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Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: AFC North

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: April 18, 2020, 1:29 pm ET

The Rotoworld Football crew’s Ian Hartitz, Nick Mensio, John Daigle and Hayden Winks are breaking down every team's biggest needs, division by division, and Josh Norris offers potential solutions in this month's NFL Draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Baltimore Ravens

Notable Offseason Additions: DE Calais Campbell, DE Derek Wolfe

Starting Offense

QB: Lamar Jackson
RB: Mark Ingram
WR1: Marquise Brown
WR2: Willie Snead
WR3: Miles Boykin
TE: Mark Andrews
LT: Ronnie Stanley
LG: Bradley Bozeman
C: Matt Skura
RG: Ben Powers
RT: Orlando Brown

Starting Defense

DE: Calais Campbell
NT: Brandon Williams
DT: Derek Wolfe
LOLB: Matt Judon
ROLB: Jaylon Ferguson
ILB: L.J. Fort
ILB: Chris Board
CB: Marcus Peters
CB: Jimmy Smith
SCB: Marlon Humphrey
S: Earl Thomas
S: Chuck Clark

 

Team Needs

Mensio’s Analysis

Inside Linebacker: After losing C.J. Mosley last offseason and not replacing him, the Ravens let Patrick Onwuasor leave this year as a free agent, as he joined Mosley in New York with the Jets. Downhill thumper Josh Bynes also left to join the rival Bengals. L.J. Fort is a journeyman who played 269 snaps last year, while Chris Board is a third-year UDFA who didn’t play a snap after Week 7. Some teams don’t place a whole lot of value on off-ball linebackers, so we’ll see what route GM Eric DeCosta takes during the draft or if he plugs the holes with stopgap vets.

Edge Rusher: 27-year-old Matt Judon was slapped with the franchise tag after leading the team with a career-high 9.5 sacks last season. He’s not exactly a dominant pass-rusher off the edge, and there’s even talk the Ravens could trade Judon after tagging him. No team blitzed more than the Ravens a year ago, essentially relying on that method to generate pressure. Judon was often left free when the Ravens brought more than the offense could block. This defense needs its replacement for Terrell Suggs after he was the Ravens’ feared rusher for years.

Wide Receiver: Rookie Marquise Brown led all Ravens wideouts in receiving last year, compiling a 46-584-7 line. Willie Snead was next in line with his meager 31-339-5 effort. Miles Boykin showed flashes last preseason and could be a candidate for a Year 2 leap. Still, this offense could use more dynamic weapons for Lamar Jackson. Seth Roberts left for the Panthers on a one-year deal. Snead would ideally be a No. 4 wideout on a good team.

 

Ravens’ 2020 Draft Picks

Norris’ Options

1 (28). ILB Patrick Queen, LSU - The Ravens have routinely built through their defense from the inside-out. That changed a bit defensively last year. Not for the worse, but it was notably different. Thus far this offseason, a clear goal has been to improve the spine. Adding a rangy linebacker at the second level is an injection of talent the team could use.

2 (55). G Damien Lewis, LSU - Landing this pick for Hayden Hurst is great business. Returning almost every starter on both sides of the ball while retaining both coordinators is an incredible feat for a team that dominated the regular season. However, losing Yanda might prove to be massive. Enter Lewis, an above average athlete who moves people in the running game.

2 (60). EDGE Jabari Zuniga, Florida - Incomplete athletic testing numbers will make it incredibly difficult for teams to separate this pass rushing class. Zuniga completed everything but the agility scores in Indianapolis and passed with flying colors. He has upside, and once he learns to start attacking the edges Zuniga could be a very solid disruptor.

3 (92). WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina - Edwards has become a draft media darling. His top highlights place him among this draft’s best. The same could have been said for Miles Boykin last season, a player who I still believe in. Edwards did suffer a broken foot early in the draft process, so he might wind up closer to round three or round four. He reminds me of James Jones.

3 (106). C Nick Harris, Washington - At the pivot spot, the Ravens might rely on previously injured Matt Skura or late-round pick Bradley Bozeman. Why not throw another hat in the ring? Harris is mobile, active and has over 700 snaps to his name in each of the last three seasons. He’s exciting in space.

4 (129). RB A.J. Dillon, Boston College - I know running back is not a need, but the fit is perfect. Dillon is a bruising downhill runner with outstanding athleticism. Think of him as a more explosive Gus Edwards, and possibly on the Derrick Henry spectrum - albeit a notch or two lower.

4 (134). TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri - With the Ravens landing a second-round pick in exchange for their third tight end, why not take a swing at the position? A sub-4.5 forty at over 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Okwuegbunam has real receiving upside. Maybe he can fill Hayden Hurst’s role.

5 (157). S Brandon Jones, Texas - There’s always room on the roster for an aggressive downhill safety. Jones can be exciting when blitzing off the edge and also established his place in the middle of the field in coverage.

7 (225). LB Khaleke Hudson, Michigan - An above-average athlete who was asked to play in the box and over top of slot targets. His sub-six-foot stature might propel him to the third day.

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