Draft-savvy Baltimore Ravens have options with 7 picks in Rounds 3 and 4
When it comes to the draft, few do it better than Baltimore. Take the Ravens’ past five drafts as an example.
The team has drafted 45 players since 2017. Of that total, 28 are still on the team, including a whopping 15 starters.
That includes the team’s 2021 draft class, which hasn’t done much thus far outside of Penn State Edge Odafe Oweh, one of the team’s two first-round picks. And it factors in 2017, when the team drafted three starters while the other four players are no longer on the team.
To put things into perspective, teams hope to draft at least two rookie starters every year. Baltimore, on the other hand, averaged four starters per draft between 2017 to 2020.
Expect more of the same in the 2022 NFL draft.
Baltimore has been hoarding picks ahead of what’s expected to be a historically deep draft due to the fallout from Covid. As of now, the Ravens have 10 picks, tied for third-most in the league behind Jacksonville (12) and the Los Angeles Chargers (11).
However, Baltimore has more “premium” picks than Jacksonville and Los Angeles, with one pick in the first and second rounds, two in the third and five picks in the fourth round.
Combined with an already solid roster, expect Baltimore to take the “best player available” route throughout the draft. That could mean taking an offensive tackle, cornerback or even another pass rusher in the first two rounds, as the top players at those positions tend to go high.
Need more bodies for the interior of the offensive or defensive lines? Looking for safety help or another running back?
That’s where all those picks in Rounds 3 and 4 will come in handy.
Here’s a look at seven players who could fall to Baltimore:
- OT Rasheed Walker, Penn State: The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Walker could have entered the 2021 draft but opted to return for his redshirt junior year. He offers tantalizing intangibles with his size, strength and athleticism, but he gets dinged for his technique and his pass sets – which was especially evident in the team’s Week 1 win against Wisconsin. That’s why you’ll see Walker all over draft boards, with some touting him as a first-rounder and others with a Day 2 grade on him. From Pro Football Network in its most recent list of the top 50 prospects: “… (T)he Penn State product possesses far more alluring potential than size alone. Athletic and flexible, sudden and violent, Walker has excellent technique in addition to impressive football intelligence.”
Watching some college film I have (I'm going to be part of a big draft guide this year so I have to start early lol). Penn State LT Rasheed Walker shows a lot of good things on film. Strong grip, good power, knows how to attack leverage. Think he's a tad stiff but I like him pic.twitter.com/jODgyxbOt4
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) September 20, 2021
- CB Avery Young, Rutgers: Teams who value versatility will love the 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior. Young moved to safety this season after starting 30 games at cornerback. Young is also a willing tackler, with 179 career tackles through the first three games of this season, along with 6 tackles for loss, 19 passes defended and 4 forced fumbles. However, Young only has one career interception. Pro Football Focus ranked Young as its No. 93 overall prospect in its preseason top-50 listing. From PFF: “Young is a big, physical corner at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. He’s been starting since 2018 for the Scarlet Knights and is an ideal fit in their Cover 2 heavy scheme.”
What a play by Avery Young. It’s not the Michigan anyone’s used to seeing this year, but Rutgers isn’t backing down. pic.twitter.com/UMnOftOVkU
— Garrett Stepien (@GarrettStepien) November 22, 2020
- OL Nick Broeker, Ole Miss: As RT Patrick Mekari shows, the Ravens love linemen who can play all over the line, and the 6-foot-5, 305-pound junior Broeker fits the description. Broeker plays tackle for Ole Miss but will likely slide over to guard in the pros.
If there is one thing to like about Nick Broeker, it's his finishing ability. He helps his quarterback keep the final drive of the half alive on this play: pic.twitter.com/COKEa48Lnq
— Cody Manning (@CodyTalksNFL) July 18, 2021
- DL Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M: It’s OK if you haven’t heard of Peevy before – he’s thus far flown under the radar among draft pundits, but expect that to change as the season progresses. He’s massive at 6-foot-6, 315 pounds and puts up good numbers alongside his more notable teammate, Demarvin Leal. The super senior has accumulated 105 tackles, 16 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 4 blocked field goals and 1 interception – despite starting just three games his first three seasons. Peevy was extremely disruptive in the team’s loss to Arkansas on Sept. 25, recording 5 tackles and 1.5 TFLs.
.@AggieFootball DT Jayden Peevy (@JAYDENPEEVY) isn’t flashy but he’s a consistent and dependable run-downs player that can play both 1 and 3-techs. There is a cluster of SEC interior DL on @seniorbowl board and we hope Peevy emerges from that group. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/t6CHVVThIp
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) October 3, 2020
- S Smoke Monday, Auburn: The NFL.com listed the 6-foot-3, 199-pound senior as one of the top 25 Senior Bowl prospects entering the season, and he hasn’t disappointed with 15 tackles, 3 TFLs and 1 INT. Against Penn State, Smoke racked up 8 tackles and 2 TFLs in the team’s 28-20 loss on Sept. 18. From NFL.com: “He’s an effective blitzer and brings physicality to linemen and tight ends against the run.”
TO THE HOUSE
- LB Grant Morgan, Arkansas: There might not be a more “Ravens-like” player in the draft than the 5-foot-11, 235-pound super senior. The former walk-on has already earned his master’s and his undergrad degrees and has 237 career tackles through the team’s first four games this year, including 20 TFLs, 4.5 sacks and 11 passes defended. He has 25 tackles and 3.5 TFLs so far this season after recording 111 tackles and 7.5 TFLs in 2020. His height and size, though, could work against him in the draft, and even if he runs a respectable 40 at the Combine, Morgan still may be limited to a two-down LB.
Nice play from Grant Morgan, LB, Arkansas
Recognizes the play and crashes it at the right time. He's a late round pickup in my mock dropping soon for @DowntownRams pic.twitter.com/eEdiZFQwHn
— Pat Pryor (@PryorNFL) September 27, 2021
- WR Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama: The 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior earned preseason praise after a stellar sophomore season, then opened up the new season with 5 receptions for 168 yards against Southern Mississippi. The curious part, though, is Tolbert’s lack of TDs, as he hasn’t caught a touchdown yet despite hauling in 14 receptions for 317 yards. PFF ranked him No. 77 in its preseason top-100 list. From PFF: “Tolbert had a breakout 2020 campaign that saw him go for 1,085 yards on 64 catches with eight scores. He can really go up and get it with his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame and had 14 contested catches last season.”
Most targets without a dropped pass this season