Jeff Zrebiec’s Ravens Draft Preview Looks at Sleeper and Wild Card Options, and More

As we rely down the ultimate hours to the beginning of the NFL Draft tomorrow evening, The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec tried to “join the dots” as to how issues might play out for the Ravens with the Thirtieth-overall decide within the first spherical and subsequent choices.

Here are some excerpts from Zrebiec’s evaluation:

Most doubtless state of affairs within the first spherical

“Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyler Guyton and/or Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims and Arizona offensive lineman Jordan Morgan will likely be out there to fill the crew’s plug-and-play sort out wants, and so will not less than one in all Iowa’s Cooper DeJean, Clemson’s Nate Wiggins or Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry at cornerback. There can even be edge rush and large receiver choices. General Manager Eric DeCosta may have trade-back alternatives, too, and he’ll weigh how a lot he loves the highest remaining participant on his board with how a lot the Ravens covet extra prime draft capital.”

A sleeper choice who ought to be mentioned extra

“Missouri’s Darius Robinson performs like a Raven. He’s huge (6-foot-5, 285 kilos), sturdy and bodily — and evaluators rave about his character. Robinson, who had 8 1/2 sacks and 14 tackles for loss final 12 months, provides versatility with the power to play on the sting and bump inside in sure packages. The Ravens watched him star on the Senior Bowl and introduced him to Baltimore for a pre-draft go to. The Ravens have greater wants than their defensive entrance, however including versatile and disruptive gamers is all the time on the thoughts of the crew’s decision-makers.”

Wild-card choice at No. 30

“Duke’s Graham Barton. He was a second-team All-American left sort out for the Blue Devils, however he is anticipated to play heart within the NFL. The Ravens do not want a middle with Tyler Linderbaum on the roster. They do, nonetheless, want a proper sort out and starting-caliber guards. Barton is greater than able to taking part in these positions.”

A Day 2 participant who looks like a typical Ravens decide

“Miami security Kamren Kinchens does not have elite pace or athleticism, however he is all the time across the ball. He had 11 interceptions and 22 cross breakups over his ultimate two school seasons. An instinctive and rangy security with good ball abilities, touted management capacity and robust particular groups expertise appears like a super mid-round Ravens add.”

One query that would form what the Ravens do late Thursday and Friday

“How a lot do the Ravens imagine in Rashod Bateman and their present large receiver corps? DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh have talked up Bateman, a 2021 first-round decide, all offseason. DeCosta has downplayed the necessity at large receiver. In free company, the Ravens acted like a crew content material with the trio of Zay Flowers, Bateman and Nelson Agholor, and permitting youthful cross catchers to fill in behind them. But that is an particularly sturdy receiver class. Despite utilizing extra draft capital on the place than any crew since 2019, the Ravens once more have a necessity.

“There are 4 receivers thought of first-round locks, after which the second spherical ought to spur a run at large receiver that continues by Day 2. If the Ravens are principally content material with what they’ve on the place, they will present slightly endurance and get a man they like late within the third spherical or early within the fourth. If not, they could need to earmark their second-round decide for a cross catcher.”

DeJean Would Be ‘Phenomenal Fit’ for Ravens

Boston College senior soccer analyst and former NFL defensive again Will Blackmon likened DeJean to All-Pro security Kyle Hamilton due to his versatility, which sparked Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer to say that Baltimore could be a super touchdown spot for the Iowa cornerback.

“Phenomenal match for a Baltimore-style protection, and that is why I believe he is in play for the Ravens at 30, and will go as excessive as sixteenth to Seattle,” Breer wrote on X.

Breer was responding to a submit from Blackmon, who wrote: “Maybe Cooper DeJean needs to play nook to show some extent. However, placing Cooper DeJean at nook could be a waste of his abilities and instincts. Put him in a hybrid position the place he can transfer round and make performs. Ex: Kyle Hamilton.”

Our personal Clifton Brown stated that DeJean might make it to No. 30 as a result of groups that view him as extra of a security could not covet him as a lot.

“His probability to grow to be an influence participant could hinge on the system he joins,” Brown wrote. “Teams cautious of transferring DeJean across the secondary to benefit from his instincts could cross on him.”

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah mocked DeJean to the Ravens final month, noting that “Baltimore has a knack for watching robust, good and versatile gamers fall into its lap. We see it occur as soon as once more with DeJean.”

Ravens Named Potential Landing Spot for One of Draft’s Best-Kept Secrets

Washington State cornerback Chau Smith-Wade hasn’t acquired practically as a lot consideration as DeJean, however Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine stated Smith is among the draft’s best-kept secrets and techniques and named the Ravens as a possible match.

“Smith-Wade is considered as a fifth-round decide and the 168th general participant on the consensus huge board from NFL Mock Draft Database,” Ballentine wrote. “That stands in stark distinction from B/R scout Cory Giddings’ view on him. He’s ranked seventy fifth general on our huge board. He’s a type of prospects who does not draw a ton of consideration however might carve out an extended profession as a useful NFL starter.”

Ballentine famous that Smith-Wade performed nearly completely on the surface at Washington State, however he would doubtless play within the slot within the NFL and is ranked as the highest slot cornerback on Bleacher Report’s huge board.

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