Who might the Baltimore Ravens be targeting in this week's NFL Draft? WTOP's Chris Cichon goes round-by-round to try to predict the gaps in the roster the team will try to address and which players might fit best.
Fresh off leading the Ravens in his rookie year to the playoffs, Lamar Jackson is set to begin his sophomore season in the NFL as the undisputed starting quarterback for Baltimore. Joe Flacco, who certainly is not “elite” anymore, was traded in the offseason to Denver and with the free agent signing of running back Mark Ingram, it looks more than ever like Baltimore will have a run-focused offense.
That does not necessarily mean the Ravens should skip looking at the wide receiver position in the 2019 NFL Draft. Head Coach John Harbaugh, who signed a four-year extension in January, admitted the group does not feature household names, but Jackson is in need of a reliable target in the passing game as he was only able to top 200+ yards passing in a game once. While this draft does not feature a can’t-miss superstar like Calvin “Megatron” Johnson or Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver is one of the deeper positions in this year’s class.
A number of veterans have moved on from the organization, headlined by linebacker Terrell Suggs, who will undoubtedly enter Canton one day donning the Purple and Black. T-Sizzle is now with the Cardinals, fellow linebackers Za’Darius Smith joined Green Bay and C.J. Mosley is a Jet, while safety Eric Weddle signed with the Rams. The team signed Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, but the defense is pretty barren when it comes to veteran leadership and a lot of younger players will be asked to step up and carry on the tradition of stalwart Ravens defenses.
Despite tight end being a strong position in the draft, it’s hard to imagine the Ravens drafting anyone in the first few rounds after last season’s questionable decision to select Hayden Hurst in the first round. Robert Griffin III is a capable veteran backup, so while the team may look at a QB in the far later rounds, that is also not considered any sort of a need.
For Round 1, here are four players the Ravens should give a look with the 22nd overall pick, followed by one player in each of the subsequent rounds the team should consider.