I’ve posted a few articles on the Ravens draft, largely discussing how terrible it was that they didn’t draft Myles Jack. I’m not going to beat a dead horse, so this is going to be about the players that the Ravens did select rather than focusing on the guy who got away.
Round 1, Pick 6: Ronnie Stanley
Stanley is a nimble tackle who is light on his feet and has shown that he’s elite in the run game while still performing well in the passing game. That’s fits the Ravens perfectly as it gives us a prospect who can keep Flacco’s reconstructed knee safe, but is also going to help the run game significantly. Eugene Monroe has been a disappointment and Stanley is a great match. With the questions on Tunsil and the social media disaster that happened just before the draft, you can’t argue this pick.
Round 2, Pick 11: Kamalei Correa
Correa is an interesting kid. He has the motor of the energizer bunny and is always trying to get to the ball. Ideally, he seems to fit a 3-4 defense best, but he offers the versatility that the Ravens like to see. He can line up on the line or as a linebacker. Correa seems to be better as a pass rusher, but has shown the ability to handle coverage (specifically zone coverage) well. I didn’t see any plays where he’s completely over matched. He also seems fairly comfortable in every play. He seems like he’ll be the Jarret Johnson type player that thrives in the Ravens defense.
Round 3, pick 7: Bronson Kaufusi
Kaufusi is an interesting pick. He’s got elite size at 6’6 which also means he has a huge wing span. Kaufusi shows the ability to rush whether he’s lined up in a three-point stance or standing as a backer. Like Correa, he offers a great deal of versatility, and is the perfect hybrid type player that the Ravens love so much. Worst case scenario, Kaufusi becomes the perfect rotational player who can offer a pass rush or swat a number of balls down. You have to love the hybrid style and length this guy offers.
Round 4, pick 6: Tavon Young
Young is a small player a la Jason Verrett. The good news is that Verrett graded out as the #6 overall CB in the NFL last year. He proved that being 5’10 isn’t going to kill you in the NFL. Young is a a competitor who plays bigger than his size. I think he’s going to be a slot corner more than anything else, but he is consistently able to fight for 50/50 balls. You could call it a bit of a Napoleon complex, but I see him doing well because of his tenacity.
Round 4, pick 9: Chris Moore
This is an interesting, though unsafe pick. Moore is a 6’1 WR who is at his best on vertical routes. That’s great given that Flacco can throw the deep ball as well as anyone. There are a few concerns here. 1) Moore is only adept at running a 9 route. Aside from the deep ball, Moore’s route running is highly suspect. 2) Moore has average hands at best. Even if he manages to get open, he may drop the ball, frequently. 3) The Ravens now have 11 WR’s on the roster. I understand strength in numbers, but 11?? That’s a bit much. The Ravens also have other vertical threats like Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. I’m not a fan of this pick- Malcolm Mitchell would have been a better choice.
Round 4, pick 32: Alex Lewis
Lewis is a coach’s son and a strong competitor. He needs to improve his footwork, but can offer a lot of value if he is able to put it together. He’s technically sound and has good length. I see Lewis as a swingman for the Ravens during his rookie season. I believe he can play both tackles and both guards in a pinch. That versatility is invaluable in today’s game. He’ll need to put on more muscle to be successful.
Round 4, Pick 34: Willie Henry
Henry was a forgotten prospect because of the depth of talent in this year’s draft. He did a great job at Michigan despite not being a full time starter. As a senior, Henry only started 9 games, but managed 10 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks, earning him honorable mention in his conference. I’m not sure why Henry was never a full-time player, but he offers great skills when he’s on the field. You can’t argue against a DT who has 15.5 TFL, 9 sacks, and an INT in his last two seasons as a part time player.
Round 4, Pick 36: Kenneth Dixon
Dixon is the product of a small school which may be why he fell so far. He didn’t have a great offensive line helping him, but still managed to be one of the most productive backs in NCAA history. In fact, he set the TD record until Keenan Reynolds passed him.
Dixon is able to catch the ball out of the backfield which will already make him popular with the Ravens’ offensive coordinator. He also shows great agility, and uses a jump cut frequently. Dixon seems to have the ability to stop on a dime and shows an incredible change of direction ability. If given the chance, I think Dixon could be a great starting running back in this league. I think he’ll be the #2 back in Baltimore by the start of the season. He should push Justin Forsett for the starting spot by the end of the year.
