NFL Network lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who was a West Coast scout for the Ravens from 2005-2006, joined Glenn Clark Radio Feb. 22 to discuss the Ravens’ options with the No. 27 pick and throughout the draft, which is scheduled to take place April 29-May 1.
The Ravens’ areas of need are generally perceived to be wide receiver, tight end, interior offensive line and edge rusher, but in his latest mock draft, Jeremiah had the Ravens taking TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, who racked up 125 tackles and seven interceptions from 2018-2020. The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Moehrig landed at No. 16 in Jeremiah’s latest top-50 prospect list, released Feb. 23.
The following has been edited for content and clarity.
PressBox: You have the Ravens going safety in the first round. How much of that is about the overall quality of Trevon Moehrig from TCU versus the right guy not being available at positions we would think are more pressing areas of need for the Ravens right now, like at wide receiver or edge rusher?
Daniel Jeremiah: This is kind of how these things work, right? I have my needs for the teams on a piece of paper and then I have my list of players in terms of their grades. As you’re going through it, usually you’re just kind of looking at it, “OK, this is a position that’s one of their three or four needs, and this is the highest-rated player at any of those positions,” and you kind of go through the process on the mock draft. Then you kind of input some stuff you may have heard from guys around the league about this team might like that guy or the other. When you get down toward the bottom portion of the first round, there are some teams — and Baltimore’s one of them — where there’s just such a track record of them taking the best available player.
That’s one of the reasons they draft better than just about everybody else, because they don’t reach for need and they’re not going to take a lesser player at a need position. When I got to this portion of the mock draft on this one, Moehrig just happened to still be there and he stuck out like a sore thumb in terms of my highest-rated player. The toughness, the versatility, the instincts, all the things that make him a great player are things that the Ravens have always valued. So that’s how I ended up with that pick, understanding full well, yeah, you’d love to have, all things being equal, an edge rusher be there, but in this case this was the best player by far.
PB: What’s a comp for Moehrig? What type of player is he?
DJ: That’s a good question. I don’t know that there’s a perfect comp for him, but he’s somebody that can do so many different things. He can play down in the slot. He can play high. To me, I guess you could say Harrison Smith maybe would be one because of how he plays the game. Some guys, there are comps that come right to your mind, other guys there’s not one readily available. That would be probably where I’d lean.
PB: Is there an edge rusher who could be a fit for best player available at No. 27 where you feel really good about taking that edge rusher at No. 27?
DJ: Ironically, I just updated my top-50 list, and my 27th overall player is Joe Tryon from Washington. That’s almost like a DNA match right there. He’s 6-[foot]-5, 260 pounds. He can rush with power. He’s one of those guys who opted out of 2020, so we haven’t seen him since 2019, but he’s got production, which the Ravens have always valued. So that, to me, would be kind of an interesting fit there. I’d be curious to see if they go off of their type. They’ve always kind of leaned more toward a power rusher. [Yannick] Ngakoue coming over gave them a little bit more of a fastball. I’d be curious to see what they’re looking for there. Skill-set-wise, when you look at Jayson Oweh from Penn State, he is a fastball who’s got tremendous, tremendous burst and speed off the edge, but he doesn’t have any production — didn’t have a single sack last year even though he had a bunch of pressures. I know that’s something Ozzie’s always kind of harped on is — that college production at that position carries over.
PB: What about Azeez Ojulari from Georgia? He’s only 20 years old. I keep feeling like there’s a Terrell Suggs comp there, just thinking about his age at this point. What do you make of Ojulari?
DJ: He’s interesting. He’s got a little more stiffness than T-Sizzle. Suggs could really, really bend — like, famously bend — coming out of Arizona State. I don’t see that same type of bend from Ojulari, but he’s got some snap to him. I’m anxious to see how big he is because he’s listed at 6-[foot]-3, 240 [pounds] in a year where we don’t have verified numbers at this point in time, which is unusual. There’s a big difference between him being 6-[foot]-2 and a quarter and him being 6-[foot]-3 and a half and him being 235 pounds versus him being 248 pounds. I’m curious to see just how big he is, but he’s got some twitch. He plays his butt off. I was bummed in the bowl game because he tore up Cincinnati in the bowl game, but Cincinnati’s got a left tackle in James Hudson, who’s probably going to go in the second round [but] got ejected. He gets kicked out of the game and then Ojulari goes up against the tomato can that filled in for him and I think had three sacks against him. I would’ve loved to have seen him match up with Hudson for a full game.
