Ravens land franchise center in redraft of 2021 NFL Draft
The Baltimore Ravens have a history of drafting well, but one NFL writer thinks they could have gotten a better player with the No. 27 pick.
Baltimore drafted Rashod Bateman with their first-round pick, and given his Year 1 performance, Bateman may have gone a little earlier in the 2021 draft. In this scenario, he was taken one pick before at No. 26 overall.
Had Bateman been taken off the board, who would the Ravens have picked?
Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton wrote up a redraft of the 2021 NFL Draft, swapping out several teams’ original picks for better or comparable players.
For the Ravens, Moton had Baltimore picking Creed Humphrey with the 27th overall pick:
"“Creed Humphrey had one of the best overall seasons among rookies. Pro Football Focus gave him the best grade in the 2021 class. According to the analytics site, he allowed just one sack through 1,184 offensive snaps.The Ravens would have a technically sound, hard-nosed center who finishes blocks with a bit of nastiness in the run game. He’s destined to become a quality 10-plus-year starter at the position.”"
Humphrey was drafted in the second round by the Chiefs, but Moton believes his rookie season makes him a bonafide first-rounder. It should be noted that Odafe Oweh was also off the board — he went 25th overall.
The Ravens take Creed Humphrey with No. 27 pick in 2021 redraft
The Oklahoma center anchored Kansas City’s offensive line, providing pass protection for Mahomes and facilitating an effective run game.
Had the Ravens predicted how badly they would get hit by COVID-19 and injuries, they may have drafted Humphrey for the insurance.
With Ronnie Stanley out for the season, Baltimore’s offensive line was constantly scotch-taped together every week using some combination of Patrick Mekari and Tyre Phillips in the right tackle position. Alejandro Villanueva started in Stanley’s place and severely underperformed, and Bradley Bozeman shifted to center.
Bozeman was arguably the best player in the offensive line in the 2021 season, and if Baltimore did land Humphrey, Bozeman likely wouldn’t have shined so brightly.
That being said, Bozeman may walk this offseason, and the Ravens are in dire need of quality offensive line members. As Moton notes, Humphrey could have turned into a franchise starting center for Baltimore, giving the team one fewer problem to worry about long-term.
It’s an intriguing swap in the redraft, but at the end of the day, no one can predict the future.