Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft preview: Needs, guesses and 10 sleepers
3 predictions for the Baltimore Ravens draft:
1. The Ravens trade back with one of their first-round picks
The Baltimore Ravens care about the amount of value they can bring in with the draft class. The draft board could fall in one of two ways. On one hand, the Ravens could see two players they couldn’t possibly pass on in the first round.
The most probable path, however, is that the Ravens see first-round leftovers they’re going to be happy with. If this happens, trading out of either the 27th pick or the 31st will probably occur. The best-case scenario would see the Ravens trading the 27th pick because it has a bit more value than the 31st.
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Let’s just say a team offers an early second-round pick with a fifth-rounder as well. That’s two more picks for the Ravens to play with. If they trade back, they know what they can target with their new picking position. It seems like almost a foregone conclusion that one of those picks is getting traded on Thursday night, though we’ll have to wait and see.
2. Baltimore double-dips at edge rushers.
When the Ravens lost Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue, they lost two very different players. Ngakoue is more of a pure pass rusher while Judon did a bit of everything and was better against the run. The Ravens don’t just need pass rushers, they need a couple of different things for this position group.
Technically, Tyus Bowser could be the Matt Judon replacement. He’s already more of a linebacker than a pass rusher. Other than Tyus Bowser the Ravens don’t have much young talent to bank on at this position. The Ravens will draft two players who will be classified as an Edge player. One of them will be a pin their ears back and get the quarterback kind of player, the other will be a more well-rounded outside linebacker.
3. At least two of the Ravens picks won’t address an obvious need:
The Baltimore Ravens always have been a best player available kind of team. There will be picks that don’t change the outlook for the Ravens immediately or perhaps aren’t on the list of the Ravens’ top needs. DeCosta is a team builder, he’s thinking more than just one season at a time.