With the NFL Scouting Combine and free agency approaching, we will soon get an idea of how the Baltimore Ravens plan on shaping the roster in Ozzie Newsome‘s final season as GM.
Entering the offseason, the most glaring improvements needed on the roster were: more offensive skill-position talent, a more stable offensive line, pass rush upgrades, and depth at inside linebacker. That is bound to change once the dominoes start to fall via free agency and heading into the draft at the end of April.
It is still too early to tell just how Baltimore’s offseason will play out pre-draft, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at which draft prospects are being linked to the Ravens in the first round.
NFL Network’s Charley Casserly: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
This gives the Ravens a bookend OT with Ronnie Stanley.
RSR analysis: With the interior offensive line set to be healthy again in 2018, and Ronnie Stanley holding down the fort at left tackle, the right side is the area in biggest need of improvement. McGlinchey would be a day-one starter, and would allow the Ravens to backfill Austin Howard with one of the better offensive linemen in the draft.
Brown on the right side of the Ravens offensive line, next to Marshal Yanda, is the making of nightmares for strongside defensive linemen in the NFL.
The Ravens need to address the wide receiver position, but they have a good track record of filling that void with veteran players in free agency. Brown would immediately start at right tackle for Baltimore, just like his father did a little more than a decade ago.
RSR analysis: Adding a familiar name to the Baltimore offensive line may do the offense some good, as Brown is one of the most athletic offensive tackles in the draft, and possesses some of the highest upside.
NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
The Ravens need another bookend blocker to keep Joe Flacco upright in the pocket against an impressive collection of pass rushers in the AFC North.
RSR analysis: Starting to notice a theme here? It is no secret that right tackle could use a facelift after a subpar 2017 from Howard. Williams could be enticing to the Ravens as he has been projected as a guard as well, and the Ravens love versatile offensive linemen.
Ridley would add blazing speed and outstanding route-running ability as a “play-now” talent.
This is another best player available scenario, and Ridley would arguably fill Baltimore’s biggest need on offense. Ridley could help rejuvenate the career of Joe Flacco because he’s such a dependable pass-catcher.
RSR analysis: It is no secret that the Ravens (per usual) are in dire need of wide receiver talent. However, with a lackluster crop of top-end receivers in this draft, it seems like a stretch that Ridley will still be available at 16.
CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
They have to get weapons for Joe Flacco, and there really doesn’t seem to be a receiver worth taking this high after Ridley. So landing one of the top tight ends makes sense. Could also go offensive line here.
RSR analysis: This is the first that we have seen Goedert tied to the Ravens at 16. It will not be a surprise to see the Ravens draft a tight end this year, but this seems slightly high for Goedert.