3 worst-case scenarios for Ravens in first round of 2023 NFL Draft
Thursday is the start of the 2023 NFL Draft. Only the first round will be held on Thursday, with the second and third being on Friday, and the remaining four rounds concluding the draft on Saturday. Since the Baltimore Ravens will be entering the draft with just five picks, they must be prepared to make every pick count, especially their first one.
The Ravens will first be on the clock at No. 22 in the first round. While Baltimore’s offseason has been largely focused on Lamar Jackson and the team’s inability to sign Jackson to a long-term contract extension, there are several other problem areas on the roster. Baltimore will hope to fill those holes in he draft.
With the 22nd pick being the team’s most valuable selection, the Ravens are hoping they can get an elite player at that spot that could be an immediate contributor. However, the draft rarely goes as planned, and being that far back in the first round, things could get chaotic for Baltimore. The team is really at the mercy of the teams picking before 22. That means, depending on the first 21 selections, things could be less than ideal for the Ravens.
Let’s take a look at three first-round scenarios that would be the worst case for Baltimore.
3. A run of defensive linemen are selected before the Ravens
One of Baltimore’s biggest needs is defensive line. The Ravens have done a good job building up their edge group with outside linebackers like Odafe Oweh, Tyus Bowser, and David Ojabo, however, there isn’t good depth on the defensive line. The team has to be hoping to address the defensive line in this year’s draft.
At defensive end, Baltimore only has Broderick Washington, Justin Madubuike, and Brent Urban. Eric DeCosta and company know that the team needs more than that to have a competent defensive line that will help them compete.
Here’s where a problem could arise. A lot of teams are excited about this defensive line class. Some analysts expect three to four defensive linemen to be drafted in the top 10. If there really is a run of defensive linemen early in the first round, that would hurt the Ravens. For starters, if that happens, most of the first-round defensive linemen could be off the board by the time Baltimore is on the clock.
The problem would also extend beyond the first round. An early run of defensive linemen means the next tier of defensive linemen could be off the board early in the second and third rounds. That means the Ravens could miss out on the most impressive defensive ends, and be forced to settle with a prospect that was lower on their board or pass up on a defensive lineman altogether.