2019 NFL Draft AFC North Recap
The 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone, leaving us with many surprises along the way. Let’s take a look at what each team in the division did and how it will improve their roster:
- Oklahoma WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (No. 25 overall)
- Louisiana Tech OLB/DE Jaylon Ferguson (No. 85)
- Notre Dame WR Miles Boykin (No. 93)
- Oklahoma State RB Justice Hill (No. 113)
- Oklahoma IOL/G Ben Powers (No. 123)
- USC DB Iman Marshall (No. 127)
- Texas A&M DT Daylon Mack (No. 160)
- Penn State QB Trace McSorley (No. 197)
My Take: I absolutely loved this draft haul by DeCosta and Co. and that’s completely unbiased (maybe). I think DeCosta did an excellent job of drafting for need while also taking the best player available when they were on the clock. There are some concerns about Hollywood’s size, but as long as he puts on around 10-15 pounds of muscle, which shouldn’t be a problem with strength & conditioning coach Steve Saunders, he should be able to hold up. Regarding his height, there are many successful NFL receivers who are 5’10” such as his cousin Antonio Brown, I’m sure you’ve heard of him.
Moving on to the other picks, I was surprised Jaylon Ferguson was still there when the Ravens were on the clock and apparently so was DeCosta. He mentioned in the post draft presser that he thought about trading up to get Ferguson, but luckily he fell in their lap at 85 overall. If he can get his body right, Ferguson will go a long way in replacing Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith. Let’s not forget to mention Ferguson broke Suggs’ collegiate career sack record with 45 sacks and his last name is pretty cool too. Boykin is a physical specimen and if he can learn to use his size to his advantage physically, he can become the prototypical X receiver the team has longed for. Hill is an electric, lightning in a bottle type of back who will most likely have a role on third downs and can take it to the house any minute. Hill will turn the offensive trio of Lamar Jackson, Hollywood and himself into one of the fastest in the NFL, he just needs to stay healthy as he’s a smaller sized back compared to NFL standards.
I really like the Powers pick, he was great value in the fourth round and will compete immediately with Alex Lewis, James Hurst, and potentially Matt Skura for a spot on the offensive line. Powers also has a rugged mentality o him, much to the liking of former raven Ryan Jensen. Marshall is more of a longterm investment as he can sit and learn behind veterans Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr before they both potentially leave in free agency next offseason. My biggest pro for Marshall is his consistency, would rather have a B minus talent that’s reliable over an A plus talent that’s inconsistent (Marcus Peters). Daylon Mack was a nice pickup for defensive line depth, but I’m not sure how he fits in the rotation this season with Michael Pierce and Brandon Williams anchoring the middle of the line. I expect him to have a low snap count this season barring any injuries.
Now we get to the wild card pick, Trace McSorley. There are mixed feelings with this pick amongst Ravens fans and analysts, but I am all for it. The Ravens played a version of Trace McSorley in the Week 7 loss to the Saints last season in utility player, Taysom Hill. Expect to see McSorley EVERYWHERE on the field this season, including defense. I can imagine a trick play where Lamar throws it back to McSorley who then launches it to Hollywood 50 yards down the field for six.
Overall, huge fan of this draft as you can see. Each of these players could potentially have some playing time this season which is the goal of most teams. You can see what the Ravens are trying to build here in Baltimore, and that’s a track team. The front office is finally building around their franchise quarterback, you can’t help but get excited.