Before you dive into this 7-round mock for the Ravens, please note that this is part of a much larger thread on Russell Street Report’s Fan Forum.
These picks are done based on my opinion, however there is some logic behind my picks – it isn’t purely emotional (otherwise, the mock would be nothing but receivers, ha!)
I arrive at these picks after reviewing the current roster of the team, what their projected roster losses will be next off-season, and how I value the prospects. (In other words, you may REALLY love a player and I may not).
Secondly, I do not factor in trades. I realize this is unrealistic, but no one can accurately project trades on draft day.
Lastly, this is just for fun and discussion leading up to next week’s event.
As this draft progressed, one thing I noticed was the lack of talented depth at tight end. There is Mike Gesicki, Dallas Goedert, and Hayden Hurst, but none of those guys are perfect specimens. Yes, Gesicki has size and is outstanding 1-on-1, but he doesn’t play as fast in pads as he looked during the Combine. Goedert dominated lesser competition and is a willing blocker, but is he mostly hype from a sensational YouTube video?
Hayden Hurst is arguably the most talented, but he’ll be 25 years old when the season is underway. Then, there is Mark Andrews who had just under 1,000 yards receiving for Oklahoma last year, but he doesn’t block at all. And let’s not forget Troy Fumagalli, the Wisconsin product, who looked great during the regular season, but came to the Senior Bowl with a case of butter fingers. Finally, there is Ian Thomas – a local Baltimore native who is athletic, a decent blocker, but had very little production in college.
The point is, there isn’t a ton of tight end talent in this draft class – not many who are better than incumbents Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, and a potential free agent add like Julius Thomas. It’s good to keep that in mind come draft day as there is a very real possibility that the Ravens miss out on taking a TE.
In Round 1, I have three quarterbacks coming off the board in the first three picks. I think Cleveland will do what Cleveland does and go with the guy who has the biggest “bust” probability – Josh Allen. Next up, the Giants who have wanted Josh Rosen all along, as he is arguably the most polished passer in this draft. However, I could see the Giants tossing around the idea of Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb as well. Considering they just traded Jason Pierre-Paul to Tampa Bay and that defensive coordinator James Bettcher is doing some remodeling, altering Big Blue’s defense into a 3-4 base, I could see Chubb being a legitimate candidate at 2. That said, I went with Rosen though simply because Eli will be 38 this year and it’s time to groom his successor. Finally, I have the New York Jets taking Baker Mayfield at pick 3.
With the 16th pick, Baltimore looks for a safe pick and one that will contribute right away and, in my opinion, that is Mike McGlinchey, the 6’8″, 312lb offensive tackle from Notre Dame. Right now they have James Hurst penciled in at right tackle, but he was really good at left guard. It would be foolish to switch him up again and McGlinchey would be an ideal bookend for Ronnie Stanley.
Some other players I have going before Baltimore picks at 16 are as follows: Calvin Ridley, Derwin James, Quinton Nelson, Marcus Davenport, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Courtland Sutton. The players I passed on included James Washington, Rashaan Evans, Derrius Guice, Mike Gesicki, Lamar Jackson, and Dallas Goedert.
In my mind Rounds 2-4 is where most teams will reap the most value in this draft. I think we’ll see a heavy run on skill positions in these rounds as I have guys like Michael Gallup going to Chicago at pick 39 and Marcel Ateman going to Denver at pick 40. Unfortunately, I think the Patriots will be looking at receiver as well in this draft considering they just traded Brandin Cooks and Julian Edelman is coming off a season-ending injury. I have them taking the local favorite, DJ Moore, at pick 43.
Baltimore is picking at 52 and I think if someone like Hayden Hurst, the tight end from South Carolina, is there, they’d be very interested in him. However, I have Detroit taking Hurst right before Baltimore picks.
