MDM: Baltimore Ravens take Rashod Bateman in latest 2021 NFL mock draft
With so many veterans available, the Ravens are in a good position to find at least one starting edge rusher on the free-agent market for a relatively modest price, and will likely walk away from early offseason shopping with multiple new pieces to accompany Jaylon Ferguson and the newly re-signed Pernell McPhee. Baltimore will still need to find a pass rusher in the draft, but they can afford to wait until the middle rounds to find a rotational rusher that can contribute right away in a part-time role.
Few fit this description better than Pittsburgh’s Patrick Jones II, who had 17.5 sacks over his final two years in college but is very one-dimensional as a true defensive end. Because the Ravens blitz more than any team in the NFL, Jones’s narrow skill set will be more immediately useful to Baltimore than most clubs, making him something of a bargain this late. He could stand to add just a little bit of weight, and will need to be coached up if he wants to become a starter in defense that requires versatility from its players, but will immediately give the Ravens pass rush a nice boost.
Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell are both in the last years of their respective deals, and the defense looked lost trying to stop the run when Williams missed time in 2020. LSU’s Tyler Shelvin would provide immediate quality depth in the interior offensive line while also offering a potential replacement for Williams when his deal is up after the season.
At 6″3, 362 pounds, Shelvin is an absolute mammoth on the interior. He can’t generate the kind of pressure that has become more common among high-end interior defensive linemen but is strong enough as a run defender to justify being more one-dimensional. But while interior pass-rushing may not be his strong suit, Shelvin is fantastic at absorbing double teams, which can free up lanes to the backfield for other defenders in the Ravens’ blitz-heavy scheme.