Year in and year out, Baltimore Ravens fans have nothing to worry about. The Ravens have one of the absolute best front offices in the entire NFL. As long as Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta are in the building the Ravens will be ultra competitive each and every year.
In 2016, Newsome made a splash safety signing in Eric Weddle and he took the same approach this off-season when he inked Tony Jefferson to a 4 year, 36 million dollar deal. Along with signing Jefferson, the Ravens were able to retain Brandon Williams and sign Brandon Carr from the Dallas Cowboys.
Entering into the 2017 NFL draft, I expect the Ravens to focus on rebuilding the offensive line. They have major holes at the starting right tackle and center positions after losing Kelechi Osemele and Ricky Wagner in back to back off-seasons. The Ravens also lack depth at both guard positions and should look to fill the back end of the depth chart with young and physical offensive lineman.
Round One (16): Derek Barnett EDGE, Tennessee: Ozzie Newsome loves his SEC guys and Barnett is one of the more productive EDGE rushers in SEC history. The Ravens really have one hole left on the defensive side of the ball and that is another EDGE rusher. Barnett is the physical and high motored player who Ozzie Newsome would love to add to the already ferocious Ravens defense.
Round Two (48): Pat Elflien C, Ohio State: The Ravens just traded Jeremy Zuttah to the 49ers, who they needed to upgrade from anyways. Elflien isn’t a flashy offensive lineman as far as athleticism but he is physical and reliable. At the very least you’re getting an above average offensive lineman who will be a big time locker room leader from day one.
Round Three: Ardarius Stewart WR, Alabama: The Ravens offense has a ton of speed on the offensive side of the ball and its time to get Joe Flacco a true possession receiver. Newsome loves his Alabama prospects and I can assure you he has a pair of eyes on Stewart. Stewart is a physical receiver and probably the best RAC receiver in the entire draft class. Drafting Stewart will give Flacco a reliable possession receiver who can line up all over the football field.
Round Three: Duke Riley LB, LSU: Zach Orr was on the rise before retiring this off season due to neck injury. The Ravens should be looking for his replacement in the 2017 NFL draft. Duke Riley is an instinctive, rangy LB who can compete with Kamalei Correa from day one. Duke Riley is extremely instinctive in coverage and can be used in a dime linebacker role during his rookie season.
Round Four: Jermaine Eluemunur OT, Texas A&M: Eluemunur is one of my favorite offensive line prospects in the entire draft class. Eluemunur is extremely raw but a big, physical and versatile offensive lineman who projects best as a right tackle with the ability to shift inside. He was an absolute mauler on the right side at Texas A&M and should be able to unseat James Hurst in his rookie season.
Round Five: Damontae Kazee CB, San Diego State: Newsome really makes his money in the middle rounds of the draft and he loves his physical corners. Don’t let his size fool you, there probably isn’t a corner in the 2017 draft as physical as Damontae Kazee. Kazee can play off, press, inside and out, providing depth for the Ravens at either the CB3 or CB4 position.
So Oregon State’s Sean Harlow is a pretty impressive player. pic.twitter.com/xoOLrySM7K
— Kyle Crabbs (@NDTScouting) March 17, 2017
Round Six: Sean Harlow OG, Oregon State: Here is another one of my favorite offensive line prospects in the 2017 draft class. Sean Harlow is an absolute mauler who has experience at both tackle and guard. Although Harlow projects better as an offensive guard, this is the type of versatility that will allow him to stick on an NFL roster for a long time.
Don’t look for the Baltimore Ravens to have a flashy 2017 NFL draft class. The Ravens should be looking for gritty offensive lineman and depth pieces to help them contend for the AFC North title once again.