4 NFL Draft prospects the Ravens could target to replace Brandon Williams

Ravens, Brandon Williams (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Brandon Williams (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Ravens, Brandon Williams
Ravens, John Ridgeway (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

4. Ravens draft target: John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas

It should be noted that we will exclusively be looking at players who are true nose tackles on this list. So while players like DeMarvin Leal or Phidarian Mathis would undoubtedly be excellent additions, they wouldn’t directly replace Williams.

That being said, if the Ravens aren’t looking to spend a premium draft pick on a nose tackle, one potential late-round target could be Arkansas’ John Ridgeway.

Ridgeway stands at a towering 6-foot-6 and weighs in at over 320 pounds giving him ideal size for the position. Originally an FCS standout at Illinois State, Ridgeway dominated at that level before transferring to the FBS this season.

In just one year at Arkansas, the senior nose tackle established himself as one of the best and most irreplaceable players on his team’s defense.

Ridgeway finished the regular season with 39 total tackles, four tackles for loss, and two sacks in just 11 games played. And while tackle numbers aren’t the best way to determine the quality of a player, 3.5 tackles per game as a nose tackle is incredibly high.

He lacks the athleticism or pass-rush upside to be taken in the early rounds of the draft, but the Ravens have shown in the past that they have no trouble developing late-round or even undrafted defensive linemen.

After all, Michael Pierce was an undrafted free agent and Brandon Williams, himself, was only a third-round pick. Perhaps Ridgeway could be the team’s next late-round conquest.