After attacking needs in the fourth round, the Baltimore Ravens opted to add depth at two offensive positions in round five.
With the 171st and 175th selections, the Ravens drafted Delaware tight end Nick Boyle and Tennessee State offensive guard Robert Myers, respectively.
Neither selection attacked a glaring need per se, but relative to the round in which they were drafted, the Ravens added two players who can provide dependable depth.
The Boyle selection was a bit of a head scratcher on the surface, as Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams was drafted in the second round by the Ravens on Friday night. But, this pick may signal the team’s plans for Dennis Pitta. After drafting Crockett Gillmore last year and then selecting two tight ends in the 2015 draft, it is safe to assume that the organization does not have overwhelming confidence in Pitta returning to the field.
By selecting Boyle, the Ravens bypassed any process of not having enough roster-caliber tight ends in Pitta’s absence, as they have now added two capable players at the position in as many days.
At 6’4, 268 pounds, Boyle is a thickly built player who will not be mistaken as an imposing receiving threat, even with notably solid testing times in the 20 and 60 yard shuttles at the NFL combine. Instead, despite 101 career receptions and 12 receiving touchdowns for the Blue Hens, Boyle’s value should be found in his run-blocking ability, where his burly frame allows him to take on size-advantaged defenders.
His two Ravens counterparts – Gillmore and Williams – are diverse enough to block and catch, but Boyle’s role will likely lean more heavily toward blocking than his tight end teammates. If Pitta indeed misses the 2015 season and/or has played his final NFL snap, Boyle’s roster chances are quite favorable for his rookie campaign.
The Ravens typically carry three tight ends on the active roster, and Boyle’s blocking ability and short yardage receiving skills could net him a role as the third tight end.
Baltimore’s second selection in the fifth round, Myers, is a depth move at a position that the Ravens never shy away from addressing on day three of the draft (see: Ryan Jensen and John Urschel).
His athleticism is nothing of note, but his aggressive playing style could aid him in the long run. Short term, Myers is simply a backup interior option for the team. But with Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda entering the final year of their respective contracts, adding some insurance at offensive guard was necessary.