As the Ravens continue to retool their roster, the need for more speed remains obvious. That’s why UCLA linebacker Myles Jack remains a player to watch in the draft. That’s why the Ravens’ interested in free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace can’t be dismissed, though his production has dipped over the last several years.
Let’s start with Jack.
A serious knee injury suffered last year prevented Jack from doing drills at the combine. However, he received medical clearance Thursday to participate fully at his pro day March 15, and appears on the way to a full recovery.
With the Ravens holding the No. 6 pick in the draft, Jack could be their choice. He’s the kind of versatile linebacker who would fit into their scheme nicely, with the speed to pursue ball carriers sideline-to-sideline, cover receivers, and force turnovers. Some scouts think Jack is the draft’s best player. Pairing Jack with C. J. Mosley at linebacker would give the Ravens two talented young playmakers who could help the defense get off the field more often on third down.
As for Wallace, if he wants to be overpaid, the Ravens won’t sign him. But the Ravens still don’t know what they really have in wide receiver Breshad Perriman, who missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. Perriman’s speed is a major reason the Ravens drafted him. If he can stay healthy next season, having Perriman and another speed guy like Wallace could make the Ravens’ offense more explosive, while also helping Steve Smith Sr. and Kamar Aiken.
Getting tight end Ben Watson was a nice pickup, and he should help the Ravens’ offense both on third down and in the red zone. But the Ravens need more speed, and they know it. It will be interesting to see if either Jack or Wallace ends up in Baltimore.