PB: Is there a receiver you’d be particularly excited about at No. 27?
DJ: [Florida wide receiver] Kadarius Toney, to me, would be really, really fun to plug into that offense. I can understand [that] there’s some talk about, “Hey, we need to find some more size, some guys with a big catch radius for Lamar.” Kadarius Toney is 5-[foot]-11 and 190 pounds, but he is dynamic. When I was trying to find a comparison for him just in terms of how quick he is at the top of his route, to me he just reminded me a lot of Chad Johnson, or Chad Ochocinco. For lack of a better word, he’s just got some funk when he gets to the top. He is explosive. You can use him a little bit in the backfield. You can flip him some jet sweeps. You can do a lot of different things with him. And I would think with the creative offense that the Ravens have, that’d be a pretty versatile chess piece who could be pretty darn dynamic.
PB: If we’re looking for that outside, bigger receiver who’s willing to block, is there a guy that makes sense at No. 27 or is this just not the draft for that?
DJ: Terrace Marshall from LSU is my [40th] player, so that’s not that much of a stretch. Rashad Bateman [from Minnesota] is my [46th] player. So those are bigger options to kind of be that X receiver. Marshall is 6-[foot]-4. He’s a big, big dude. He’s got a lot of tools. Those would be interesting guys, and hey, that’s not a bad idea if you’re the Ravens. Trade back, which they love to do, and get some extra picks and get one of those bigger wide receivers in the second round. [DK Metcalf and A.J. Brown] are two guys in that second-round club, which has been pretty darn impressive the last couple of years when you look at the receivers that have gone in round No. 2. That might not be a bad move there.
PB: Regarding tight ends, could Miami’s Brevin Jordan get into this conversation, whether it’s at No. 27 or moving back? Is there a tight end that could make as much sense as a wide receiver might after we get past Kyle Pitts?
DJ: Not in the first round, and I would argue not in the early portion of the second round, either. I think there are some good players. To me, I have it as [Pat] Freiermuth, then you’ve got the kid from BC who’s a good player, [Hunter Long], but to me those are more back-of-two type players. Tommy Tremble out of Notre Dame would be somebody that would fit because he’s a phenomenal blocker who’s got a lot of upside and athleticism and potential as a receiver, he’d fit kind of the ethos there of the Ravens with his physicality, and then I’d have Brevin Jordan right behind him. I don’t think it’s a great class, and I definitely think 27 would be way too rich.
PB: We also think the Ravens might well be in the market for a Day One starting center, as they were having a lot of problems with snapping the football last year. Is Alabama center Landon Dickerson a viable option as early as 27, and if not, are there other Day One starting centers to be had during the course of this draft?
DJ: It’s actually a pretty decent group of centers. To me, [Dickerson] is a risk, no question, because of not only the injury that he had this year at Alabama, but you go back, he had injuries at Florida State before he transferred. He’s my [37th] overall player, and that’s factoring in the injury. If not for the injury, he’s probably in the 20s. He’s a phenomenal player, and the character and the leadership is off the charts. You can imagine with the connections there, the Ravens will have really good information. If you can get comfortable with him from a medical standpoint, it’d be home-run pick at the bottom of the first round. Provided he’s healthy, he’s a Day One starter who’s going to provide a little bit of a physical edge to your group.
I think Quinn Meinerz from Wisconsin-Whitewater has a chance to go in the second round, which is a crazy ascension, but he’s 6-[foot]-3, 320 pounds and had a dominant week down there at the Senior Bowl. He’s somebody that everybody loved when they interviewed him. I think he’ll be a center that’s going to start. You look at Josh Myers from Ohio State. I think he’s going to plug in and start. Another interesting one [is] Robert Hainsey, who played right tackle for Notre Dame and kicked inside at the Senior Bowl and actually looked really comfortable at center. He’s one I think can come in and start. And then you start getting into the mid-rounds. Kendrick Green from Illinois is somebody who I think has a chance to be a starter — played some guard, a little bit of center, but I think center’s probably his future. It’s a good group. It’s a good group of centers.
For more from Jeremiah, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of TCU Athletic Communications