Ravens Post-Draft, Early Depth Chart and Thoughts
An emotional Ozzie Newsome smiles after his 23rd and final draft as General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens. If it ends the way it started for Ozzie, Hayden Hurst and Lamar Jackson will be hall of famers one day.
The draft wraps up with the Ravens having selected 12 new players that they hope will make an impact, and get the Ravens back heading in the right direction. It started with trading back twice from the number 16 slot and nabbing Hayden Hurst out of South Carolina. Then the surprise late Thursday night of trading up to the last pick of round 1 to grab Lamar Jackson. It ended Saturday afternoon with Ozzie Newsome making his final pick, Zach Sieler from Ferris State. Bonus points if you can name where Division II Ferris State is.
With that, here is what an early version of the depth chart looks like, with players likely on the bubble in italics. Rookies are denoted with the round there were drafted in, in parentheses.
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QB- Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson (1), Robert Griffin
RB – Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon, Buck Allen
FB – Patrick Ricard
WR – Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead, Chris Moore, Jaleel Scott (4), Jordan Lasley (5), Breshad Perriman
TE – Nick Boyle, Hayden Hurst (1), Mark Andrews (3), Maxx Williams
OL – Ronnie Stanley (LT), James Hurst (LG, RT), Matt Skura (C), Marshal Yanda (RG, RT), Alex Lewis (RT, RG), Orlando Brown (3, RT), Nico Siragusa (G), Bradley Boseman (6, C), Jermaine Elumanor (G), Greg Senat (6, T)
DT – Brandon Williams, Willie Henry, Michael Pierce
DE – Brent Urban, Bronson Kafusi, Carl Davis, Chris Wormley, Patrick Ricard, Zach Sieler (7)
EDGE – Terrell Suggs, Matt Judon, Tim Williams, Tyus Bowser, Za’Darius Smith
MLB – C.J. Mosley, Kenny Young (4), Patrick Onwuasor, Albert McClellan, Kamalei Correa
CB – Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Tavon Young, Brandon Carr, Jaylen Hill, Anthony Averett (4) Maurice Canady
S – Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, Anthony Levine, Chuck Clark, Deshon Elliott (6)
Special Teams / “The Wolfpack”
K- Justin Tucker
P – Sam Koch
LS – Morgan Cox
Expectations for rookies
I listed Hayden Hurst 2nd on depth chart behind Nick Boyle. Truth of the matter is by the end of camp his name should be at the top. When you use a first round pick on a position of need, if that guy isn’t starting, it probably wasn’t a good pick. But tight end also has a steeper learning curve in the NFL because you need to acclimate to the receiving game, and also master the blocking assignments. After drafting another tight end in Mark Andrews in the third round, it likely means that barring injury, one of Nick Boyle or Maxx Williams won’t make the team.
Lamar Jackson is intriguing. He could either not play a snap all season long as Joe Flacco is still the QB. Or, they could design packages to get him in the game here and there. I don’t think there is a QB controversy going on here. But they would be wise to use such an athletic weapon in some way rather than let him sit on the bench. They should also shorten the leash on Flacco when he is having an off game. However, Flacco is still the starter week 1 no matter what, barring injury.
Based on the rounds where wideouts Jaleel Scott, Jordan Lasley, cornerback Anthony Averett, and safety Deshon Elliiott were drafted, and the way the depth chart lines up ahead of them, these four guys will likely be special teams players primarily. It is likely to be a four man race between Scott, Lasley, Chris Moore and Breshad Perriman for the bottom three spots at WR among the veteran laden group.
Offensive lineman, Bradley Boseman and Greg Senat will be depth guys at best, but you hope they show well in the preseason. If one thing is for sure, it seems like when one piece of the O-line gets hurt, the whole thing falls apart. That can’t happen.
Orlando Brown on the other hand has the mammoth size to compete for a starting role as a right tackle. Alex Lewis can man that spot, or kick inside to guard if Brown pushes him there. Brown didn’t allow a sack in his college career. But let’s not forget that Baker Mayfield got the ball out of his hands on average at 1.56 seconds after the snap. When Flacco, like al NFL QBs, gets to two or three seconds before the internal clock says “scramble” will Brown still be sustaining those blocks?
On the defensive line, Zach Sieler could very well not make the team. 12 draft picks, he was the last one, they might not be able to keep all of them.
Kenny Young, the middle linebacker, might be the most anticipated of the defensive rookies. Young maybe molded to take over for C.J. Mosley whose contract expires after this season. Kamalei Correa has been a major disappointment as a second round edge rusher that they tried to plug into the MLB role. Albert McClellan has been a stalwart on special teams but not a great MLB. Peanut Onwuasor was undrafted last year, played ok, but Young should be expected to beat him out for playing time. It’d be real nice to get Zach Orr two years ago production from Young.
Robert Griffin was never looked at as a real option, probably just a camp body. But with the drafting of Lamar Jackson, you wonder if he’ll be around to mentor the rookie. Or if the Ravens will do what they always do and carry just two QBs.
Breshad Perriman couldn’t catch a cold and the idea of carrying seven wideouts seems like a lot. Perriman might get ample playing time in the preseason to see if he has improved any. But if not, he’s a liability every time he steps on the field.
Maxx Williams will probably be the odd man out since they view Mark Andrews as a having a similar skill set, and the Ravens are likely not to carry four tight ends. On the other hand, Nick Boyle is one failed drug test away from being out for good.
Jermaine Elumanor and rookie Greg Senat are probably odd men out on the offensive line for now, but that is a fluid situation that could always change. Senat, like Sieler, might fall victim to being one of a huge draft class where not all guys can be kept.
Kamalei Correa has been a tweener since being drafted. Hasn’t made a name for himself as an OLB, or an ILB, the experiment of trying to find a place for him might be over if he doesn’t wow us in the camp, or if Kenny Young really impresses over him.
Maurice Canady is one of seven CBs. With the talent above him and the rookie Anthony Averett given a chance to make his mark, I think Canady is out, for now.
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]