Dale Money | March 2nd, 2020
After starting the season 2-2, Lamar Jackson would lead the Ravens on an incredible tear, winning their next 12 games. They would finish the regular season with their best record in club history, along with a first-round bye. Coming into the playoffs Baltimore was already being dubbed as a Super Bowl favorite, which is to be expected. However, they would not be prepared for the Cinderella story, that was the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee, in fact, would have a 28-6 lead after three quarters, before finally putting the Ravens away by the tune of 28-12.
With the 2019 season now firmly behind us, let’s take a look at some of the team’s needs heading into April’s draft. Edge rusher, wide receiver, linebacker, and center are all positions that will need to be addressed.
To help with this mock draft, I used the Fanspeak mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team mock drafts here.
Round 1, Pick 28: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
With the Ravens two leading linebackers from last season in Matt Judon and Patrick Onwuasor, upcoming free agents, replenishing the linebacker pool is prudent. Baltimore was ranked 23rd in the league, in defensive sacks last year. Murray plays a quick psychical type of football, that would suit the Ravens’ style of play. Has a strong vice-like to grip, when wrapping up opposing players and yanking them to the ground. Illustrated by his past two seasons with the Sooners, in which Murray racked up over 100 tackles in both of them.
Round 2, Pick 60: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
The center position is full of question marks going into the draft. Matt Skura is still in the infancy of his rehab from a late season-ending knee injury, having torn his ACL, MCL, and PCL. With the expectations of Skura missing the 2020 season, I like for them to invest early in a quality center. A three-year starter, Ruiz is a dual-threat on the offensive line, in that he can be used at both center and guard. He has a lot of nice traits for an offensive lineman, including size, strength, and hands. A very talented blocker, Ruiz is very adept at eliminating the edges. He can afford Jackson the pass protection needed, to make those timely decisions in the pocket.
Round 3, Pick 92: Darrell Taylor, Edge, Tennessee
With the Ravens need to add to that sagging pass rush. Taylor would suit their needs, having ranked first in team sacks, both in 2018 and 2019. Offensive linemen just couldn’t control Taylor, during his three years at Tennessee. Taylor’s combination of quality pass-rushing moves, along with his explosive speed off the edge, left many opposing quarterbacks looking over their shoulder.
Round 3, Pick 99: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
This Ravens receiving corps is still in need of work. Adding Marquise Brown in the first round last season was a unique move, for a team that’s identity hasn’t been centered around the west coast style of offense. Pittman is a large-bodied receiver at 6’4″ 220 pounds, with long arms in which to snare footballs. Had a very fine 2019, his 101 receptions were tied for fourth in the NCAA. Pittman would be a fine weapon for Jackson and should slide right into that No. 2 role opposite Brown.
Round 4, Pick 129: Calvin Throckmorton, G, Oregon
13 year veteran Marshal Yanda has still not given the Ravens a definitive answer whether he decides to return or call it a career. However, regardless if Yanda decides to come back for a 14th season or not, the club will need to be proactive in the draft. Not your average guard, Throckmorton is like a chameleon in the sense he has swapped out every single position on the offensive line in his four years with the Ducks.
Round 4, Pick 134: Alton Robinson, DL, Syracuse
A crucial piece in that Baltimore defensive line the past few years since going undrafted in 2016, Michael Pierce will be looking for a significant pay rise. The Ravens could trim the fat in other areas in order to hang onto Pierce. However, in three seasons at Syracuse, Robinson compiled 115 tackles, 32 of those for a loss. The 2019 season didn’t quite live up to his monster 2018 campaign, but he would still put up respectable numbers. Robinson had a nice showing at the Senior Bowl, having contributed a pair of sacks.
Round 4, Pick 144: Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh
The Ravens do have Marcus Peters, Tavon Young, Marlon Humphrey, and Brandon Carr signed. However, three of those four players may not be with the club after next season. Both Humphrey and Carr are going to be looking for new contracts after 2020-21, and Young is coming off a serious neck injury. With all that in mind, adding a young corner in the mid-rounds makes a ton of sense. Jackson is a very physical corner, that when given the chance will clobber the opposing ball carrier. In his three years as a player at Pitt, Jackson would compile 148 tackles, and four forced fumbles. He was also selected All-ACC second team.
Round 5, Pick 171: Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
Safety Tony Jefferson was released after three years with the team in February, shaving $7 million dollars off the salary cap. The Ravens lose a well liked player among the players with the move, however, it was certainly the right choice given the lack of production in his three years since coming over from Arizona. The son of former Pro Bowl corner, Winfield Jr. had a major rebound season, after having played a combined eight games in 2017 and 2018. In his senior year at Minnesota, Winfield racked up 83 tackles to go along with three sacks. With this pick, the Ravens add back to back hard-hitting secondary players.
Round 7, Pick 226: Rico Dowdle, RB, South Carolina
The Ravens may be without a proper back up to Mark Ingram, come draft day. Gus Edwards is ready to hit the free agent market. They may decide to keep Edwards or let him walk and try adding another running back. Dowdle had a super showing at the Combine, having posted the second-best athleticism score according to Next Gen Stats.
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