Evaluating The Baltimore Ravens’ 2019 NFL Draft Picks And Undrafted Free Agents

Round 1, Pick 25: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Pre-Draft Analysis: “Brown explodes off the line and is one of the fastest wide receiver prospects we’ve ever evaluated in terms of game speed. He has the burst to separate, plucks the ball on the run and is a big-play threat after the catch. He lacks ideal size for a vertical threat, yet has the speed to get over the top of cornerbacks and does a solid job tracking the deep ball.” — ESPN

Post-Draft Analysis: “Baltimore’s pass-catchers combined for only 10 receptions of 30-plus yards in 2018 (tied for last in the league) and free-agent departure John Brown had five of them, so the Ravens needed a big-play threat at receiver. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman can make the most of Marquise Brown’s ability to create after the catch and help quarterback Lamar Jackson by getting Brown the ball on quick hitters.” — Steve Muench, ESPN

Round 3, Pick 21 (85 overall): Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, Louisiana Tech

Pre-Draft Analysis: “Ferguson is long and explodes off the ball. He threatens with a combination of speed and power rushing the passer. He has active hands but struggles to counter when he doesn’t win with his first move. He’s a disruptive run-defender who closes well chasing from the backside. There’s room for improvement when it comes to stacking and shedding blocks.” — ESPN

Post-Draft Analysis: “Baltimore lost its two best edge rushers to free agency with Terrell Suggs signing with Arizona and Za’Darius Smith signing with Green Bay. Ferguson should make an immediate impact as a pass-rusher and has the potential to develop into a three-down player.” — Steve Muench, ESPN

Round 3, Pick 29 (93 overall): Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame

Pre-Draft Analysis: “Boykin is a big receiver who turned heads with an impressive workout at the combine. At 220 pounds with long arms and big hands, his numbers in the 40-yard dash, vertical, three-cone and broad jump were all outstanding for a receiver of his size. He’s an immediate threat to take the top off the coverage, and he has some upside as a route runner.” — ESPNPost-Draft Analysis: A Baltimore offense that added Marquise Brown in the first round adds another big-play threat here. Boykin’s big frame and wide catching radius means quarterback Lamar Jackson doesn’t need pinpoint accuracy when he throws Boykin the ball.” — Steve Muench, ESPN

Round 4, Pick 11 (113 overall): Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State

“Hill is an undersized back with outstanding explosiveness and top-end speed. There’s a noticeable burst when he hits the hole between the tackles and is quick around the corner. He makes defenders miss in the hole and has the tools to develop into a weapon in the passing game.” — ESPN

Round 4, Pick 21 (123 overall): Ben Powers, OG, Oklahoma

“Powers is an experienced, tough and savvy guard with excellent football character. He plays with good overall balance and technique. Powers is an efficient pass-blocker who wins with poise, awareness and solid hand placement.” — ESPN

Round 4, Pick 25 (127 overall): Iman Marshall, CB, USC

“Marshall is a big corner with below-average length and average top-end speed. He’s aggressive, keeps contain and is a solid tackler in run support. He has good balance and is effective at times in press but needs to be more consistent. He’s tight and his Pro Day short-shuttle time is a red flag. He flashes soft hands and does well getting his hands in late to break up passes.” — ESPN

Round 5, Pick 22 (160 overall): Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M

“Mack is a squat nose tackle with a low center of gravity, short arms and good initial quickness. He’s highly disruptive and flashes the ability to overwhelm blockers when he’s fresh. He’s strong and tough enough to occupy double-teams. There’s room for improvement when it comes to getting off blocks and he’s a better run defender than pass-rusher.” — ESPN

Round 6, Pick 24 (197 overall): Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State

“McSorley is an undersized quarterback who is at his best when using his athletic ability to extend plays. He’s accurate throwing on the move. He shows the ability to climb the pocket, keep his eyes downfield and find the open man. He’s a natural leader with outstanding football character, toughness and competitiveness. But he’s a streaky pocket passer who forces some throws in the face of pressure. He has marginal arm strength and his lower release point leads to some tipped passes.” — ESPN

KZ’s take on the draft class:

The Ravens came into the 2019 draft with needs at edge rusher, wide receiver, inside linebacker and the interior of the offensive line as well as overall team speed. The team did a nice job in attending to those needs. You can’t fix everything in one draft, and the inside linebacker position was not made a priority.

Drafting Brown, Hill and Boykin added a much need dimension to the Ravens’ offense. They now have SPEED. Brown and Hill were the two fastest players at their positions in this draft class, and Boykin is a big, strong, athletic player with above-average long speed. Boykin will need some technique work, but the upside is very high.

Ferguson has first-round talent and comes into the NFL as the all-time sack leader in college football. This was super third-round value.

Day Three of the draft saw the Ravens do, well, what the Ravens do. They drafted a cornerback in USC’s Marshall, who could be a productive, big nickel back if he can keep his hands to himself. Mack, the defensive tackle from Texas A&M, was a star at the East-West Shrine and Senior Bowl games and is a strong tough interior defender.

McSorley represents the flier the Ravens seem to take with their last pick every year. But you can see a role for him if used in a Tayson Hill type of a role, as others have suggested. The team also drafted Powers, a guard from Oklahoma. He’s a tough, smart player who should come in and compete right away.

All in all, it was a very solid draft from top to bottom. We could nitpick and say they could have done this instead of that, but that’s for another day. As for today, I’ll give the Ravens a B+ on paper. It looks good, and you can envision how their new players will be used on a Lamar Jackson-led team. They now have players who create mismatch issues for a defense. Let the games begin.

Undrafted Free Agents Reportedly Signed By The Ravens:

Gerald Willis, DT, Miami
Jaylen Smith, WR, Louisville
Michael Onuoha, OLB, Texas A&M Commerce
Evan Worthington, DB, Colorado
Juston Christian, WR, Marist
Marcus Applefield, OL, Virginia
Ejodamen Ejiya, LB, North Texas
Otaro Alaka, LB, Texas A&M
C.J. Toogood, OL, Elon
Charles Scarff, TE, Delaware
Silas Stewart, LB, Incarnate Word (TX)
Sean Modster, WR, Boise State
Cole Herdman, TE, Purdue
Antoine Wesley, WR, Texas Tech
Patrick Mekari, OL, Cal
Markus Jones, OLB, Angelo St.
Kalil Morris, DL, Kent St.
Tank Kelly, CB, Fresno St.
Matt Orzech, LS, Azusa Pacific

This is a solid group of undrafted free agents led by Willis, a top-10 defensive line prospect who fell due to an off-field issue. The issue reportedly involved Marty Mornhinweg’s son, so I assume the Ravens know intimately about it. Smith (Louisville) and Wesley (Texas Tech) give the Ravens some more options at wide receiver, and in Smith’s case, he has a nice connection with Lamar Jackson. From there, it’s a mix of linebackers and offensive linemen for the most part. Mekari (Cal) was highly regarded and could surprise. Let’s hope Toogood (Elon) makes the team, because that story would just be … OK, never mind.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Oklahoma, Louisiana Tech, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State Athletics

Ken Zalis

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