Baltimore Ravens best-player-available 2021 NFL mock draft
Corner may not sit particularly high on the list of needs this offseason, but this is a best-player-availalble draft, and as Ozzie Newsome has often said, you can never have too many corners. The Ravens have the greatest one-two punch in the league at cornerback, but have frequently been punished for lacking depth being their Pro Bowl duo of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. Israel Mukuamu at 103rd overall slots in perfectly as a versatile, developmental third corner who play outside, in the slot, or even as a lone high safety, giving Baltimore another chess piece that allows for creating defensive scheming. After a pair of dynamic seasons at South Carolina, injuries caused Mukuamu’s stock to drop this past season, but he offers the size and talent to develop into a Pro Bowl caliber starter if he can stay healthy and play at the level he did in 2018 and 2019.
If the board played out as it has so far, the Ravens probably have their fingers crossed that a quality receiver or interior lineman falls to this pick. But none fell that justified this kind of selection. With “best-player-available” in mind, that means taking defensive tackle Darius Stills out of West Virginia.
Regardless of whether Brandon Williams ends up becoming a cap casualty, Baltimore looked helpless up the gut without him last season. Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington are both more true defensive ends, and the Ravens desperately need someone capable of sealing up the interior if they want to force opposing offenses to throw against their talented defensive secondary. While he’s no Chris Jones, Stills also showed the ability at West Virginia to generate pressure from the interior, which will help offset some of the losses on the edge, and also makes him a more viable option to use in third-and-medium sets. Because the Ravens rely so heavily on the run game offensively, stopping opposing rushing attacks is also key to allowing the Baltimore offense to control the clock.