The NFL Draft is only days away now. Fans and teams are preparing for the biggest night of the NFL off-season. The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a franchise-record 14-2 season, but they still have some positional needs to fill through the draft. One of those is at tight end, could top-ranked prospect Cole Kmet be the answer?
The Ravens dealt former first-round pick, Hayden Hurst, to the Atlanta Falcons for a second-round pick. Baltimore’s offense utilizes tight ends a lot, with Mark Andrews usurping Hurst last season. Andrews was the teams leading receiver with 852 yards and ten touchdowns last season. Nick Boyle is a leading blocking tight end, but the Ravens need another tight end. What prospects could they target?
Second – Round Target: Cole Kmet: Notre Dame
Many draft experts have noted this is a down year for tight ends. They also agree that Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet stands out as the top-ranked tight end. He has excellent size at 6’6″ and 262 pounds but also combines good speed at 4.7 40. Kmet is a mismatch for defenses, being stronger than linebackers and cornerbacks but faster than defensive tackles.
Kmet needs to improve his blocking, along with working on his technique to avoid being jammed at the line-of-scrimmage. Hurst was more of a receiving tight end, and Kmet projects as the best possible replacement this year. The Ravens could utilize his mismatch ability, and for a second-round pick, he could be a steal.
A Later Round Kmet?: Adam Trautman: Dayton
Adam Trautman is one of the small school sleepers in this draft class, impressing at the FCS University of Dayton. Trautman impressed at the Senior Bowl, although the adjustment to the NFL will prove much bigger.
Trautman has good size at 6’5″ and 255 pounds. His 4.8 40-time is worrying, but he can still prove a significant weapon in the right offensive system. Trautman projects as a pass-catching tight end but can improve his blocking to a high level. He has a chance of being available for the Ravens late in the third round. If the Ravens value other positional needs ahead of tight end, Trautman could be an excelled middle-round pick.
Fourth – Round Target: Albert Okwuegbunam: Missouri
Albert Okwuegbunam is the wildcard of this tight end class. The Missouri prospect is a physical specimen but had injury problems while in college, missing time in both his sophomore and junior years. Injuries in college are worrying as it suggests the increased physicality of the NFL will only lead to more injuries.
Despite the injury concerns, teams will still take a chance of him because of his athletic traits. Albert O has good size at 6’5″ and 258 pounds but possesses elite speed with a 4.49 40-time. With his size and speed, he can be a difference-maker on the field, if he can stay healthy. The Ravens could gamble on Albert O, using him as a rotational piece to keep him fresh.
Fourth – Round Target: Thaddeus Moss: LSU
Thaddeus Moss is the most recognizable name in this class, thanks to hall-of-fame father Randy Moss and his heroics for the national champion LSU Tigers. Moss was a big target for quarterback Joe Burrow, but his NFL prospects appear limited.
His 6’2″ 250-pound frame doesn’t compare well to others in this class, with the film showing a lack of top-end speed. Moss skills are as a run-blocker, which to some, are the best in this class. His limited athletic traits mean he needs a good offensive scheme to thrive. Moss could excel as a run-blocker in Baltimore, with some pass-catching threat also. As a late fourth-round pick, he could prove extremely valuable.
That wraps up my final positional roundup for Thursday’s NFL Draft. For all the latest NFL Draft news visit the website here.
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