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Ravens News 3/28: Draft Needs

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By: Vasilis Lericos

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens’ Offense Continues to Evolve With Lamar Jackson at Helm

Clifton Brown,

“Lamar is going to play the way Lamar plays, and that’s what I’m for,” Harbaugh said. “I love the way he plays the game. I think he’s intuitive and intelligent, just a phenomenal football player. He sees the game in very unique ways and very smart ways, so I’m for him playing the way he plays. I think that Derrick Henry being there, plus Lamar, plus the other guys, it’s a good formula.”

“He’s got a lot of thoughts,” Harbaugh said. “I think he’s looking at every aspect of his game. He starts with himself; that’s what I love about Lamar. [He asks,] ‘What can I do better?’ And that’s why he continues to improve.

“Then, he goes to what we need, what we need schematically in his view, and he trusts the coaches. We talked and shared ideas schematically, also personnel-wise.

“We’re kind of working on that now, and then, he’ll come back, and he’ll look at everything, and we’ll want to know what he thinks. Like, ‘Do you prefer this or this? Are you comfortable in this direction or that direction? What do you like? [Are there] any other ideas you had since we talked last?’ Lamar will be part of the architecture. I believe he’ll be a big part of the architecture of the offense.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh: NFL kickoff overhaul raises ‘a lot of questions’

Brian Wacker, The Baltimore Sun

“It’s always in the details, and that’s the challenge we’re going to have right now with that,” Harbaugh, who spent nine seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles’ special teams coach before Baltimore hired him in 2008, said Monday, the day before the proposal passed. “The line of scrimmage is a big part of football. It’s been around for quite a while, and that play takes the line of scrimmage out of it.

“It’s just a different kind of a football play. I just appreciate that we’re exploring every option up to that point to where we have to make that kind of a move. Is that the right move at this time? I don’t know. I think that’s to be determined.”

Added Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, whom Harbaugh served under in Philadelphia: “I’m all for it. You have 2,000 dead plays. Nobody wants to see that. It’ll add excitement and newness.”

Evaluating Every NFL Team’s Biggest Draft Needs After Free Agency

Danny Heifetz, The Ringer

The Ravens got brain drained this offseason, losing a litany of players, coaches, and front office members. Baltimore lost both starting guards on offense, plus inside linebacker Patrick Queen, who led the team in defensive snaps, and it could lose defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was second on the team in sacks. Baltimore could also use receiver help after losing Odell Beckham Jr. But after using first-round picks on receivers in two of the past three years, the Ravens may look to plug their holes on the interior of the offensive line, on the edges of the defensive line, and around star safety Kyle Hamilton, who needs a good cornerback.

2024 NFL Draft: Updated needs for all 32 NFL teams after free agency

Dalton Wasserman, PFF


Team Needs: WR, OL, CB

Baltimore hit a home run in last year’s draft when they drafted Zay Flowers. While they do have two outstanding tight ends, they could stand to add a perimeter weapon, allowing Flowers to move around the formation. The Ravens also lost three starting offensive linemen in free agency. Players like Patrick Mekari and Josh Jones have ample experience but haven’t proven to be high-impact starters.

Defensively, the Ravens could improve at cornerback. They shuffled through eight different players at the position last season and recently lost Ronald Darby, who led the team’s cornerbacks with a 72.8 coverage grade in 2023.

2024 NFL mock draft: seven rounds, 257 picks

Matt Miller, ESPN

30. Baltimore Ravens

Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

With Zay Flowers looking like a true WR1 in his rookie season (77 catches, 858 yards, 5 TDs), the Ravens have to feel good about their developing passing game. But let’s keep building, especially since Rashod Bateman hasn’t emerged and Odell Beckham Jr. is a free agent. McConkey is a precise route runner with 4.39 speed and the stop-start quickness to dominate on underneath routes. Coming off an ankle injury in 2023, McConkey had a really strong Senior Bowl week and dominated his combine workout; he’s a Round 1 target on my board.

62. Baltimore Ravens

Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan

How do great football players always fall to the Ravens? Sainristil was a do-it-all defensive back and leader at Michigan, posting six interceptions (two touchdowns). In Baltimore, he would play a nickel role very similar to what Brian Branch did in his rookie season for the Lions.

93. Baltimore Ravens

Dominick Puni, G, Kansas

A college tackle, Puni could battle for the starting left guard spot in camp while also providing insurance across the offensive line as a five-position player.

2024 Ravens Draft Watch: Roman Wilson

Joe Serpico, PressBox

Roman Wilson

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 185 pounds

Strengths: Blistering speed was evident at the NFL Scouting Combine with a 4.39 40-yard dash; explosive once the ball is in his hands; great route runner with strong hands in traffic; jack-of-all-trades player who can make an impact on jet sweeps; can contribute on special teams.

Weakness: Size is the biggest concern as his slight frame could force him to be a slot receiver only; bigger corners will manhandle him at the line of scrimmage; won’t break many tackles.

NFL Player Comparison: Tyler Lockett

Draft Projection: Top-75 pick

Lamar Jackson does his best work when attacking the middle of the field, and Wilson could be the slot piece the Ravens have been missing. The ties to Michigan make it an ideal pairing, as the Harbaugh brothers run a similar style of offense. Wilson can also handle the return duties with Devin Duvernay now in Jacksonville.

Flowers and Bateman will be the top wide receivers this season, giving Wilson a year of seasoning before taking over in a lead role in 2025. It’s hard to imagine the Ravens giving Bateman a second contract, and the rest of the receiving corps, outside of Flowers, doesn’t have a long-term future with the organization.

Wilson would give Jackson more opportunities in the middle of the field and the Ravens’ offense another lightning-quick chess piece. Drafting Wilson in the second round would be a nice upgrade to the receiving room that needs more depth with starting potential.

Originally posted on Baltimore Beatdown – All Posts