After an outstanding combine performance, any hope of the Ravens landing Ole Miss wideout DK Metcalf seems to be a pipe dream. The dude is clearly an athletic freak poised to dominate at the next level. Obviously, that sounds like a player the Ravens would love to get their hands on, but the job he did in Indianapolis this weekend may have helped him leap into the top-10 or at least top-15. As we know, the Ravens have pick 22 this April. Despite my disappointment that Metcalf won’t be available, I’m not really that concerned. I didn’t necessarily think it was imperative for DeCosta and company to take a wideout first, and I see another scenario that could prove much more advantageous for the Ravens.
Barring an absolute stud like Devin White or Clelin Ferrell dropping in the first round, I think it makes a ton of sense for the Ravens to get out of their pick 22 and move back, perhaps accumulating a second rounder or another third rounder in the process. I’m not sure which teams could be candidates for such a move, and I’ll look into that later when I do a full mock draft, but to me, Baltimore needs as many shots at drafting players as possible this year. That’s especially true since there isn’t an absolute given WR-1 in this draft, not like AJ Green was, anyway.
If it’s unlikely to grab an outright dominant talent in the first round, why not trade back, get an immediate starter at another position, and afford yourself the opportunity to have an extra shot at a Day 2 target who might have equally high potential.
To think about this deeper, I’m going to bring about the hypothetical, including players, just off the top of my head. Obviously, as more information comes out on all prospects from Pro Days and events like that, these players could easily move around boards. Still, I think my point will be illustrated. So here’s the deal I see the Ravens making:
Colts Receive: Ravens pick #22
Ravens Receive: Colts picks #34 & 59, 2020 late-round pick
Let’s say Clemson DT Christian Wilkins is available and the Colts want to add a dominant defensive lineman to their rebuilding defense. This trade would take Baltimore out of the first round, but only by two spots, and would give them 4 picks on Day 2. This is where I see a lot of talented value at positions of need for the Ravens. With that in mind, here are some players I could see being available at each spot.
1. Wideouts: Marquise Brown (Oklahoma), N’Keal Harry (Arizona State), Kelvin Harmon, (NC State)
I don’t think each of these players would be available at this point, or else I would suggest that DeCosta trade back again, but I do think at least one of them will be. In Brown, the Ravens would add a true burner and playmaker, while Harmon and Harry would provide Jackson a big, tough target to trust. If the Ravens were able to get any of these guys while adding another 2nd-round pick, that’d be tremendous.
2. Offensive Linemen: Chris Lindstrom (Boston College), Dalton Risner (Kansas State), Erik McCoy (Texas A&M)
Just like DK Metcalf, Garrett Bradbury, the center from NC State, had a great weekend in Indy, likely taking him out of the Ravens range. With these three linemen, however, Baltimore could have a great option of adding athleticism and immediate contribution to the O-Line.
3. Other intriguing possibilities: Josh Jacobs (RB, Alabama), Deionte Thompson (S, Alabama), Taylor Rapp (S, Washington), Jaylen Ferguson (DE, Louisiana Tech), Zach Allen (DE, Boston College)
These players all fill positions of need that I could see Baltimore attacking in rounds 3 and 4. If they are available, it’s very possible that DeCosta decides to go with the best player, which many of these guys could be at this point.
1. Wideouts: AJ Brown (Ole Miss), Hakeem Butler (Iowa State), Riley Ridley (Georgia), Deebo Samuel (South Carolina)
If I were the GM in this kind of situation, this is where I’d strike at the WR position. All of these players are fascinating prospects: Brown had much more production than his teammate Metcalf did, Butler is 6’6” and fast (and he’s from Baltimore), Ridley has explosive talent and has a brother the Ravens seemed to be interested in, and Samuel had been a solid prospect over the last two years in college.
2. Running Backs: Devin Singletary (Florida Atlantic), David Montgomery (Iowa State), Miles Sanders (Penn State)
Rounds 2 and 3 are always a gold mine for running backs, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Ravens make the move here. Again, all three of these guys would be intriguing, but my hope would be Miles Sanders.
3. Other intriguing possibilities: Beau Benzschawel (OL, Wisconsin), Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (S, Florida), Jalen Jelks, (EDGE, Oregon), Charles Omenihu (DL, Texas)
Again, these guys would be all about best player available, as they all seem to be special talents. With DeCosta likely leaning offense with the first few picks, I’d be surprised if both ended up being defensive players, but if someone like Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, a real ball-hawk, were available, I wouldn’t doubt that the Ravens would pull the trigger.
With this sort of scenario, the Ravens are afforded a crack at a solid but not amazing receiver, while also adding a pick to go after the holes along the offensive line early and even improving overall by adding a strong running back, edge rusher, or back-end piece. What’s more, adding a pick might make the Ravens more willing to spend a Day-3 pick on someone like Andy Isabella from UMass, who I really like as a weapon for this new offense.