Ravens Have Four In the Fourth
The upcoming draft will be the fifth time in a row that the Ravens posses multiple fourth round picks. This is due in large part to the Ravens dominating the compensatory pick game. In 2016 they will go into the draft (pending trades) with four picks in the fourth round. Pick #104 is their slot. Pick #130 from Denver. Compensatory picks make up #132 and #134. So the Ravens will select three players in a matter of probably 15 minutes at the end of round four.
The fourth round is crucial to the Ravens. Last year it was Za’Darius Smith, Buck Allen, and the late Tray Walker taken there. Smith will be relied on more in 2016, and Allen was leaned on heavily when Justin Forsett hit the IR with a broken forearm.
In 2014 the Ravens selected Brent Urban and Lorenzo Taliferro there. Two players the injury bug has bit, but could be assets. John Simon and Kyle Juszczyk in 2013. Gino Gradkowski and Christian Thompson in 2012. Tandon Doss was the lone fourth round pick in 2011.
Everyone knows where the holes in the Ravens roster are. Edge rusher, secondary, wide out. Is it coincidence that it’s at the positions that the Ravens misfired in during the fourth rounds? If Doss was a stud, is wide receiver a need? If Thompson panned out, how would the secondary look? How about Simon? Is he the heir to Terrell Suggs on the edge if he panned out?
Going back even farther, notable fourth round picks by the Ravens include Dennis Pitta (2010), Le’Ron McClain (2007), Jason Brown (2005), Jarrett Johnson (2003), Ed Hartwell (2001), Brandon Stokley (1999) and Edwin Mulitalo (1999). No doubt talented players can be found there.
What you look for in the fourth round is a role player. A reliable player. To expect to find a Pro Bowler is asking a lot. In fact, in the last five drafts, only Jordan Cameron (2011), Julius Thomas (2011) and Devonta Freeman (2014) have made it to the Pro Bowl from round four.
With four picks in the fourth round, here is a group of guys that fit the profile of fourth round picks, who also possess some high upside the Ravens could look to.
Discuss your thoughts on these potential Ravens draft targets on our message board.
Keyarris Garrett – WR, Tulsa. 6’3”, 220 lbs. Garrett ran a 4.53 40-yard at the combine, but clocked in at 4.4 at his pro day. His hands are very small for a man his size (9”), which could have led to his 13 drops in the last two seasons. However, no one was targeted on deep balls more in 2015 than Garrett with 53 of them. Hands are costing him draft stock, but his arm length at 34 ½” is significantly longer than the likes of Corey Coleman and Josh Doctson. About an inch longer that Laquon Treadwell. Garrett excels at high pointing the ball in that way. He’s a raw talent that could be worth a shot. Ravens might have to spend the early fourth round pick here, as he might not drop to the end of the round.
Check out my past reports on Malcolm Mitchell (Georgia), and Charone Peake (Clemson) who could also be fourth round WR targets.
Joe Thuney – OL, N.C. State. 6’5”, 304 lbs. Reports on Thuney are that he could thrive in a zone blocking scheme with great athleticism. He has a high IQ scoring 39 on the wonderlic test. Always a good sign for on O-lineman. While with the Wolfpack, Thuney played all five positions on the offensive line. He’ll project as a guard or center in the NFL with shorter arms than normal for NFL tackles. He looks like really good pass blocker as well. Thuney could be there late in the fourth.
Check out my past reports on tackles Cole Toner (Harvard) and Fahn Cooper (Ole Miss). Also guards Connor McGovern (Missouri) and Issac Seumalo (Oregon State) who could be had in round four.
Paul Perkins – RB, UCLA. 5’10”, 208 lbs. Perkins has NFL DNA. His father was a fullback for two seasons in the league, his uncle was a Dallas Cowboy for eight seasons, and his younger brother is redshirting for Arizona State. Perkins could be a fit for the Ravens as a slippery runner. He has great vision and patience like Arian Foster had. He is an ankle breaking jump cut RB with good burst out of his cuts. NFL.com mentions on his draft profile that if he had more size and play strength to go with his elusiveness, we would be talking about whether he, or Ezekiel Elliot will be the first RB off the board. Sounds to me like Perkins would be a steal in round four if teams pass based on his poor pass blocking, or that he often ran out of shotgun sets in UCLA.
Check out my past reports on running backs Kenyan Drake (Alabama), and Daniel Lasco (California) who are projected for round four.
Hassan Ridgeway – DT, Texas. 6’3”, 303 lbs. The big knock on Ridgeway is conditioning, and ability to say out of the trainer’s room. He only played 51% of the snaps on Texas’ defense last year. When he is on though, Ridgeway is powerful, instinctive, doesn’t get moved around at all. Handles double teams just fine, and is scheme versatile. Defensive tackle is the deep position in the draft this year. A DT like Ridgeway maybe the best player available when the Ravens select late in round four. Sounds like some motivation is all he needs to contribute. The football traits are there.
Joe Schobert – OLB, Wisconsin. 6’1”, 244 lbs. I’m sure Ravens fans hope they address the edge rushing need before round four. If they don’t Schobert is an interesting candidate. He’ll need to bulk up a little bit when it comes to setting the edge in run defense. But he has a quick burst off the snap to slip into the backfield, racking up sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles. He was a Bednarik and Lombardi Award semi-finalist. Before the accolades though, he walked on at Wisconsin, and through hard work got to this point. He’s also able to cover RBs and TEs in pass coverage which was a weakness among Ravens LBs a year ago. It’s thought he could move to inside linebacker at some point as well, and is an excellent special teamer. A trait John Harbaugh covets.
Scooby Wright III – ILB, Arizona. 6’0”, 239 lbs. I don’t put a lot of stock into college stats. So many more variables across the college game. However, in 2014, Wright posted 163 tackles, 29 for loss, 14 sacks, six forced fumbles. That is taking being productive to a whole different level. He was slowed in 2015 with a torn meniscus and sprained ankle, and his draft stock has taken the hit because of it. Wright plays with a very high motor and his read and react skills show that he does his homework and has a high football IQ. But his high motor makes him over commit at times. Small price to pay for someone of this caliber. Especially if you can nab him in the fourth round. Furthermore, the folks at NFL.com compare him to Zach Thomas. Yeah. I’ll take that in the fourth round all day.
Clayton Fejedelem – SS, Illinois. 6’0”, 204 lbs. Fejedelem led the entire Big Ten in tackles with 140. A walk-on at Illinois, worked his way up to one of the team captains, which speaks volumes about his character. He is a run stuffing safety who reacts quickly to the play. Sounds like a Bernard Pollard type of guy. With Will Hill being released, Matt Elam on his last straw, Terrence Brooks not getting many looks, Fejedelem could be worth a look as a run stuffer, and fundamental tackler from the strong safety spot. He’d have to earn his way on special teams, but no doubt he’ll work hard to get there.
Mike was born on the Eastern Shore, raised in Finksburg, and currently resides in Parkville. In 2009, Mike graduated from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland. Mike became a Baltimore City Fire Fighter in late 2010. Mike has appeared as a guest on Q1370, and FOX45. Now a Sr. Ravens Analyst for BSL, he can be reached at [email protected]