The Baltimore Ravens made some under the radar moves this offseason like signing wide receiver Sammy Watkins to a one-year, prove-it deal and re-signing defenders Derek Wolfe, Tyus Bowser, and Justin Ellis to reasonable contracts.
To solidify their status as contenders and level up, they will have to knock the upcoming draft out of the park. Below are the three best players the Ravens can choose with their 27th overall selection.
1. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Baltimore’s philosophy on offense is run-based and rightfully, so when you have an electrifying quarterback like Lamar Jackson. Opposing teams worry about being torched by his legs more than his arm. With the two-headed rushing attack led by J. K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, the Ravens are poised to run all over teams once again.
It comes as no surprise then that the team had the least total number of passing yards last season. The team’s top receiving options are wideout Marquise Brown and tight end Mark Andrews. It remains to be seen whether the former can be a true number one option on a contending team, while the latter needs to be more consistent in his production.
Even with the addition of Watkins, Jackson needs more weapons in the passing game to help round out his game more and make the team less predictable. Watkins’ play has been steadily declining and because of injuries the last time he played a full season was back in his rookie campaign back in 2014.
The team has a speedy group of receivers led by Brown, so they could use a player with a different mold. This is where Bateman comes in. He lacks elite speed, but he brings a physical presence to the passing game at 6’2, 210 pounds. Bateman has reliable hands and can reliably make contested catches, which are vital during those third downs.
He is one of the safer picks in the draft and can be a productive run blocker for the Ravens at the next level with his strength and toughness.
2. Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
When thinking of LSU receivers people think of Ja’Marr Chase, but the school has produced another first-round talent in Marshall. He can play inside the slot and on the outside and he would serve as a big target for Jackson with his 6’3, 200-pound frame. He displays sound route-running and is a good athlete.
Marshall is a well-rounded prospect and is a bit riskier than Bateman.
3. Tevin Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
This selection is based solely on the possibility that the Ravens might move on from incumbent tackle Orlando Brown, Jr., who requested for a trade since he wants to play left tackle. He was able to play at his desired position last season, because of Ronnie Stanley’s injury. With Stanley’s return next season, Brown will be moved back to right tackle.
Should Brown be traded, the front office can look to Jenkins as his replacement. He plays with a mean streak and is a mauler in the run game, which is great for the team’s offensive schemes. Jenkins has great size at 6’6, 315 pounds, and got to rag doll edge rushers in college.
He is not the best athlete and his pass protection could use some work, especially against faster defenders.