With a draft class as talented as this one, it is easy to find prospects you like or that fill a need, but some just fit better than others. Whether it’s a scheme, team need, or play style, certain prospects just look better for certain teams. I am going to talk about a few prospects I think would be perfect fits for certain NFL teams. I will try to include at least one prospect from every level of the draft (1st round, Mid Rounds, and Late Rounds) and offer a few different scenarios that the team can consider throughout the draft.
The Baltimore Ravens off season is going to be filled with all sorts of moving parts, including the draft, free agency, and retirements. The Ravens biggest needs right now would be linebacker, rush defense, and wide receiver depth. Their key free agents include Matthew Judon, Gus Edwards, and Matt Skura; with the possibility of Marshal Yanda retiring too.
1. Kenneth Murray, 1st Round
The Ravens really missed C.J. Mosley in the AFC Divisional Round, and struggled stopping the run all season long. To make matters worse, Patrick Onwuasor is going to be a free agent as well. Kenneth Murray is an athletic linebacker that can tackle from sideline to sideline. I have seen him line up on the outside for Oklahoma, and successfully rush off the edge. Oklahoma also lined him up in the middle to stop the run, and blitz down the center of the offense. His versatility is what makes him such a great fit for Baltimore, considering they really could use help at any of the linebacker positions. Murray does lack in his coverage skills, but luckily the Ravens have one of the best secondaries in the NFL, and can help hide his deficiencies.
2. Jordan Elliott, 1st Round
The Ravens need a lot of help on the defense, especially with Matthew Judon most likely leaving in free agency. Jordan Elliott is a defensive tackle who not only could stop the run, but also get after the quarterback. In today’s NFL, the best defenses are the ones that can cause pressure from the inside. Elliott was the highest graded interior defensive lineman in 2019 for Pro Football Focus, and the only defensive tackle to grade out above a 90.0 in stopping the run and rushing the quarterback this year.
Come April I wouldn’t be surprised if Elliott slips into Day 2 of the Draft, but he certainly won’t be there for the Ravens 2nd round pick. While trading down might be ideal if we do want to target him; Elliott is a disruptor of space and would be an amazing value with the 28th pick
3. Michael Pittman Jr., 2nd Round
For every reason you love Tee Higgins, you could love Pittman the same. Giving Lamar a receiver with a catch radius like Pittman’s would make his life a lot easier. Drops were a big issue in the AFC Divisional round, and they really lack depth outside of Marquise Brown. Willie Snead is a good option, but not a reliable one, with an expiring contract. Michael Pittman is 6’4, which gives them some diversity with their wide receivers, and adds a redone threat to help take pressure away from Andrews.
The former Trojan is a 2x First Team All Pac-12 selection. He was a captain at USC, and given the Pop Warner Award for the top senior on and off the field in college football. The receiver position is going to be loaded, allowing the Ravens to probably wait until the 2nd Round or later to address wide receiver. If they are able to draft Pittman with their 2nd Round pick they would be getting a complimentary possession receiver for Marquise Brown, and a rookie that already has great leadership qualities.
4. Troy Dye, 2nd/3rd Round
Troy Dye might be 6’4 but he was actually recruited to Oregon as a safety. His years playing defensive back show in his coverage skills at linebacker, and has consistently been one of the best coverage backers in the NCAA. Dye led the Ducks in tackles every year in tackles that he was there, and finished his career with over 350 career tackles. Many people love Kenneth Murray in the 1st Round, including myself, but if they look to address a different position Troy Dye would be a great addition later in the draft. Troy needs to fill in his frame more, and once he does I think he has potential to play inside or outside linebacker for the Ravens.
5. Sewo Olonilua, Late Rounds
If his combine goes like I think it does, we could see Olonilua’s stock rise, but I still think he will be a late round pick. At 6’3, 245 Lbs, Sewo can squat over 705 Lbs, and has 4.4 speed. The amount that the Ravens run the ball, it would be smart for them to draft another running back even with Mark Ingram and Justice Hill. Gus Edwards is a free agent, and could potentially be stolen from Baltimore in the off season. Their offense is very friendly with running backs, and could find a lot of value in a late round selection. Sewo will bring a big bodied, hard runner, to the Ravens backfield. I imagine no one will want to tackle Olonilua after the Ravens have rushed the ball 30 times already heading into the 4th quarter. Think of him as a mini Derrick Henry, and a possible “closer” for this rushing attack.