The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books. Knowing what we know now, how should the Baltimore Ravens have approached each of their picks this past weekend?
With the 2021 NFL Draft officially in the books, what should the Baltimore Ravens have done knowing what we know about where players ultimately landed?
Pick 27: Rashod Bateman, WR – Minnesota
The Ravens couldn’t have asked for a better board to fall to them at Pick 27. But even with several good players available, Rashod Bateman had to be the pick. Even with the receiver class being fairly deep, it was heavy on smaller slot receivers that would be redundant in the Baltimore receiving corps. Bateman offers the kind of versatile skill set that will make the Ravens passing attack more multidimensional, and while he may not offer the physical makeup of a D.K. Metcalf, he will be able to provide a much more physical presence against opposing defensive backs than some of the Ravens’ smaller wideouts.
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Baltimore couldn’t go through another season with question marks at the receiver position. Sammy Watkins is no sure bet to stay healthy, and having more talent than there are targets to go around is a problem the Ravens should happily welcome. Marquise Brown can now be deployed more like the home run hitter and slot threat he’s best suited to be and should be poised to take a step forward this year in a role that fits his skill set.
Pick 31: Trade down: Pick 31 to New York Giants for Picks 50 and 71 (NYG)
Odafe Oweh wasn’t a bad pick. His lack of sack production can quickly be overlooked by watching any significant amount of tape from his 2020 season. He can set the edge, generates a lot of pressure, and is a physical freak with the necessary speed to chase down the best mobile quarterbacks in the AFC. If the Ravens coaching staff can coach him into his potential, then this pick will go down as a much better value than it was on draft night. But with so many fantastic players slipping into the front half of Day 2, the Ravens would’ve gotten more value trading down.
Pick 50: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB – Notre Dame
If Wink Martindale had a lab where he could create players for his scheme, he would create Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Three of the most challenging tasks the Ravens defense faces against top opponents are mobile quarterbacks, top tight ends, and guarding against screen passes. Owusu-Koramoah is built to stop all three. He has the ideal athletic build to be a quarterback spy, the coverage ability to erase tight ends, and the lateral quickness and strength to sniff out screens and make tackles for a loss. He can also rush the quarterback and is the perfect option to deploy if you want to mask a nickel blitz. Unfortunately, the Ravens will now have to solve him twice a year when they face the Browns.