The Ravens’ draft needs mostly stay within the front line on either side of the ball.
They could use more defensive line and edge-rusher help, as well as more depth and a starter at inside linebacker. The interior offensive line could use depth, as could the tackle position.
Aside from wide receiver, the Ravens’ needs aren’t all that flashy.
But when the Ravens are on the clock with the 28th selection, should they stick to their best player available mantra, that could mean a running back comes off the board.
“You have to be big and strong and physical, but you also have to be durable,” general manager Eric DeCosta said. “That's a really important criteria for that position, and also be intelligent. We feel like we have a really good group of running backs on our team, and it'll just basically be who's available when we pick.”
The Ravens set the NFL’s single-season rushing record last season due in large part to Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram, but also backup running backs Gus Edwards and Justice Hill.
At a position that is loaded, and also the heartbeat of the Ravens’ offense, there doesn’t appear to be any clear openings.
“We set the record for rushing last year, so it's going to be hard for us this year,” DeCosta said. “So, we have to find as many good players as we can. I think that position is critically important to our offense.”
That hasn’t stopped a few mock drafts from around the league projecting the Ravens might go with a running back in the early rounds. Should they do that, a few names to watch are D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, Cam Akers and J.K. Dobbins. All figure to be a few of the top running backs off the board.
Even if the Ravens don’t pick a running back early in the draft, there’s still the possibility of selecting a back late with one of the Ravens’ nine draft choices.
Should that happen, there will be a competition for the top three spots on the depth chart at running back for Baltimore.
“There are certainly running backs all throughout the draft in each round – first round all the way through the seventh round – guys that we think have the opportunity to come in and help us be the best team we can be, and we'll look at that,” DeCosta said.
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