Ravens

Ravens

The Ravens spent the most resources into their defensive line in free agency — and with good reason. 

They had trouble slowing down rushing attacks all season, none more noticeable than the team’s 28-12 playoff loss to the Titans when Derrick Henry ran roughshod through the front seven. 

While it seems the Ravens can only address their defensive line in the later rounds now, that’s not necessarily the case. 

Each of Baltimore’s starting defensive linemen (Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe and Brandon Williams) are over the age of 30 and Wolfe has played in all 16 games just once in the last six seasons. 

After those three are Daylon Mack, Jihad Ward and Justin Ellis. While two of those players, Ward and Ellis, provided key depth for the team last season, defensive line is a position that still needs to be addressed.

Here are a few players that make sense for the Ravens for Thursday’s draft:

Marlon Davidson, Auburn

With Javon Kinlaw and Derrick Brown figured to be off the board at 28th, Davidson could make a lot of sense here. He likely wouldn't play at nose tackle, but could fill in nicely as a three or five-technique lineman. 

A four-year starter at Auburn, he made 51 starts and posted a career-high 48 tackles and 7.5 sacks in his final season. He was a Second team All-American and made First team All-SEC. 

While he won’t beat anyone with speed off the edge, as his 5.04 40-yard dash would indicate, he was a productive player and would give the Ravens more depth and a future above-average starter at a defensive line position in need of some youth.

 

Ross Blacklock, TCU

A second round option for the Ravens, Blacklock is a bit similar to Davidson and doesn’t project as a nose tackle or a strong pass-rusher. Still, he could be a useful piece in a defense that needs some depth at the three and five-technique spots and fill in at nose, if need be.

Blacklock started two seasons at TCU, missing his redshirt sophomore season due to an injury, and had 26 starts. He tallied 40 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his final season as a Horned Frog. 

If the Ravens don’t pick a defensive lineman in the first round, or trade back, Blacklock would be a strong choice early in the second round. 

Raekwon Davis, Alabama

Davis is a massive human being at 6-foot-6 and 311 pounds and would likely be a Williams replacement down the line. For now, though, he could fill in on the interior defensive line.

He totaled 47 tackles and half a sack in his final season at Alabama, which aren’t the best numbers, but is a player that could free up the rest of the defense to make tackles on the second level.

A potential issue with Davis, however, is how he seemingly regressed from his sophomore season. In 2017, he made 69 tackles and had 8.5 sacks and earned First team All-SEC honors. He failed to make any All-SEC team in 2018 and saw his numbers decline each season after that.

Davis won’t flash, but could be a sneaky good second or third round pick if he’s able to right the ship.

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Davon Hamilton, Ohio State

Hamilton is another player who could patrol the middle of the defensive line and be a solid nose tackle for the defensive front. 

In his first year as a full-time starter in 2019, he tallied 28 tackles and six sacks. While Chase Young certainly helped in that department, Hamilton can collapse the pocket from the inside and help free up edge rushers.

At 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds, the Ravens could find a potential Williams replacement, and a rotational piece immediately, on the interior in the mid-rounds with Hamilton. 

Robert Windsor, Penn State

Windsor was a productive player at Penn State in his two years as a starter and showed some ability to rush the passer as well. 

Windsor picked up 3.5 sacks in 2019 but posted a career-high 7.5 the year prior. He made 40 tackles in the 2019 season. 

At 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, Windsor best projects as a three or five-technique player that could come in and be a rotational piece for the Ravens found later in the draft.

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