As a part of our coverage here at Russell Street Report, we’ll be featuring the best prospects all across the board in any situation the Ravens might come across. Whether it’s a receiver in the first round, a quarterback in the sixth, or a guard in the third, we’ll cover the Ravens best options in any scenario.
Barring any trades, the team will pick in the middle of each round—so we’ll see who is available when the Ravens are projected to select their upcoming stars. This will make it easy for you the fan to look at what the Ravens are seeing in future NFL prospects.
Free agency starts today, but the Ravens will look to the draft to fill many of their needs. Here are a few impact safeties to look out for on Day Four. North Carolina – stand up!
Dontae Johnson, North Carolina State
Standing at 6’2”, this ACC standout has a very good build for a prototypical free safety. Johnson was able to run a 4.4 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, way above average for a safety going into the NFL.
Johnson’s speed will help him at the next level as he’ll be able to keep up with speedy wideouts. While he does many things right on the field, there are plenty of areas in which he can still improve.
He will get better with experience, but his poor footwork and lack of elite play in big moments is what makes him a backup at best coming into the NFL.
Johnson will get better with coaching (Ed Reed?) but he must soak up every bit of knowledge at the next level. Ozzie and Co. might take Johnson as a developmental project in the 5th or 6th.
Tre Boston, North Carolina
The Ravens want a playmaker and Boston might just be able to turn into the guy they are looking for. While he isn’t ready to start in the NFL, he has shown the coverage skills and play recognition to develop into a very interesting player at the next level.
Boston was around the ball a lot with the Tar Heels, making big plays when needed. He’s certainly worth a look as a project, but it’s not realistic to expect him to come in and start right away (as is the case with just about any player drafted on Day 4).
STRENGTHS: Looks the part of an NFL safety with a chiseled physique and good overall athleticism. Highly physical defender who attacks the line of scrimmage in run support, demonstrating aggressive hands and impressive upper body strength to take on and shed blocks, as well as impressive closing speed and the willingness to throw his body into the pile. Fluid athlete who accelerates smoothly. Times his leaps well to highpoint 50-50 balls, showing strong hands to pluck and secure quickly. Former cornerback who could just be scratching the surface of his potential.
WEAKNESSES: Isn’t the some of his parts due to the fact that he takes false steps. Doesn’t trust what he sees and instead bounces back and forth indecisively, putting him in tough position to make plays on the ball. Comes in out of control in run support, at times, leaving cutback lanes for savvy runners to exploit.