Round 5, pick 7: Matt Judon
I really, really liked this pick. Judon was still around in the 5th because for two reasons. First, he’s from a small school (Grand Valley St.) which means a lot of scouts may have slept on him. Second, he’s already had to have his ACL repaired which may have scared some scouts away. Either way, all Judon did was finish with 20 sacks, 23.5 tackles for a loss, and 3 FF and FR last season. You know, just a normal year for most guys.
Judon was the best at what he did in his league. No player was even close. Judon is an intelligent pass rusher who can use the swim, the rip, or a combination to beat the lineman. He does have a history of injuries, but you can’t turn down a guy with is production in the 5th.
Pick 6, Pick 7: Keenan Reynolds
This is an interesting pick, but you can’t argue against it. Reynolds is a disciplined play maker who offers the ability to score from anywhere on the field. Reynolds has also spent a significant amount of time in Maryland given that he went to the Naval Academy.
Much like Tim Tebow, I think Keenan Reynolds makes your locker room a better place. He’s a leader and a competitor and I believe he just wants to win. As such, he’ll be willing to do anything Trestman or Harbaugh ask of him.
Round 6, Pick 34: Maurice Canady
Canady is a big bodied Corner who has the ability to play zone or man coverage. Canady seems to be big on film study. Watching his game tape shows that he’s able to recognize plays as they’re happening and can react quickly. Given time, Canady could become a solid nickel corner.
Watching his tape, he seems a bit timid. It seems like a number of teams would run plays towards Canady knowing that he would shy away from contact. It’s unclear if he can handle the tenacity that today’s game requires, but he’s got the talent upside to be a good corner. He’s also a return man who can help the Ravens on special teams. He didn’t start returning until his senior year, but averaged 25.2 yards per return and took 1 for 75 yards to the house. He doesn’t have much experience, but shows potential.
Undrafted Free Agents
There is no such thing as a “sexy” UDFA. There’s a reason guys go undrafted. Short of you getting La’el Collins, it’s not likely to change your team dramatically. That being said, I still like some of the moves the Ravens made after “Mr. Irrelevant” was selected.
Fabiano is considered a guard according to the Ravens’ site. NFL.com lists him as a center, and he has experience as a tackle during his 4 years as a starter at Harvard. The injury bug has hit Fabiano pretty hard in his collegiate playing time.
Taking a guy who is able to play all 5 positions on your line and has the intelligence of a Harvard graduate is a pretty sweet deal free agent deal. It reminds me a bit of when the Ravens picked up Matt Birk. Fabiano shows great agility for a lineman. He is at his best in a zone scheme, so it should be interesting to see what he can do for the Ravens.
Ochi is from another small school (Stony Brook) which is the primary reason he wasn’t drafted. Ochi needs to add weight to his frame to have a successful NFL career. While Ochi did face lesser competition, he finished 2014 with first-team All-Collonial honors. In 2015 he topped that with a Co-Defensive POY award from the conference. In his final 2 seasons, Ochi had 24 sacks and 33 TFL.
Ochi seems a lot like Matt Judon to me. He offers versatility as he can rush from the DE or LB spot. Ochi has multiple moves that allow him to attack. He also has long arms, extending his punch into a tackle’s chest. Ochi is able to us his size and explosive talent to get to the quarterback with ease.
Luckett is a linebacker from Middle Tennessee State. At 6 feet even, he’s got solid size. He has great speed which he translates into coverage ability. He was never going to get drafted as he’s not even listed on the NFL prospect list. At minimum, Luckett shows the ability to contribute on special teams.
I like Skura a lot. He’s a strong kid with the 7th most reps out of any offensive lineman at the combine this year. Skura is highly intelligent and uses his technique to beat defenders. He shows great body control and uses his strength well. He won’t overpower the best DT, but he is able to combine his strength and leverage to isolate a defender away from the play. He has an outside shot at become a starter down the line. With only Jeremy Zuttah in front of him on the depth chart, his starting days could be sooner rather than later.
All in all, the Ravens did a great job in the draft. When considering the players that Baltimore took, I can only find significant fault with one pick, but I can see the upside in that pick.
From what I can see, the Ravens wanted to cover their most glaring needs (OT/CB/LB/WR) and did so with most of their picks (2 OT/2 CB/2WR). As for needs that have bodies, but need long-term improvement, the Ravens did a great job of covering the pass rush. They took 4 players who are listed as Defensive Lineman with two of those players being able to fill in as a pass rushing LB as well.
The Ravens had one of the best drafts in the league again this year. They addressed every need, added players with a value pick, and could find that they have picked up 4-6 future starters when all is said and done.