The Baltimore Ravens have the 22nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, where they could look at a receiver. While this class is as deep as any in recent memory, these top five receivers stand out from the rest.
D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss)
The NFL Combine, historically speaking, has been a platform for some of the greatest athletes to put on a rare spectacle. Metcalf decided that a simple spectacle was child’s play, as he shredded the Combine with earth-shattering figures. A ridiculous physical specimen, Metcalf started the Combine by standing in at 6-foot-3 and three-eighths. His 228-pound frame contains an absurd 1.6 percent body fat.
The sheer insanity of Metcalf’s showcase came to a head as he rifled to a 40-yard dash time of 4.33 seconds and impressed with 27 bench press reps. After his legendary performance, Metcalf has parlayed himself into consideration as high as the number three pick. Before the Combine, Metcalf had serious potential to be left on draft boards when the Ravens were on the clock, but the Ravens may need to look at other options with the 22nd pick.
N’Keal Harry (Arizona State)
Harry, the namesake of the title, also posted a quality Combine. He matched the aforementioned Metcalf’s tally of 27 bench press reps, the most since 2006 for a wide receiver prospect. Harry also secured a sub 4.60 40-yard dash, running an unofficial 4.54 seconds.
The Arizona State product–while talks of him being the first receiver taken have subsided–has almost certainly locked himself into being a first-round selection. Unlikely to go inside the top 10 due to the unfathomable defensive talent also in the draft, Harry could find potential suitors later in the round, with the Titans, Ravens, and Raiders in the market for a receiver. Harry finished second in Pac 12 receiving yards in his final two seasons at Arizona State, registering a total of 26 touchdowns in his three seasons, including one punt return and three rushing touchdowns.
Kelvin Harmon (NC State)
Kelvin Harmon had a solid combine compared to the other wide receiver prospects. He came in at 6-foot-2, 221 pounds. While not as explosive as other receivers, he ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and made 18 reps on the bench press.
If anything, Harmon hurt his stock in the draft. Despite the relatively subpar Combine, Harmon still projects to be a potential first-round pick, with his floor being the middle of the second round. Harmon is an option for the Ravens at pick 22, but the Ravens would probably look to trade down before selecting him. Over the course of three years in Raleigh, Harmon registered a pair of 1,000-yard seasons and 16 total touchdowns. In 2018, he even led the ACC in receiving yards.
Marquise Brown (Oklahoma)
Brown, while he did not compete in the NFL combine, it’s still a likely projected number one pick. Brown, a rather explosive Oklahoma Sooner, will immediately infuse any team with both vertical speed and explosiveness, extending plays horizontally in order to get first downs. While Brown has no official times in the 40-yard dash or other events, Brown will perform those events at his pro day at Oklahoma.
Brown had an incredibly productive 2018 season in Oklahoma. Over the course of the season, he registered 75 catches, 1,318 yards, and 10 total touchdowns. A game-breaking talent, Brown should be a first-round pick, but he does not necessarily fit what the Ravens need at the wide receiver position. The Ravens need a bulkier, more aerial target in their receiver, but that doesn’t take away talent from Brown.
A.J. Brown (Ole Miss)
Brown ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash, registered 19 reps on the bench press and had an impressive vertical and broad jump. The former Rebel, Brown registered a total of 1,320 yards receiving at Ole Miss. He also scored six touchdowns and posted a robust 15.5 yards per catch, also leading the SEC in receiving yards in 2018.
While not as highly touted as teammate D.K. Metcalf, Brown should be a borderline first-round pick. This seems to make him available around pick 22. If Brown slips into the second round, anticipate him being selected within the first 10 picks; it seems like Arizona or Indianapolis would not pass up that opportunity.
If the Ravens do not select a wide receiver in the first round of the draft, they will likely also miss out on the likes of Hakeem Butler, Parris Campbell, or Deebo Samuel. In the third and fourth rounds, the Ravens could pounce on J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Riley Ridley, Emmanuel Hall or Anthony Johnson. The ideal scenario for the Ravens may be to look for a free agent to fill the need at wide receiver, then draft high upside prospects later in the draft. While a highly-regarded wide receiver would be a significant infusion of talent, the prospects of growth and other more important needs will drive the drafting of the Ravens in April.