2021 NFL Draft: Ravens must focus on offensive line on day 2

Ravens (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ravens (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

It was an agonizing wait for Baltimore Ravens fans watching the NFL Draft at home. By the time they were on the clock with the 27th (and later the 31st) pick, some highly-coveted players were already off the list. Prepare to wait even longer on day two, as the Ravens have no selection in the second round.

Fortunately, Baltimore does have two selections in round three — numbers 95 and 105 overall.

With their two first-round picks, the Ravens filled two immediate needs. They got wide receiver (Rashod Bateman) and an edge rusher (Jayson Oweh). This leaves one gaping hole to plug, a hole that they themselves created less than a week ago.

With the loss of Orlando Brown, the Ravens have only one right tackle on the roster — Tyre Phillips, a third-round pick in last year’s draft. Granted, Philips did see some playing time last season (according to Pro-Football-Reference, he played 418 snaps in 12 games).

But having only one player signed at an anchor position is a recipe for disaster, especially when that player has only one season of NFL experience.

Unfortunately, a who’s who of top offensive line talent has already been taken. Offensive tackles Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, and Christian Darrisaw are all off of the board. By the time the Ravens are called once again with the 95th pick, several others will likely be gone, including Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield, Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg, and Clemson’s Jackson Carman.

There is a slim — and we must emphasize, slim — possibility that general manager Eric DeCosta could package some of his other picks to move back into the second round for a better chance at one of those prospects. It’s already happened once in this draft. The New York Jets moved up nine slots in the first round to pick USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker.

The Bottom Line:

The Ravens have also tried to find their replacement for Orlando Brown through free agency. Earlier this month, they’ve aggressively courted both Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva and Titans tackle Dennis Kelly. According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, the Ravens are “expected” to sign Villanueva after the draft, although little has been heard on the subject since April 23.

Whatever the Ravens do on Friday may be a referendum on how well those talks with Villanueva went.

Next. Twitter reacts to round one haul. dark

Stick to Ebony Bird through the 2021 NFL Draft. We’ll continue to have player grades and analysis. We’ve got you covered.