Ravens should be concerned after AFC North rivals nail 2024 NFL Draft picks

The Ravens will have some added competition in the division.
Georgia v Georgia Tech
Georgia v Georgia Tech / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

While the main hope Baltimore Ravens fans had for themselves going into the 2024 NFL Draft was to land a potential franchise player, the secondary objective was to see rivals like the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers struggle to land top talent.

With the Cleveland Browns already out of a first-round pick and the Bengals having to endure public trade requests from receiver Tee Higgins and defensive end Trey Hendrickson, the Ravens' Draft Day escapades got off to a solid start. After both teams made their top picks, however, things took a turn for the worse.

The Bengals drafted a player that would have been a perfect choice at No. 30 overall, as Georgia tackle Amarius Mims was picked No. 18 overall. The Steelers saw fit to deprive Baltimore of another solid offensive tackle, taking Washington's Troy Fautanu with the No. 20 pick.

Not only did two division rivals manage to each snag a player who would have been an immediate starter during their rookie seasons with the Ravens, but they also took two of the best offensive linemen off the board in a year when the Ravens needed as much help in that area as humanly possible. Simply put, this was a tough start to the evening.

Ravens rivals draft Amarius Mims, Troy Fautanu in 2024 NFL Draft

Mims may have landed in an ideal situation in Cincinnati. A raw player who played just a handful of games in college, Mims could take a seat behind Trent Brown and Orlando Brown Jr. as a rookie. If he clicks, the former Georgia star who had the lowest pressure rate allowed in the FBS last year could be a thorn in the Ravens' side for years to come.

Fautanu was not expected to be available this late in the draft by many, as the former Huskies star was viewed by teams as either an aggressive tackle with tremendous pass protection skill or a powerful guard who can wash defenders out of plays. Either way, Fautanu will likely fix a Steelers offensive line that didn't always do the best job of slowing down Baltimore's pass rushers.

No matter what the Ravens end up doing to build the best team they can in the 2024 NFL Draft, they need to accept the fact that two of their chief rivals just got stronger. In the best division in the league, any improvement could be enough to give their team an edge.