ESPN Re-Drafts NFL: 4 Baltimore Ravens players selected

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 02: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates rushing for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 02: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates rushing for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

ESPN Re-Drafted the NFL. Let’s take a look at it from a Baltimore Ravens perspective:

Any Madden NFL football fan knows how fun it is to start a franchise mode under the fantasy draft setting. With the entire league up for grabs, how would teams be built? What positions would fly off the board and what players would become values?

In what was a very fun and interesting activity done on, a brand new NFL roster landscape was formed – just like Madden-style. In a fantasy “snake” draft format, the ESPN NFL Nation reporters selected for their respective teams.

The draft order was based last year’s standings. There were a few simple rules and regulations regarding the draft and how teams were constructed.

"“-Every current NFL player is available, and salary caps don’t matter here. But we only drafted four rounds.-In those four picks, each pretend GM had to select a quarterback, a non-QB offensive player and a defensive player. The fourth pick was a wild card, open to anything.-We used the 2020 NFL draft order, with traded picks reversed, and a snaking format.-What about the other 20 starters for each team? The rest of the roster is made up of average-level NFL talent. Our analytics team identifies that as someone such as OT Donovan Smith, edge rusher Harold Landry III or CB Malcolm Butler.-Each GM was asked to draft with intentions of winning a Super Bowl within five years. Some took a harder line, while others built a base that might still need a year or two.”"

In total after four rounds, 128 players were selected. Of those players, a total of four Ravens were selected: Lamar Jackson, Ronnie Stanley, Matt Judon, and Justin Tucker. The first Raven off the board was Jackson at number three overall to the Detroit Lions. No surprise the reigning MVP of the league went very high in this new-NFL simulation.

Still only 23 years, Jackson is only going to get better as a passer and is arguably already the best dual-threat QB the NFL has ever seen. Only Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson went before Jackson, which sounds about right.

Not too far behind Jackson was his personal body-guard on the field, left tackle Ronnie Stanley who went number six overall to the Los Angeles Chargers. This is pretty remarkable praise for the Ravens cornerstone tackle. Only Mahomes, Wilson, Jackson, Deshaun Watson, and Aaron Donald were off the board.

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For Stanley to be the next player off the board really shows how valuable a commodity he is viewed around the league. He was the only offensive lineman selected in the 1st round and the next one off the board was not until pick number 35. Let’s hope the Ravens wrap up Stanley’s contract extension ASAP, as another an elite tier of his own around the league.

The next Raven off the board wasn’t until pick number 86 overall, when Matthew Judon was selected by the Buffalo Bills. The Ravens “Franchise” player this year gets some nice recognition as well. Judon was the sixth pure outside linebacker taken, if you want to include defensive ends also, he was the 17th “edge” defender off the board. Still, Judon is viewed as premier pass rusher in the league and it will certainly be interesting to see how his contract year plays out.

The last Raven to be picked and it was wild card for sure, was kicker Justin Tucker. Tucker went number 99 overall to the Green Bay Packers. It goes to show how lucky the Ravens are to have Tucker as their kicker. Not only Tucker was selected in the top 100 picks, but to no surprise no other kicker was  selected. Packers reporter Dave Demovsky who selected Tucker gave some solid reasoning why he did.

":The leaguewide field goal percentage last season was 81.6% (the lowest since 2009, according to ESPN Stats & Information), so having a kicker who’s coming off a 96.6% season (28- of-29) might win a game or two.”"

But as Ravens fans, we don’t even need to see the numbers to know Tucker is in his own tier when is comes to kickers. This is just another reminder how blessed the Ravens are to have Tucker as their guy.

As for Ravens players who were snubbed by not getting selected there are a few that were some surprises. Marlon Humphrey stands out as the biggest Ravens snub. Humphrey has quickly emerged as a top-tier corner in the league and with eight corners picked it difficult to see how Humphrey was not one of them. Other Ravens who have an argument of being in the top 128 are Mark Andrews, Calais Campbell, Marquise Brown, Orlando Brown Jr. and Marcus Peters.

Lastly, the new Ravens team is far different than the current one. The Ravens new core after this re-draft is Matthew Stafford, Julio Jones, J.J. Watt, and Stefon Diggs. Getting Stafford at pick number 28 was actually pretty good value for an above average quarterback. Josh Allen or Tua Tagovailoa were the next best options at quarterback.

Getting Julio and Diggs gives the Ravens a top-tier wide receiver tandem, something Ravens fans would not be use to. Having J.J. Watt as the face of the defense would be interesting, but getting a younger cornerstone player probably would of been the better option.

Next. The most underrated Baltimore Ravens of all time by position. dark

For the full draft and analysis on ESPN, follow this link here. 

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