The 2018 NFL Draft is under a month away, which means that Draftmas is back. Draftmas will take a look at each NFL team heading into this year’s draft, what their needs are and who they could be targeting. Draftmas continues today with the Baltimore Ravens 2018 NFL Draft profile.
Baltimore started the season off well, going 3-2 over the first five games. The rest of the season was not good, but not bad either as they went 6-5 the rest of the way. They finished above .500 season for the first time since 2014, going 9-7.
Ultimately, they again fell short of the playoffs for a third straight year on the final week of it all, but there was a lot of improvement from last season. The offense improved greatly, ranking ninth overall in points. The passing game was below average, but the rushing really picked up. The Ravens finished 11th overall in rushing yards, giving fans hope for the future of a more balanced attack.
Joe Flacco had an average season, not really improving nor getting worse, but Alex Collins really showed he was something special. In his second year, Collins really impressed by finishing 11th in total rushing with a impressive 973 yards.
This offseason has been quite interesting with Baltimore as they added some wide receivers in John Brown and Micheal Crabtree. This addresses a major need for Baltimore as Flacco needed more targets to hit. With these two, the passing game will certainly improve after finishing 29th last year. With these additions, Baltimore might just end its postseason drought.
On the defensive side, Baltimore has to do nothing. The defense limited opponents to just 18.9 points and 325.1 yards per game. It was one of the many bright spots last season and is primed to improve this season.
Picks and needs
The Ravens have eight picks in this draft. While some of their needs were addressed in free agency, they can make some magic with what they have in the draft.
First round (1 pick): 16
Second round (1): 52
Third round (1): 83
Fourth round (1): 118
Fifth round (1): 154
Sixth round (2): 190, 215
Seventh round (1): 238
Wide receivers – Adding Brown and Crabtree will improve this position greatly. But Baltimore could still use a couple more targets just in case these guys get hurt.
Offensive tackle – There is an abundance of tackles for Baltimore. Picking up a young one cannot do any harm, especially if he is big and has speed. With Austin Howard no longer on the team, it would be wise to pick a young guy to replace him in the future.
Running back – While Collins is young and is most certainly the future of this position for Baltimore, it would not hurt to pick up a young guy in the early rounds just in case this season was a fluke or he suffers a massive injury.
Outside linebacker – The defense is looking bright. However, picking up some young linebackers could help keep the group deep and fresh.
The picks here are who the Ravens can realistically pick to address some of their needs.
Pick No. 16: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Ravens can pick arguably the best wide receiver in the draft at No. 16. This draft class is deep with wide receivers, but their primary target should be this Alabama standout, who can certainly make the team’s passing game more deadly. Ridley has some game-changing talent and blazing speed that will make him a great addition to Baltimore’s passing game.
Pick No. 52: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Orlando Brown is a great offensive tackle and very big compared to his father who shares the same name. Brown can bring some great talent to Baltimore’s offensive line, making it a lot easier for the passing and running game to improve.
Pick No. 83: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Nick Chubb is a great running back prospect. He is projected to go in the middle rounds, and if available, Baltimore should pick him up. He may lack third-down value, but that can easily be fixed under Harbaugh and company. This pick will insure the depth at running back stays young and fresh for years to come.
There are many more picks Baltimore can make in the later rounds to ensure the offensive needs, and maybe a few trades as well. But these are the main three they need to target in each round as they will address some needs and ensure a much better passing game. This will also make the path back to the playoffs a lot easier.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow for the Los Angeles Chargers 2018 NFL Draft profile.