If the Baltimore Ravens learned anything in 2017, it’s that they need to focus on the offense in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here is a look at Calvin Ridley, arguably the top receiving prospect the Ravens could target.
Calvin Ridley is a superstar, there is no question about that. He’s fast but he’s a football player (not a glorified track star like Breshad Perriman). He’s got the ability to go get the football and he’ll come into the NFL battle tested. The Baltimore Ravens would be insane to pass on Ridley with the 16th pick, because it would be hard to fathom Ridley slipping that far. The one thing that could help the Ravens here, is that the coveted receivers of the 2017 NFL Draft fizzled for the most part. NFL decision makers may make the same mistake Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens have made for years, letting fear of a miss walk them away from a wide receiver.
Ridley was a very productive player for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Ridley has 220 receptions for 2,749 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons. The mild concern is that Ridley’s best statistical output came in his freshman year at Alabama. While his reception totals and yards have dropped down a bit in his third season, his yards per reception average has shot up to 15.8 yards. Ridley is the one great piece of the Alabama passing attack. The Crimson Tide have passed for about 2,500 yards this season while they have well over 3,000 yards rushing. Ridley is productive but he would be more productive in a different offense.
Ridley has had eight games as a member of the Crimson Tide with over 100 yards receiving. Four of those games came in his freshman year while the other four were split equally over the past two seasons. The standout moment of his 2017 season was his performance against Mississippi State. Against the Bulldogs he had five receptions for 171 yards. In one of the most entertaining games of the season, Ridley was the reason Alabama narrowly won.
- Great speed
- Makes you miss when in the open field with the ball
- Good route runner, he’s where he is supposed to be, when he’s supposed to be
- Doesn’t give up on plays
- Tracks the ball well, reliable hands
- Not the Anquan Boldin type of receiver that has traditionally done best in Baltimore.
- 6’1″ is a sufficient frame but he’s a little lean
- Is he just a big play guy?
Reason Ravens should be interested:
Ridley may not fit the mold that the Ravens typically look for, but he’s also something the team has never had. He has a chance to be a true number one receiver. Ridley fits the mold of a Odell Beckham Jr. but he isn’t much of a diva. The Ravens could finally get their go to player for the big play down the field.
The Ravens would be wise to draft Ridley. If he is the apple of Ozzie Newsome’s eye, Ridley may even be worth trading up for. Baltimore needs a wide receiver. Ridley could be the solution to a problem.