submitted by Edward Lupp
Two years ago, Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the First Round (pick 32). Recognized as the most outstanding player in college football, the Ravens aggressively traded up to secure their quarterback of the future. This year, the Ravens signed RB Mark Ingram, who won the Heisman back in 2009.
// Fast forward to present day… //
The 2019 college football season has already kicked off. Here are some Hesiman favorites:
— Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
— Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
— Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
— Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
— Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
— Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Are any of these players on the Ravens’ radar?
The QBs should be on the draft board, but not as an area of concern. The Ravens believe that Lamar Jackson is a franchise QB and will continue his development. Scouting the group of players listed here starts at wide receiver, then running back.
Jerry Jeudy is Alabama’s leading receiver and regarded as one of the top players in this draft class. He is sure-handed, fast, agile, and elusive. While he may not measure as the biggest WR (6’1”, 190 lbs.), he excels at route running and gaining separation to make catches. For Jeudy, ankle-breaking highlights are a typical day at the office.
Draft Projection: Round 1, Pick 5-10
— To draft Jerry Jeudy, the Ravens need to either have a disappointing season or package several picks together (1st, 2nd, 4th). The price will likely be viewed as too much and Jeudy will end up elsewhere.
Jonathan Taylor is the bell cow RB for Wisconsin, gaining over 2000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons. Taylor is well balanced with good vision and finishes nearly every run. He possesses a subtle twitch or jab-step to evade contact and get downfield. Taylor is the focal-point of defensive preparation and will carry that status at the professional level.
Draft Projection: Round 1, Pick 16-32
— The Ravens appear to be set at RB for the short-term (Ingram, Edwards, Hill). If Greg Roman’s new offensive scheme does not pan out this season, they will scout a workhorse RB like Taylor. Ezekiel Elliott just got a big contract and the Ravens may see value in drafting a player to own the position for several years.
Bottom Line: The team expects a Super Bowl victory while Vegas leans toward 9-7 with a potential playoff berth.
This puts the Ravens drafting between 20-32 in the first round with the Heisman winner already selected.