The Baltimore Ravens only have five picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, but those are still five potential adds to a playoff roster. For this mock, no trades were included, but the Ravens have some pieces (including Lamar Jackson) that could be dealt for more draft capital. They could also opt to trade up or trade down with their current capital.
Let"s take a look.
Round 1, Pick 22: Joey Porter Jr., Cornerback, Penn State
Porter would be the heir to Marcus Peters" throne as Baltimore"s No.2 cornerback. He is a physical specimen between the hashes, consistently jamming receivers at the line and frustrating receivers. He has issues with holding penalties – not dissimilar to Marcus Peters – but the Ravens would love the personality and physicality on the boundary even if it leads to a few penalties over the course of the season.
Porter is a good, not great, athlete. If he wins with his initial punch, most receivers won"t be able to wriggle free, but if he misses, he could be in for a long day. He also does not have much experience in the slot (30 snaps in three seasons) and has only one interception in his last three seasons. However, he allowed only 15 catches on 30 targets last season.
Round 3, Pick 86: Chandler Zavala, Guard, North Carolina State
With Ben Powers out of town, the Ravens will have an open competition at left guard. Zavala broke out in 2022, allowing only four pressures in over 400 pass-blocking reps for North Carolina State. He played nearly 750 snaps at left guard last year, and he projects as a top pass protector. He is an above-average run blocker who was better on zone players than gap plays.
Zavala only has one year of great production, but it was great production. With this pick, the Ravens do not necessarily need a Day 1 starter, but Zavala will compete with the likes of Patrick Mekari and Ben Cleveland. He could also be a long-term option as a right guard when Kevin Zeitler retires in the coming years.
Round 4, Pick 124: Andrew Vorhees, Guard, USC
Vorhees was a potential Day 1 pick at times in the process, but he has slipped because of his age and a poorly timed ACL tear at the 2023 NFL Combine. However, the Ravens have gone to the injured player well at times in the past because of the value. For example, the Ravens spent a second-round pick on David Ojabo last year despite Ojabo tearing his Achilles at his Pro Day. Ojabo missed almost the entire season, but the Ravens capitalized on the value.
Vorhees, like Zavala, played left guard in college. He played 400 snaps at left tackle in 2021. He is a better run blocker than a pass blocker, like many guards, but he has solid chops. He has allowed three sacks in about 1,200 pass-blocking reps in the last three seasons including zero in 2021. He is a six-year veteran who can win with savvy and experience as opposed to athletic dominance.
Round 5, Pick 157: Tyjae Spears, Running Back, Tulane
Spears was a massively productive player at Tulane. He led the AAC in rushing yards and touchdowns, leading the NCAA in total touchdowns. He was conference Offensive Player of the Year. All told, he scored 21 touchdowns with 19 coming on the ground. He ran for over 1500 yards, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. He has some receiving chops, but he is a more talented rusher.
Spears is built to be electric. He has the size to break through arm tackles but the speed and elusiveness to consistently get to the second and third level of the defense. For the Ravens, he would be a nice change of pace back from the power duo of J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.
Round 6, Pick 199: Ali Gaye, EDGE, LSU
Gaye is overshadowed by his teammate BJ Ojulari (for good reason), but he is a talented rusher and a good athlete. Similar to previous draft picks in Odafe Oweh and the aforementioned Ojabo, Gaye is a high-energy edge. He has good length, helping the speed-to-power aspect of his pass-rushing game. He has a lot of room to grow, but he is going late on Day 3 because he will be 25 as a rookie.
Gaye is not the most productive player – only 7.0 sacks in three seasons at LSU – but the tape is intriguing. He had a nice 9.5 tackle-for-loss season in 2020, but he had an injury-plagued 2021 season. The Ravens would be taking a late-round flier on a toolsy rotational player for his rookie contract.
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