With the 52nd pick, I have Baltimore taking Frank Ragnow, offensive center from Arkansas. The 6’5″, 309lb lineman is coming off of an ankle injury, but there have been videos of him recently dunking a basketball, which for a 300+ pound guy is already impressive. I think his ankle will be fine and, on the field, he’s easily the top center in this draft. I know the Ravens like Matt Skura and there is some conjecture that they’ll give Alex Lewis a shot at center, but Ragnow is a Day-1 starter in my opinion and he could easily be as good as guys like Alex Mack or Travis Frederick.
For those wondering if Baltimore is going to go another draft without taking a receiver, you might be happy with my 3rd round pick.
With the 83rd pick, I have Baltimore taking DaeSean Hamilton, receiver from Penn State. I like Hamilton’s skill set quite a bit. He’s got decent size at 6’1″, 205-210lbs. He’s quick, he has some speed, and he has good hands. The knock on him was he didn’t produce a lot at Penn State, but my rebuttal to that is he was on an offense with Saquon Barkley and their quarterback, Trace McSorley, was not very good. Hamilton showcased precision route running and hands at the Senior Bowl and the Ravens have been super interested in him.
Round 4 is where some Ravens fans may start to get frustrated because here is where guys like Auden Tate, Kyle Lauletta, J’Mon Moore, and Malik Jefferson come off the board before Baltimore picks at 118.
With the 118th pick, I have Baltimore taking safety Kyzir White from West Virginia. White is a 6’2″, 216lb safety with nice range, tackling ability, and a knack for creating turnovers. The fact is the Ravens have invested a lot in defense the past few years, but that shouldn’t preclude them from taking a guy with some nice upside at a position where the current starter (Eric Weddle) is 33 years old, expensive, and coming off a season where he wasn’t as effective against the run.
The Ravens have discussed adding another quarterback to compete with Robert Griffin III for the back up and I’m not convinced they’ll find that guy in this draft. However, I do think they should try and add a passer at some point. Unless they trade up for someone, look for Ozzie Newsome to wait until later in the draft and take someone with some upside, but isn’t a complete player yet.
With the 154th pick, the Ravens select Kurt Benkert, quarterback from University of Virginia. Benkert stands 6’3″, 220lbs, has a big-time arm, has some improvisational skills, and is pretty mobile. He had a heck of a play at the Senior Bowl where he rolled to his left (he’s right handed) and completed an off-balanced, side-armed bullet to Rashaad Penny – who was well covered – for a big catch and run. I don’t know if Benkert will ever be more than a back up, but he certainly has some nice upside.
The Ravens have two picks in the 6th round and I have them taking Leon Jacobs at pick 190 and Justin Watson at pick 215. Jacobs is a 6’2″, 235lb linebacker from Wisconsin who is built like a Marvel super hero and has a ton of versatility. I like his game quite a bit. Watson is a small school receiver prospect from University of Pennsylvania, but the 6’3″, 225lb receiver showcased surprising athleticism at his pro-day with a 4.35 40-yard dash, 20 reps on the flat bench and a 40″ vertical. He also performed well at the East/West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. Plus, he shares an agent with Joe Flacco (Joe Linta), so that can’t hurt, right? The Ravens have been very interested in Watson.
Finally, in Round 7, at pick 238, I have the Ravens taking Phillip Lindsay, a 5’9, 190lb running back out of Colorado. Though he doesn’t possess ideal size, neither did Ray Rice when the Ravens drafted him out of Rutgers. In fact, Rice was about the same as Lindsay, who is productive out of the backfield. In 3 years as a starter, the Buffalo amassed over 4,000 total yards and 39 touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 9.3 yards per reception. Lindsay also has experience as a kick returner.
So, in summary, the Ravens 8 picks go down as follows:
- Pick 1 (16th overall): Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame
- Pick 2 (52nd overall): Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
- Pick 3 (83rd overall): DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
- Pick 4 (118th overall): Kyzir White, S, West Virginia
- Pick 5 (154th overall): Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia
- Pick 6 (190th overall): Leon Jacobs, LB, Wisconsin
- Pick 7 (215th overall): Justin Watson, WR, Pennsylvania
- Pick 8 (238th overall): Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado