3. Would it be better to just focus on the offensive line in the NFL Draft?
The Ravens won’t be in line to get a player like Rashawn Slater or Pennii Sewell in the first round. There is still a lot of ways the Ravens could help the offensive line in the NFL Draft. The benefit of drafting for offensive linemen is that it offers four to five years of an affordable player. It’s a more cost-effective way of doing business and it’s more pointed towards the future.
In the first round, some tackle prospects look the part. Samuel Cosmi is my draft crush for the Ravens. While Alijah Vera-Tucker is more of a guard, he could play right tackle and he’d be hard to pass up. Lian Eichenberg is a player the Ravens may like out of Notre Dame, that path has worked for them before. If Alex Leatherwood is at 27, he’d be a great option. He’s a polished tackle prospect out of Alabama.
Later the Ravens could look at a player like Cordell Volson from North Dakota State (Unpopular opinion: I like him more than his North Dakota State teammate Dillon Radunz). Another couple of players that make sense for the Ravens are Walker Little and Abraham Lucas from Stanford and Washington St. respectively.
The Ravens could find their right tackle of the next handful of years in this draft class. Assuming that Brown Jr. isn’t a Raven in the 2022 season, this seems like a practical way of thinking. The Ravens may not be done signing players but if they draft correctly they don’t need to sign Villanueva. At this point, before the draft, they aren’t desperate to sign a tack;e.
It’s important to remember that the Ravens talking to a player doesn’t mean it’s time to jump through a bunch of conclusions. The Ravens could end up not making a deal with Villanueva at all. As of now there really isn’t anything but speculation to be had. It leads to some fun hypotheticals, for now, that’s all we get.