NFL Draft: How the board needs to fall for Ravens (Pass Rusher edition)
How do the Baltimore Ravens need the 2019 NFL Draft to fall if they want to maximize their chances of getting a great dose of pass rushing talent?
The NFL Draft is here and Baltimore needs pass rushing help after losing Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith to free agency. The Ravens don’t just need one pass rusher, doubling down at the position makes sense. Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams have been waiting in the wings but they haven’t gotten much playing time. Eric DeCosta could decide that his first draft pick should address this premium position. The Ravens have options in this draft. Let’s explore how the board would have to fall to make pass rush the big takeaway from this draft class.
In any Baltimore Ravens draft scenario it’s a good thing for quarterbacks to come off the board early. The Cardinals taking Kyler Murray number one overall is a good thing. Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones and Drew Lock going in the top 15 picks would be a good thing for Baltimore. That’s four players that the purple and black have no interest in going early. In this scenario the Ravens board could only be impacted by 18 of the first 22 picks.
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The best overall value in the first round for the Ravens boils down to Clelin Ferrell, Brian Burns and Garrett Bradbury. The two pass rushers in this trio are borderline top 10 players. The 22nd overall pick is about perfect value for Bradbury. The ideal scenario for the purple and black is simple. In the dream happening of events, all three players are there, the Ravens trade three spots back and pick the best one that’s still there.
Baltimore needs the pass rushers to start coming off the board later. Nick Bosa and Josh Allen are going to be top 10 picks. However a player like Montez Sweat falling out of the top 10 would be perfect. If Sweat doesn’t get taken off the board until the 15th pick, it almost promises Ferrell or Burns will be there at 22. While Sweat is a player that probably can’t fall to 22, he is a key player for Ravens fans to keep an eye on because of how he will impact the rest of the draft.
The number one thing DeCosta wants to see is first round leftovers at the pass rushing positions fall into the second round. Baltimore doesn’t have a second round pick, and they want all the talent that can drop to the third round, falling hard. The last thing the Ravens want to see in the first round is the NFL Draft becoming pass rushing happy. If more than the expected grouping goes from this position, the Ravens will enter Day 2 with less options (especially if they intend to double dip here).
Because the purple and black have so many needs, there is no promise that they will prioritize the outside linebacker position in the first round. Day 2 could be when the Ravens plan to address this need. Players like Zach Allen and Oshane Ximines falling into the third round certainly wouldn’t hurt. The Ravens could be a team that takes a chance on Jachai Polite out of Florida despite the low combine results.