AFC North

Ravens 2021 Mock Draft: Early Predictions

The Baltimore Ravens 2021 draft picks are still in limbo as the Ravens and the remaining playoff teams await their seeding. Our first 2021 Ravens mock draft will cover some of the possible outcomes for Baltimore based on team needs, free agency, and recent history. Once we get defined draft positions, we’ll work on a more precise NFL mock draft for 2021.

Who will the Ravens sign in 2021?

The Ravens have an interesting outlook for the 2021 season. They’ve recently secured contracts for some key players including Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Ronnie Stanley, Jimmy Smith, and more. They might lose some talented players to free agency, however.

Some key free agents for the Ravens this offseason include:

  • Matthew Judon
  • Yannick Ngakoue
  • Willie Snead
  • Derek Wolfe
  • Matt Skura
  • Tyus Bowser
  • DJ Fluker
  • Gus Edwards

One of the main concerns for the Ravens this offseason will be how they address the outside linebacker/defensive end positions. Most of the players on Wink Martindale’s defense can play both. Judon, Ngakoue, Wolfe, Bowser, and even Pernell McPhee are all on the verge of leaving Baltimore this offseason. This leaves just Jaylon Ferguson, Calais Campbell, and Justin Madubuike left to cover the edge for Baltimore.

We expect the Ravens to return at least one or two of these players, but expect Matthew Judon to depart Baltimore with a contract not worth his performance this year. The Ravens have another concern on defense at free safety. DeShon Elliott has been up and down for Baltimore this year. His relief has been the same.

The offense has regained its form late in the season for their playoff surge. This could be a product of improved offensive line play, improved receiving output, or a combination of the two. The emergence and increased usage of JK Dobbins appear to be a huge help, too.

The offensive line still needs help. With Skura and Fluker potentially out the door, expect Baltimore to go early on another interior offensive lineman. The Ravens paid Ronnie Stanley and only have one more year before it’s time to pay Orlando Brown. Good linemen are expensive and the Ravens rely on the ability to control the line of scrimmage.

The offense is still missing a consistent threat in the passing game. Teams have crowded the interior of the field to limit Mark Andrews. Marquise Brown is starting to become more efficient, but Baltimore could still use a true workhorse of a wide receiver. Lamar needs someone he can trust with 50/50 balls on the outside of the field.

With a few key positional needs, who will the Ravens draft? With speculation surrounding the NFL Combine due to COVID concerns, we might have to rely on limited data for prospective draft picks in 2021. The Ravens have an opportunity to land a few strong players, though.

Who will the Ravens pick in the 2021 NFL Draft?

First thing’s first, what picks do the Ravens have in the 2021 NFL Draft? The Ravens currently hold a 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and a 6th-round draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Our 7-round NFL mock will cover the Ravens’ 2021 draft picks despite not knowing their exact draft position.

Round 1 – Wyatt Davis (Guard, Ohio State)

The Ravens have invested in their offensive line in recent years. They’ve selected Ronnie Stanley (1st round), Orlando Brown (3rd round), and Tyre Phillips (3rd round) with success. They’ve missed for the most part when selecting lineman in later rounds. With so much transition on the line this season, I’d expect Baltimore to invest in someone they can trust to protect their MVP.

A top-25 high school player, Wyatt Davis stands at 6″4″ and 315 pounds. He has paved the way for numerous star backs and a running quarterback for Ohio State. He would be a great addition to a strong offensive line. The Ravens can and should continue to rush the ball, Davis could help.

Round 2 – Rashod Bateman (Wide Receiver, Minnesota)

The Ravens have had some ups and downs with their passing attack even before Lamar Jackson took the reigns from Joe Flacco. Marquise Brown has shown some potential while Willie Snead, who is a free agent this off-season, has been a serviceable option as a possession guy. Baltimore needs a bigger receiver that can intimidate defenses and win 50-50 balls.

There are some strong wideouts coming out of this draft. Rashod Bateman is considered a top-10 wideout for the 2021 draft, but many analysts have him outside of the top five. He is 6-2 and 210 pounds which is comparable, to an extent, to Anquan Boldin. The Ravens need a physical receiver that can be an asset as a receiver and also help block in the run game.

In 2019, Bateman tallied 1,219 yards on 60 receptions for a 20.3 yard-per-reception average. He also had 11 touchdowns on the season. The 2020 season was shortened for Bateman, but he still impressed with 36 catches for 472 yards, a 13.1 yard-per-reception average. Many think that Bateman could go in the first round.

If that happens, Rondale Moore could be a back-up option. Moore doesn’t compare to Bateman by size, but many have compared him to Steve Smith who was a great asset for Baltimore years ago.

Round 4 – DeAngelo Malone (Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Western Kentucky)

The Ravens shipped away their third-round draft pick when they acquired Yannick Ngakoue, so they’ll have to find return in later rounds. Malone is an interesting prospect who played at a small school. As mentioned earlier, many of the edge players for Baltimore are able to play as linebackers or defensive ends, Malone fits the bill.

Malone had a breakout season in 2019, registering 100 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. He had a slight decline in 2020, but we expect him to be a value in the draft. If Malone can gain a few pounds, he could be a great asset to the Baltimore defense with so many players potentially leaving to get paid.

Round 5 – Mark Webb (Safety, Georgia)

The Ravens need to find a new free safety. Since the departure of Eric Weddle, Baltimore hasn’t had a great partner for Chuck Clark. Earl Thomas was a bit of a disappointment for the Ravens and the team didn’t have any great replacements.

Webb is an improving candidate that could slip to Baltimore in the fifth round. Webb has played both cornerback and safety for the Bulldogs, so he has some versatility in the passing game. He recorded 46 tackles with two forced fumbles in 2019.

During a shortened 2020 season, Webb recorded 21 tackles and an interception. With a great supporting cast of corners and a veteran mentor in Chuck Clark, Webb could be a nice addition to the back end of the defense for the Ravens.

Round 6 – Kuony Deng (Outside Linebacker, Cal)

If the Ravens do let most of their defense walk during free agency, they will have some major gaps to fill. They have been notoriously strong for generating talented defensive players. They have made contributors out of undrafted players. Even Judon, Za’Darius Smith, and Pernell McPhee were fourth and fifth-round picks.

The 2021 NFL Draft will be tough because there will be so many players with small sample sizes from the 2020 season. Deng fits this bill. Deng only played in four games with Cal in 2020 but was impactful in that limited time. Deng had a dominating game against Oregon in 2020, recording five sacks and two forced fumbles.

The rest of his season was modest, but Deng showed that he had the potential to be a strong asset to a defense. Deng is another defender that has the size and mobility (6’6″, 250lbs) to play as an outside linebacker or defensive end for Wink Martindale’s defense. He could be a decent value for the Ravens late.

Breaking Down the Ravens 2021 NFL Draft

It’s early, we get it. The Ravens will answer many questions as they finalize details about their prospective free agents. It’s expected that a handful of those players will be re-signed for 2021, but it’s hard to guess who. Baltimore does have a few significant team needs considering free agency and some offensive woes during the 2020 season.

As the 2021 draft order becomes more concrete, we will update our 2021 Ravens mock draft expectations.

 

 

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