Trading up to get the tight end they coveted, the Ravens took Maxx Williams with the 55th pick in the draft Friday night.
To get Williams, the Ravens traded up three spots from No. 58 to 55 in a deal with the Cardinals. In exchange for the 55th pick, the Ravens sent a second-rounder (No. 58) and a fifth-rounder (No. 158) to the Cardinals.
Here are five reasons why the Ravens made this aggressive move to get Williams:
1. This draft is thin at tight end, and Williams was generally considered the best.
Once Williams got within range, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome figured he had to make a move to get ahead of the Steelers, who held the 56th pick, and who may have taken Williams.
2. Williams addresses a position of need.
Owen Daniels left the Ravens in free agency and signed with the Broncos. The future of Dennis Pitta, recovering from his second major hip surgery, is still uncertain. Williams has a chance to play a lot next season, perhaps even start.
3. With the Ravens, Williams can play to his strength, which is pass-catching.
The Ravens already have a good blocking tight end in Crockett Gillmore. However, Williams is a better pass-catcher. If his blocking improves, that’s a bonus. But if it doesn’t, he can remain on the field in two tight-end sets.
4. Joe Flacco has shown he builds chemistry with tight ends quickly.
From Todd Heap, to Dennis Pitta, to Owen Daniels, Flacco has utilized pass-catching tight ends well. Now Flacco has another one.
5. Acquiring a tight end they really wanted after the draft would have been difficult.
Perhaps the Ravens would have traded for a veteran tight end, or signed a veteran. But getting Williams was how they really wanted to solve this issue. Mission accomplished.
MORE RAVENS: Ravens trade up in 2nd round to take TE Williams