Ravens Day 2 Draft Targets
The Ravens had one of the busier first rounds in recent NFL draft history, trading back not once, but twice, then trading back into the end of the round to cap off the day. The net result was highly regarded TE prospect Hayden Hurst out of South Carolina and former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, QB out of Louisville. Only time will tell how these new additions pan out for the Ravens, but it was a night of bold moves for Ozzie Newsome and in the short term it looks like the Ravens addressed not one but two pressing needs in the first round.
The Ravens did manage to secure an additional 3rd round draft pick in their first trade, and while they traded their 2nd round pick to move up and take Jackson, they still have two 3rd round picks including the first pick of the round (65th overall). So now that the Ravens addressed a pressing need at the TE position while managing to secure their QB of the future, what direction will they go in day 2 of the draft? There are numerous options available to them including a number of WRs, offensive lineman, and running backs that could help the team rebuild an offense that has faltered in recent years. They could also potentially target some defensive help at LB, Edge rusher or in the secondary. Here a few potential names to keep in mind during Day 2 of the draft tonight.
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Anthony Miller, Memphis: Miller profiles as a prototypical slot receiver in the NFL. He is on the smaller side at 5’11, but he is feisty competitor with excellent quickness and route running ability.
Dante Pettis, Washington: Pettis is one of the best return specialists college football has ever seen, and he is a very good WR with explosive speed and route running ability. The Ravens could address two needs with 1 pick.
Deon Cain, Clemson: Cain will remind many of a previous Clemson product, Martavis Bryant, with his combination of size, speed and vertical ability.
Connor Williams, Texas: Williams was once considered a top 15 pick, but concerns about poor film in 2017 pushed him out of the first round. His 2016 tape is excellent, and while some may consider him a better fit at OG than OT, he has plenty of experience at tackle and the athleticism to play either position.
Will Hernandez, UTEP: Hernandez is a player a lot of analysts were high on as well as he has excellent movement skills and finishes blocks with impressive power. He is a bit undersized which is probably what kept him out of the first round, but he is undoubtedly at the top of many teams Day 2 boards.
Orlando Brown, Oklahoma: The son of former Ravens OT, Orlando “Zeus” Brown, Orlando is a massive OT prospect standing at 6’8”, 345 lbs. Brown has some impressive tape showing he is capable of using his size well to move defenders and keep his QB clean. A poor showing at the combine likely dropped his stock, but he could be a starter right away at RT in the NFL.
Nick Chubb, Georgia: Chubb will be the second Georgia RB taken in this year’s draft as his former backfield mate Sony Michel already went in the first round. Chubb, may not possess Michel’s pass-catching ability or open-field explosiveness, but he has great vision and runs with impressive power and balance.
Kerryon Johnson, Auburn: Johnson was a workhorse at Auburn this past season, and he was the engine that drove their offense. He has a bit of un upright running style and thin frame that may concern some teams, but he is an effective in between the tackles runner who can also block and catch the ball on 3rd down.
Royce Freeman, Oregon: Freeman was an incredibly productive collegiate player, and while his numbers dipped a bit as Oregon’s football program toppled, he still managed to finish his career as the leading rusher in Oregon football history. Freeman has elite size, but doesn’t always play to it. Still he could come into the NFL and be productive right away if given the opportunity.
Maurice Hurst, Michigan: Hurst is another player who was once considered a day 1 draft pick that has seen their stock plummet. While his film is a bit inconsistent, at his best Hurst is probably the most disruptive interior defender in the draft. He could be a Day 2 steal.
Nathan Shepherd, Fort Hays St: Shepherd hails from a Division 2 school, so he fits right into the Ravens mold of scouting small school players. He has great size, athleticism and showed that he could play with upper tier talent at the Senior Bowl.
Hercules Mata’afa, Washington St: Hercules has some of the best defensive line tape of any player in the draft, the problem is he is very undersized for DT. However, the Ravens have liked to kick OLBs inside on passing downs in the past and Mata’afa would be a great fit in that role.
Harold Landry, Boston College: Somewhat shocking that Landry is still available with his talent and the need for pass-rushers in the NFL. There could be some concerns about his health as he fought an ankle injury for much of his senior season that greatly affected his play. Still, all one has to do is turn his 2016 tape to see a potentially elite edge rusher.
Arden Key, LSU: Key is another player that was once considered an easy 1st round selection but injuries and other questions have caused his stock to fall. Key has a lot of upside with his excellent size and quickness off the edge, but he will need to polish his game and commit to the NFL weightroom.
Josh Sweat, Florida St: Sweat is an elite athlete with great size, but his tape is very hot and cold. At times he looks like he could be a top echelon pass-rusher in the NFL, and if a team can coach him up he has the raw tools to reach that potential.
Josey Jewell, Iowa: All of the top ILB prospects in the draft went off the board in round 1 leaving Jewell as the top player available. He has decent size for the position and possesses good instincts. At the very least he looks to be a potential ST standout.
Genard Avery, Memphis: The 2nd player from Memphis that could hear his name called on Day 2, Avery is a versatile LB prospect who can play outside or inside. Excellent size, speed and athleticism give Avery a very high upside.
Duke Dawson, Florida: Dawson profiles best as a slot CB, but in today’s NFL that is essentially a starting position and it requires a fairly unique skillset. The Ravens do have talent already at CB, but Dawson would certainly bolster a position that can always use quality depth.
Anthony Averett, Alabama: No Ravens draft would be complete without a Bama player, and while Averett is not as highly heralded as many other Bama defensive players he has the speed, quickness and skills to be a quality CB in the NFL.
Justin Reid, Stanford: Reid looks to be a natural fit at FS, but he could also play CB in a pinch as well. He has excellent size and length, with range and instincts. He will likely hear his name called early on Day 2, and if he starts to slide I would not be surprised to see a team trade up to take him.