The Baltimore Ravens need to see production from some of their recent draft picks. It’s put up or shut up time for these players:
The Baltimore Ravens drafted Tim Williams, Tyus Bowser and Chris Wormley in the 2017 NFL Draft. From these three players the Ravens have gotten a grand total of 59 tackles, 6.5 sacks and an interception. That’s not a stat line for one player, it’s the stats of all three of them in two seasons. That’s not good enough for a second round pick and two third round picks.
Willie Henry was a fourth round pick in 2016 and he has tallied 36 tackles and 4.5 sacks in his career. Henry hasn’t been on the field a lot, and he is very much an unknown moving forward. His potential is the same as it ever was.
Kenneth Dixon has only managed to show flashes and has proven to be injury prone. Now the Ravens have Mark Ingram, Justice Hill and Gus Edwards. How long can the Ravens wait on Dixon? If Dixon didn’t make the roster this year, it would raise some eyebrows but it wouldn’t come as a complete shock. The Ravens added two running backs to the mix this offseason.
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If you’re doing the math, the Ravens have essentially five players on their roster that haven’t really done anything yet despite being selected in the top four rounds of the draft. The Ravens are going into the next season with a questionable group of pass rushers on the edge, despite investing two valuable draft picks on outside linebackers in 2017.
The Ravens got credit for doubling down at wide receiver this year with Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin because it worked when they chose two tight ends in the previous draft. 2017 stands as the example of when double dipping can go wrong. The Ravens took two shots in the draft at outside linebacker and they have been stuck waiting for even one of those picks to work out.
The Ravens just signed Shane Ray and Pernell McPhee. While both moves were low risk investments that could be promising, there is a reason these moves are so affordable. If Bowser and Williams were heading into the 2019 season with any kind of steam or momentum, the Ravens new outside linebackers wouldn’t be here.
Willie Henry is supposed to be the player capable of inside pass rush on the Ravens roster. The fact that the Ravens have been courting Gerald McCoy so eagerly tells you that they don’t want to count on Henry for that.
That brings me to the moral of the story. The Ravens drafted these players knowing they weren’t quite finished products and have given them time to develop. Swinging and missing in the draft is costly but being in a state of uncertainty with recent draft picks is even more costly.
It’s a make it or break it season for all of these players. For the team though, it’s a problem that they are even in this position. The Ravens spent the offseason getting a lot of work done. Just imagine how much more the team could have accomplished if these players from the 2016 and 2017 draft had panned out already.