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Baltimore Ravens 2017 NFL Draft Recap

Hello readers,

The Baltimore Ravens seemed to escape themselves and get away from true Raven football. Traditionally known for their hard-nose defense and ground N’ pound offense, but John Harbaugh and company tried to be someone their not a season ago. Joe Flacco had an astounding 672 pass attempts last year, enough to be second most in the league behind Drew Brees at 673. The team ultimately went 8-8, but you could tell they didn’t feel comfortable within their offensive scheme. General Manager Ozzie Newsome came into this draft prepared to rally the troops and get back to winning the Baltimore way. How did Ozzie manage to get the team back on track? Let’s move forward and find out.

-1st Round, Pick #16: Marlon Humphrey – Cornerback (Alabama)

  • The Raven’s biggest weakness last year was their secondary. This is not a good division to be slacking in the passing defense category. Playing Big Ben, Andy Dalton and them throwing to their favorite targets in Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and can’t forget Corey Coleman is still getting it done with inconsistent quarterback play from the Browns, the Raven’s needed to upgrade the guys covering these pass catchers. Marlon will be a part of a trio of himself, Jimmy Smith, and free agent acquisition of Brandon Carr. With Tony Jefferson taking over for Lardarius Webb at the free safety position, maybe we see a splash of him at corner as well. It is a passing league after all and you can’t have too many corners. Marlon comes from a Nick Saban defense and those players typically are aggressive and translate well to the next level. Insert him into another hard-nose type of defensive style and he’ll continue to impress and make plays.

-2nd Round, Pick #47: Tyus Bowser – Linebacker (Houston)

  • Once projected as a guy to go around the mid third round, Tyus climbed up the scouts recruiting boards during the draft process with getting a few first round talent mentions. The Ravens needed another linebacker that can drop into coverage as well as blitz when asked upon. Tyus is big and quick enough to keep up with guys going for a quick pass over the middle. Tyus will probably be slated in the middle next to CJ Mosley and continue to learn from him as Tyus is still learning how to really grasp the concept of football. Even with the learning curve, Tyus is an upgrade over most of the linebackers on the roster and will make an immediate impact. Tyus also played two years of basketball for the Cougars of Houston, so he is a good athlete and is good on his feet.

-3rd Round, Pick #74: Chris Wormley – Defensive End (Michigan)

  • Timmy Jernigan and Raven’s third round pick at number 99 was traded before the draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for this selection at number 74. How fitting is it that Baltimore drafted a defensive line player to in essence replace Timmy Jernigan. This was typical Ozzie Newsome strategy. Trade away a player with a year remaining on their contract to get a guy to virtually replace him. Also, making cap space to sign Brandon Williams to a contract extension. Chris may not fill Timmy’s shoes year one, but he certainly can exceed rookie expectations as a starting member along the defensive line in Baltimore. Brandon will consume a lot of double teams against the offensive side, so Chris will get a lot of one-on-one blocking to take advantage of the opportunities with his long, sturdy 6’5″ body. He’s quick enough at almost 300 lbs to crash the edge to attack the quarterback.

-3rd Round, Pick #78: Tim Williams – Linebacker (Alabama)

  • The only notable linebackers the Ravens have on their roster are Terrell Suggs and CJ Mosley, so it’s no shock to see Baltimore restock the linebackers with two selections in this draft. Tim is not only sticking alongside Marlon on his way to the big leagues, but he is also reuniting with former teammate CJ Mosley to pair up in the linebacker core as well. Love the fact that Baltimore used their first four picks on the defensive side of the ball and each of those players can be day one starters and can be a good group to build around in the future. Tim bursts out of his stance like a heat seeking missile going after its’ target, the quarterback. Mentioned that Terrell and CJ were the most talented linebackers on the roster, Tim can come in with Tyus and the two can start right along with the ladder in the 3-4 scheme.

-4th Round, Pick #122: Nico Siragusa – Guard (San Diego State)

  • Donnel Pumphrey may have good open field ball skills, but Nico was one of the reasons why Donnel was able to get to the open field so often. Baltimore should get back to running the football and not allow Joe Flacco to throw a second league high of 672 attempts ever again. I believe Joe has a talented throwing arm and can chuck the ball a 100 yards, but he’s more successful as a play action type guy. Once you get the running game going, then the offense can be more dangerous. Nico will assist to that desired running game we speak of and plow defenders out of the way to create running lanes for Terrance West, Danny Woodhead or any other of the backs on the roster. Pass protection could be an issue, but if the Raven’s truly become a run first team again, they can easily disguise that weakness.

-5th Round, Pick #159: Jermaine Eluemunor – Guard (Texas A&M)

  • Fairly young in his football career as he came from London to the states in 2008 at age 14, but also went back during his sophomore year of high school and then later returned to America again to pursue a career in football, however he promised his father he would get a degree before he became a professional athlete. Jermaine has a bigger upper body and holds pretty well in pass blocking. His inexperience will have him playing second fiddle to a lot of players has he continues to develop in the great game of football, but he has the physical tools and skill set to produce at the next level. Offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris will enjoy grooming this young kid into a quality player.

-6th Round, Pick #186: Chuck Clark – Defensive Back (Virginia Tech)

  • Chuck lined up at safety majority of the time for the Hookies. Likes to stay near the line of scrimmage and give support to the running game. He’s not too keen in pass coverage and gives up too many big plays. Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson and Lardarius Webb are all assumed to take over the safety positions so if Baltimore goes the traditional route and supply four of those players, Chuck will have a tall mountain to climb in order to make this roster. Practice squad is most probable outcome, cut altogether is worst case. His best quality right now is his youth and the ability to learn a playbook and grow into a better player. Two of the three above mentioned players are coming up towards the end of their careers so someone will eventually have to take over. Chuck may or may not be that guy.

Before the draft Baltimore looked in the mirror and told themselves to get back to Raven football and they stayed true to that. The Baltimore Ravens went back to their roots during the draft using five of their seven picks on the defensive side of the ball. If with the addition of Jeremy Maclin, many people are writing off the Ravens because of the lack of offensive play-makers. Let’s be real, when have the Ravens ever won a game because they were an offensive juggernaut? The answer would be never. Baltimore was a top ten defensive unit last year and it has the potential to be even better this upcoming season. The two guard selections make sense as well. Baltimore likes to run the ball and adding two guys that can create running lanes will only help this offense. It’ll be exciting to watch them duke it out with Pittsburgh this season in an exhilarating battle between offense and defense. Until next time, have a great day!

-Austin Thomas

 


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