Needs: The Ravens made a handful of big moves this offseason, signing Tony Jefferson and Brandon Carr, while retaining Brandon Williams on a contract extension. However, there are still holes all over the roster, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
They’ll look to add a receiver, cornerback, edge rusher and defensive end in the draft, as well as a linebacker to take over for the since-retired Zach Orr.
Picks: First round (16), second round (47), third round (80, 99), fourth round (122), fifth round (160), sixth round (201), seventh round (236).
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Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan
Wormley has gotten plenty of love the past few weeks as we approach the draft. Often overshadowed by other playmakers on Michigan’s defense (Taco Charlton, Jabrill Peppers), Wormley is a great player in his own right, and fits perfectly as a 3-4 defensive end. He can eat up blocks on the edge for Terrell Suggs and Baltimore’s other dynamic pass rushers, while also generating pressure himself.
Wormley deserves first-round consideration, but 16 might be a bit high for him. It’d be risky to expect him to fall to 47, so a trade back in the first would be the best option if Baltimore really likes him – which it seems to. He worked out for them privately.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
With Steve Smith retiring and Breshad Perriman unable to stay healthy, the Ravens are desperate for wide receiver help. Williams is neck-and-neck with Corey Davis as the top receiver in the draft, and if he were to fall all the way to 16, the Ravens should take a long look at the former Clemson star.
Williams doesn’t possess elite top-end speed and won’t blow the top off of a defense, but he’s dominant on intermediate routes – particularly ones that require him to go over the middle. Whether it’s a slant or a deep dig, Williams never shies away from making contested catches – similar to the way Smith made them.
Takk McKinley, OLB, UCLA
McKinley can fit as a 4-3 defensive end or outside linebacker in a 3-4, but his ideal scenario allows him to stand up and rush off the edge. That’s what the Bengals would put him in position to do, joining Terrell Suggs on the outside. As long as his shoulder isn’t a serious concern, McKinley should absolutely be a first-round pick, and landing him at No. 16 would be perfect.
The Ravens are desperate for talent and youth on the defensive side of the ball, and McKinley can bring that as soon as he’s healthy. The Ravens should make him one of their top targets in the first round.
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Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
There are a number of different directions the Ravens could go at cornerback, but Jackson is one of the more intriguing names to watch. With Jimmy Smith and Tavon Young on the outside, as well as Brandon Carr, Jackson can step in right away and cover in the slot. He has the necessary quickness, instincts and toughness to play right away, he just needs to bulk up a bit.
Additionally, he can be a gadget player on offense, lining up at wideout. The Ravens would have to figure out how to get him the ball in a variety of ways to maximize his value, be it on offense or as a return man. There’s no way they should take him at 16, but he could fall to them in the second round at 47.
Reddick has skyrocketed up draft boards since the Senior Bowl, rising from a fringe first-rounder to being a potential top-15 pick. There’s no guarantee he falls to the Ravens at 16, but he’d be a perfect selection if he does. Reddick was mostly an edge rusher in college, but he can also hold his own in coverage.
As an outside linebacker, Reddick can roam sideline to sideline on early downs, while also stepping up to the line of scrimmage on third down as a pass rusher. Essentially, he can do it all. He’s a similar player to Jamie Collins coming out of college, and we all know how good he’s turned out to be.
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Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
Witherspoon is a prototypical cornerback with outstanding size at 6-foot-3. He also has good enough speed to hang with top receivers (4.45 40-yard dash), which makes him a player teams would love to get their hands on. The Ravens added depth with Carr in free agency, but he’s far from a playmaker, and Smith has had trouble staying healthy.
Witherspoon can play in sub-packages early as he adjusts to the speed of the NFL before taking over as a full-time starter in 2018. Witherspoon will likely be taken anywhere from Round 2 to 3, which makes him a good value selection after the first round.