Ingrams thunder, Henderson is a big play waiting to happen. Darrell Henderson went back to back years averaging a whopping 8.9 yards per carry in college proving to be one of college football’s most electric playmakers.
With as much as the Ravens run wearing down the defense it won’t take many carries for Henderson to have a huge impact being he can score any time he touches the ball. The addition of his game breaking speed not only improves the run game but it forces defenses to move up opening things up for the receivers.
3rd Round, 114th Overall: Mecole Hardman-WR- Georgia
Adding a second receiver here Harman is an absolute burner of a receiver. His ability to explode and make big plays is the perfect complement to Harry giving Jackson more weapons. As an added bonus Hardman can return punts and kicks and a general mismatch option on offense.
4th Round, 124th Overall: Gerald Willis- IDL- Miami
Willis gives the Ravens an explosive upside depth piece on their defensive line to give Peirce and Williams a breather. While he’s raw he could make some plays in a limited role.
5th Round, 161st Overall: Emeke Egbule-LB-Houston
Egbule switched from tight end to linebacker and is an incredibly explosive athlete who can excel dropping in coverage. His raw skillset should get use on special teams and an eventual role player.
5th Round: 191st Overall-Carl Granderson- EDGE- Wyoming
Granderson is a 3-4 Edge rusher with the ability to rush the passer. While he lacks in run support he has the talent to be a rush specialist on passing downs.
6th Round, 193rd Overall- Jalen Hurd- WR-Baylor
Jalen Hurd is one of the drafts biggest mysteries switching from running back to receiver after transferring to Baylor. His addition to the Ravens gives them a move piece weapon who they can manufacture touches for.
I will be adding a grade and analysis to the profile after April’s NFL draft. Be sure to bookmark the NFL Team Draft Profile page to see it