Baltimore Ravens best-player-available 2021 NFL mock draft
The Ravens will need to replenish their stable of pass rushers this offseason, and are in luck that an edge rusher was the best player on the board at 27. Collins not be the next Terrell Suggs, but offers the kind of hybrid skillset that will thrive in Wink Martindale’s defense. Not only can he get to the quarterback, but also excels at dropping into pass coverage and making plays when the ball is in the air. What will also appeal to Baltimore is the way he consistently disrupted screen plays, something that has bitten the Ravens on numerous occasions over the last few seasons. That he won the Bronco Nagurski and Lombardi awards despite tallying a good-but-not-great four sacks in 2020 tells you all you need to know about his all-around playmaking ability.
Unlike Collins offers a comfortable floor of becoming the type of player Tyus Bowser was for the Ravens in 2020. While Bowser did not fill up the sack column, he did provide three interceptions and five pass deflections to go along with his two sacks. Collins should provide similar production right away, with the potential to blossom into a true star on the defensive side of the ball.
What Zaven Collins lacks in pure pass rushing ability, Baltimore makes up for with Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham in the second round. Basham tallied 20.5 sacks over his final three collegiate seasons, including 11 in 2019, and his high motor means he’s never out of the play. It’s not uncommon to see clips of Basham tackling ball carriers several yards down the field, or taking down the quarterback near the opposite sideline, and he can supply the kind of pressure that forces the ball out quick, a staple of what the Ravens try to do on defense. At 59th overall, Basham is nothing shy of a true steal, and along with Collins, instantly infuses much-needed youth to the Baltimore front seven.