The NFL Draft is just over two weeks away, as the teams attempt to build their draft boards in these uncertain times. The Coronavirus has made this years draft especially difficult, with franchises not able to meet with prospects, visit their Pro days or have them medically cleared by their doctors. Wide receiver and linebackers are likely targets for the Ravens in this upcoming draft.
The Baltimore Ravens front office held a pre-draft press conference yesterday, with GM Eric DeCosta saying they are finalizing their board with 185 draft-able players. The Ravens are in a favourable position, with seven picks in the first four rounds, and very few team needs after a 14-2 season.
One of their needs is at wide receiver, as they look to bolster their passing game. They selected Hollywood Brown with their first-round pick last year, but need further help at the position. Willie Snead is a solid veteran, but aside from this they have an unproven unit of Chris Moore, Miles Boykin and Jaleel Scott. This years wide receiver class is being compared to the stacked 2014 class, and it seems likely the Ravens will draft 1-2 receivers in the first four rounds this year.
First-Round Target: Denzel Mims | Baylor
Some have hypothesized about the Ravens trading up to select a big name receiver, and GM DeCosta didn’t rule it out for the right price. History suggests this is less likely, but they could use their 28th overall pick to select a pass-catcher. One that is likely to be available is Baylor’s, Denzel Mims.
Mims was productive with two 1,000 seasons at Baylor, with all the measurables to be a productive NFL player. At 6ft 3 and 4.38 speed, he would be productive in the Ravens offense. He, along with Hollywood Brown, would prove a nightmare for opposing defenses with their speed. Mims would also be an excellent red-zone target with his size. The Ravens have more pressing positional needs, but they could also massively improve their receiving core in the first-round.
Second-Round Target: Chase Claypool | Notre Dame
This one could be a slight reach, considering the first of the Ravens two second-round picks is deep into the round at 55th and 60th overall. They could package these picks to jump above a team to select Claypool, who seems perfectly suited to Baltimore.
Claypool improved every year at Notre Dame, posting his first 1,000 season as a senior. The Ravens like Notre Dame receivers as they drafted Miles Boykin in the third-round last year. Claypool measures up at 6ft 4 and weighs in a 238 pounds. He was asked to work out at tight end during the combine, and could fill a lot of needs for Baltimore. He could be a great possession receiver for them, along with creating a mismatch at tight end to replace the recently traded Hayden Hurst.
Second-Round Target: Michael Pittman Jr. | USC
Michael Pittman Jr. has often been mocked to the Ravens in the second round and is much like Claypool as a prospect. He’s another big-bodied target at 6ft 4 and 223 pounds. He’s also slightly slower than Claypool at 4.52. He has extremely good hands and is a good contested catch receiver.
Pittman Jr. doesn’t have the speed to be a true deep threat, but he would be an excellent number two to Brown. He could also be a great security blanket for quarterback Lamar Jackson, especially as the Ravens need to replace Hurst at tight end. Pittman would help alleviate this need. It all depends on the Ravens draft strategy at receiver, are they looking for another burner like Brown or more of a possession big-bodied receiver?
Third-Round Target: Van Jefferson | Florida
Van Jefferson has risen throughout the draft process. His stats from Florida don’t suggest a long NFL career, but it’s clear at the NFL level he could thrive. He never topped 660 yards in his four years split between Ole Miss and Florida, but below-average quarterback play helps explain this. He was a standout at the Senior Bowl, as NFL teams began to fully realize his potential.
Jefferson is not an outstanding physical specimen at the NFL level, but his standout skill is as a route runner. He will win a lot from the slot wide receiver role, and would likely quickly develop into one of Jackson’s favourite targets. Jefferson would be a great number two/three receiver, and would be a great mid-round steal for Baltimore. If the Ravens really target the position and select a first-round talent along with Jefferson they can feel very confident.
That wraps up a quick preview of some realistic wide receiver targets the Baltimore Ravens could select in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Follow me on Twitter @JWjournalism for more Baltimore Ravens’ news and notes
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 30% off your order!