With the 2017 draft in the books columnists and experts everywhere are rushing to evaluate their respective teams draft showings. The cover32 Ravens staff will now join the fray with our Baltimore Ravens draft grades.
To grade the Ravens 2017 draft we need to assess their needs heading into the draft. First and foremost, over the offseason the Ravens lost two huge building blocks on offense, with the retirement of wide receiver Steve Smith and losing right tackle Ricky Wagner. Last season the Ravens had plenty of problems putting up points which was largely blamed on the lack of weapons for Joe Flacco to utilize. So the Ravens could have used wide receivers and offensive linemen.
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Defensively the Ravens had plenty of problems protecting against the pass. This was not only because of the secondary but because of the pass rush, or rather the lack of it. Baltimore was woeful in terms of rushing the passer in 2016 making that, and the secondary the biggest defensive needs.
Round 1 (No. 16): CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
The Humphrey analysis has gone something like this, “Wow that was early, but wait he is actually pretty good. Oh and Newsome picks an Alabama guy again.” Shockingly, that analysis is nearly perfect. It was a bit of a reach for Humphrey, but he is undoubtedly a talented physical corner. And yes it fills the Newsome loves Alabama trope.
Round 2 (No 47): OLB Tyus Bowser, Houston
The Ravens desperately needed to improve their pass rush and made their first swing at it with selecting Bowser in the second round. Bowser is a physical monster with playmaking ability and a high upside. Bowser does need to learn the finer details of the edge rushing position he will be inheriting so he comes with a bit of caution. Great athletes make great football players if they have football skills, and Bowser will need to round out his skills.
Round 3 (No. 74): DE Chris Wormley, Michigan
Wormley is practically the ideal player to play defensive end in the Ravens 3-4 scheme. Another attempt to shore up the Ravens pass rush, Wormley is a solid pick especially with the value he provides in the third round.
Round 3 (No. 78): OLB Tim Williams, Alabama
If it did not look like the Ravens were worried about their pass rush before, taking Williams here should dispel any remaining doubts. In fact, they took two pass rush guys before this pick so you should probably have already picked up on that, but I digress. Regardless Williams is a prolific pass rusher, but really only that. Williams has had problems being too one dimensional. That, combined with his off-field issues, pushed Williams down to the Ravens for decent value. Likely limited to a role as a situational pass rusher, Williams will need to round out his resume to see more regular field time.
Round 4 (No. 122): OL Nico Siragusa, San Diego State
Siragusa has an NFL-ready frame and the ability to open holes for the running backs. Siragusa blocked terifically in San Diego State’s zone run scheme that closely resembles that of the Ravens. He has all the looks of the replacement of Alex Lewis at left guard, maybe immediantly.
Round 5 (No. 159): OL Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M
Eluemunor might have trouble finding a starting spot after his selection by the Ravens. Eluemunor has upside after a late start to the game, but the one year starter at Texas A&M has the great Marshal Yanda, Alex Lewis, and this year’s fourth round pick ahead of him for starting roles.
Round 6 (No. 186): S Chuck Clark, Virginia Tech
The Ravens add depth with Chuck Clark in the sixth round. There is not much more to this pick. The Ravens clearly like him though after bringing on two safeties in free agency before the draft.
— Patrick Backlas covers the Baltimore Ravens as a managing editor for cover32 Ravens. Connect and follow on Twitter @PatrickBacklas and @Cover32_bal