The draft should yield the Ravens a linebacker, and will likely net depth at safety or corner. Could Baltimore address both with a move for Isaiah Simmons?
For months, linebackers Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma) and Patrick Queen (LSU) have been the most popular picks for the Baltimore Ravens with the 28th overall pick in the upcoming draft. The connections make plenty of sense: Baltimore rode an overachieving linebacker group featuring Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort in 2019, and with Bynes headed to Cincinnati and Patrick Onwuasor New York-bound, the linebacker room looks thin and underwhelming entering draft season.
However, recent mocks and analysis have started to tear at the linebacker consensus at pick 28, citing how modern defenses have increasingly relied on nickel and dime sets rather than base packages in recent years. The argument goes that this makes a true three-down linebacker less of a crucial need, allowing the Ravens to address other needs or simply take the best player on the board when they go on the clock. With players like A.J. Epenesa (EDGE – Iowa), Denzel Mims (WR – Baylor), Neville Gallimore (DT – Oklahoma), and Grant Delpit (S – LSU) potentially still on the board, there should be plenty of intriguing options available if the Ravens do opt to go in another direction.
But what if Baltimore could add a talented linebacker that can also thrive in nickel and dime packages?
Enter Isaiah Simmons. Projected to go in the top 10 picks of the draft, perhaps as high as fourth overall to the New York Giants, the Clemson product has been touted as the most impressive linebacker prospect to come out of the college ranks since Luke Keuchly in 2012.