With the second pick Baltimore got in the trade with Atlanta, the Ravens go with linebacker Troy Dye.
It’s not lost on me that the Ravens’ 2019 season was ended largely at the hands of Derrick Henry, but DeCosta has beefed up the defensive line with the likes of Campbell and Wolfe to make sure that doesn’t happen again. That gives them the ability to wait on a linebacker and take Dye, who thrives in coverage and blitz situations more than as a run defender.
The Ravens are a team built to play with a lead, so investing too heavily in stopping the running game is antithetical to what they’ll need if the team is playing like it should. Run-stuffing linebackers are also a cheap commodity because of their one-dimensional nature, so drafting Dye does not preclude Baltimore from picking someone up in free agency before the season starts, or picking another linebacker like Shaquille Quarterman later on. When Patrick Mahomes‘ Chiefs act as the gatekeepers to a Ravens Super Bowl run, having another player that can thrive in pass coverage (and spy the sneaky-mobile Mahomes) is valuable, and Dye is hardly a liability as a run defender.
At 92, the Ravens grab the heir to Marshall Yanda. Lewis is an absolute mauler as a run blocker, and (coincidentally) give Edwards-Helaire one of his college linemen to run behind. Lewis has a ways to go as a pass protector, but could quickly shine by playing for a team that runs the ball as often as Baltimore. The Ravens have also demonstrated the ability to coach up rookie linemen, so there’s plenty of reason to believe they’ll get Lewis where he needs to be so he’s not a liability for Lamar Jackson in the passing game.
Lewis may not be quite as polished as someone like Cesar Ruiz, but he’s close enough to justify waiting 60-70 picks later than Ruiz will likely go. He’ll definitely push Ben Powers for the starting job out of camp, and could be the next great addition to an imposing Ravens offensive line.
It was tempting to pick a speedster like KJ Hamler in the second round to pair with Marquise Brown, but Shenault was too good to pass up. Here, we still get to get another true burner that, unlike Hamler, is also known for his hands. Duvernay has arguably the best hands of any receiver that will go in the top four rounds and has the speed and physicality to be a weapon in run-pass option slants.
Duvernay would mainly line up in the slot for the Ravens, but can beat defenders on the outside, and could become one of the league’s better all-around receivers if he can tighten up his route running. Brown-Shenault-Sneed-Duvernay-Boykin gives Baltimore a good-looking group of pass-catchers to pair with Mark Andrews. Duvernay could also finally give the Ravens their next go-to return man to round out an otherwise-elite special teams group.