Is Rashee Rice a 2023 NFL draft target for Baltimore Ravens?

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are going to need to find some help at wide receiver. If they do not draft one in the first round they need to have eyes on SMU wide receiver Rashee Rice. What does Rashee Rice bring to the NFL, and what is his best NFL comparison?

Baltimore Ravens draft profile: SMU WR, Rashee Rice

Rahsee Rice got onto the field as a true freshman for the Mustangs. He put up 403 yards. He started to break out in 2020 and put up 681 yards, then 682 yards the following season. In 2022, he set the SMU for most yards in a single, breaking the mark Emmanuel Sanders once held.

Overall, he finished with 1,329 routes run, and 69% of them came out wide. Rashee Rice was a winner at the Senior Bowl and then continued to build momentum at the NFL Combine.

Rashee Rice is thicker than he is tall and has long limbs. He has a lot of explosion to his game as well.

How Rashee Rice translates to the NFL

Rashee Rice has the potential to be a solid second wide receiver on the outside. He has long limbs and can adjust his catch radius in the air, making him friendly to the quarterback. Beyond that, he runs aggressively with the ball in his hands and can create on short passes. He has quick feet and creates separation in the short areas of the field.

However, he is not the most complete route runner and is almost exclusively lined up on the right side of the field for SMU. He plucks the ball out of the air but does not handle physically bringing in contested passes as well, and while he runs with power and wiggles after the catch, he does not have the deep speed to house plays, or threaten defensive backs deep.

NFL Comparison for Rashee Rice

The best NFL comparison for Rashee Rice would be Brandon Aiyuk. They have similarites in their athletic profile.

Both of them are explosive, and that shows with the ball in their hands. However, Aiyuk was in the 49ers' dog house and is still not a complete route runner, and he is not known for taking the top off. He is best at winning off of the ball, using his long arms to pluck balls over the middle, and then create after the catch. If a team uses Rashee Rice in the same way they will get the best out of him.

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Should Baltimore Ravens Draft Rashee Rice?

The Ravens need a big body to catch passes over the middle in the worst way. Rashee Rice is not the most refined wide out, and he currently is project to be a third round pick. He would fit in well with the Ravens group, and if they do not address wide receiver earlier, they would have to consider somebody like Rashee Rice.