Since 2010, no team has drafted more players from the annual Senior Bowl than the Baltimore Ravens. And, highlighted by players such as Brandon Williams, Kyle Juszczyk, Tavon Young, and Tyus Bowser, their track record is pretty darn good. With a 2018 group of seniors that appears very strong, it seems likely that the trend will continue as the Ravens attempt to bolster their roster. To that point, it appears that Ozzie Newsome will have to emphasize offensive talent this year, and as a result, I would like to pinpoint a few players on offense that stood out this past week. Here are some of the draft prospects who flashed in the Senior Bowl that I believe would be great fits in Baltimore.
Michael Gallup – Colorado State
Gallup is a very intriguing prospect who I’m certain the Ravens will keep an eye on. Listed at 6’1, he has more than enough height to be a competitive outside receiver and appears to have the hands to be a trustworthy, chain-moving target. In 2016, Gallup posted over 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns on 76 catches, numbers he impressively backed up in 2017, when he caught 100 passes for 1,418 yards and 7 scores. In the Senior Bowl, he caught 3 catches for 60 yards and exhibited great route running over the middle of the field on a 23-yard reception in the 3rd quarter. Michael Gallup projects to be taken either late in round 2 or early in round 3 come draft weekend.
DJ Chark – LSU
LSU senior receiver DJ Chark burst onto the scene on Saturday afternoon, hauling in 5 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. Chark showed breakaway speed on two occasions, catching a 63-yard pass in the first half and a 75-yard score in the second half. After his impressive performance, Mel Kiper, Jr. stated that Chark could be the first senior receiver taken in the draft. Kiper also noted that Chark’s collegiate stats could have been lessened by poor quarterback play, something LSU suffered from throughout his time there. Still, DJ Chark finished the season averaging 76.4 yards per game, second in the SEC. What’s more, Chark is an explosive returner, adding to his value even more. At 6’3, DJ Chark is an exciting player projected to be a second-round option for Baltimore.
Mike Gesicki – Penn State
At 6’6, 242 pounds, Mike Gesicki is a beast at the tight end position, and if the Ravens are looking for a playmaker at the position, he could be their guy. One of the top TEs in the draft, Gesicki caught 3 catches for 39 yards in the Senior Bowl, but was impressive all week, solidifying his stock after an impressive career as a Nittany Lion. A first-team All American, Gesicki was one of three finalists for the Mackey Award and has caught a pass in 25 straight games. He is a reliable target, and we all know Flacco needs more of those. Mike Gesicki is projected to be a 2nd round pick and appears to be a strong candidate to improve the Ravens’ air-attack.
Rashaad Penny – San Diego State
Rashaad Penny was one of the most impressive skill-position players in the Senior Bowl. In short, he did it all. First, Penny showed his ability to run between the tackles, ripping off a 34-yard run early in the first quarter. He finished with 9 rushes for 64 yards but showed off his receiving ability by catching a draw-dropping 73-yard touchdown where he showed great hands and elusiveness on his way to the end-zone. At 5’11 and 224 pounds, Penny is a decent-sized back with big-play ability in all three phases of the game. The Ravens are crowded at the position, however, so they will have to be infatuated with one’s potential if they are to draft a running back. Penny may just be that guy; he is projected to be a 3rd round selection, but his stock is likely on the rise.
Akrum Wadley – Iowa
At 5’11, 191 pounds, Akrum Wadley is similar in stature to Rashaad Penny and put up similarly impressive numbers in his career at the University of Iowa. The back has rushed for 10 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons, and racked up 1,109 yards, averaging 4.4 per carry in 2017. Though he did not have the best Senior Bowl game (8 rushes for 38 yards), Wadley will likely be available for the Ravens in the 3rd round of the draft. Again, the Ravens would have to be captivated by his skill set if they are to select him, but Iowa’s run-game somewhat mirrors what Marty Mornhinweg has set up in Baltimore, which could make Wadley appealing.
Luke Falk – Washington State
John Harbaugh indicated that the Ravens could look to draft Joe Flacco’s heir apparent this year, likely towards the back-end of the draft. Falk did not play in the Senior Bowl game but had a strong week and appears to be a poised, accurate passer who exceeded expectations at Washington State. Falk led the Pac-12 with 30 touchdown passes, and exhibited impressive touch on his throws, completing 67% of his throws for over 3,500 yards. The highlight of his season was when he upset top-prospect Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans. In that game, Falk’s stats were exceptional: 34/51, 340 yards and 2 TDs. If Falk is available in the 4th or 5th round, don’t be surprised if the Ravens pounce.
Kyle Lauletta – Richmond
An FCS quarterback, Kyle Lauletta was the most impressive quarterback Saturday afternoon. Completing 8 of 12 passes for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns, Lauletta displayed pinpoint accuracy in a performance that will surely help his stock skyrocket. In 2017, Lauletta led the Richmond Spiders to a 6-5 record but completed 65% of his passes for 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. While Lauletta looked to be a late-round selection in this year’s draft, he may have helped himself enough to have a team take him in the 4th round. We’ll see if the Ravens end up being that team.