Ravens were ‘high on’ Gregory Rousseau and Trevon Moehrig

Ravens Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens were connected to a variety of prospects leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft, but ultimately came away with both wide receiver Rashod Bateman and edge rusher Odafe Oweh in the first round.

However, things almost went very differently.

The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec (subscription required) reported earlier in the week that the Ravens were high on both Miami pass rusher Gregory Rousseau and TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, and considered taking both players in the first round of the draft.

Zrebiec went into detail about the thought process behind Baltimore’s picks and why they ended up with the players they did.

The Ravens were eyeing a number of players in Round 1

Per Zrebiec, Bateman was always their preferred option at 27 and the team was legitimately stunned that he was still available at that spot.

The Ravens were preparing for Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore to be the top wide receiver on the board at pick 27, and they would have considered drafting him, but when Bateman fell, they couldn’t pass up.

The plan was always to take a pass rusher in Round 1. That certainly makes sense after the team lost both Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency.

And the two players they had their eye on were Gregory Rousseau and Odafe Oweh. Both players were ranked similarly on their boards, so they felt comfortable taking Bateman at 27 and hoping that one of the two would fall to 31.

Rousseau was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the 30th overall selection, leaving Oweh to fall right into the Ravens’ laps at 31. They gladly made the pick.

As for Trevon Moehrig, the Ravens were also eyeing the standout safety, although it would have taken the board falling in a certain way for him to be the pick.

Moehrig would end up falling quite a bit, all the way to pick No. 43 in the second round, when the Las Vegas Raiders snatched him up.

Zrebiec also revealed that the Ravens weren’t high on many of the top offensive tackles in the draft, although they would have considered drafting Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw had he fallen to 27.

But the Minnesota Vikings grabbed him at 23 ending any hopes of a slide further down the board. Contrary to previous reports, Zrebiec also said that the Ravens wouldn’t have considered drafting Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood at 27 if he fell.

So what should we take away from all of this?

For starters, the Ravens clearly got their top target in Bateman. The former Minnesota star is already making waves in rookie minicamp and should earn a featured role on offense in his rookie season.

As for Oweh, Baltimore was clearly high on his ceiling, as well as that of Rousseau. Evidently, they were targeting an athletic, lengthy pass rusher with high upside in the first round.

And they certainly landed one in Odafe Oweh.

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The Ravens’ draft could have looked very different, but the team is certainly happy to have landed the two players they did in Round 1.