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50 Words or Less: Why Ravens' Top Rookies Are Primed for Early Success

WR Devontez Walker
WR Devontez Walker

The Ravens' 2024 draft class is on the field this weekend, providing a first glimpse into what they could offer this season and beyond.

Here are my thoughts on this year's group, all in 50 words or less:

On the day of the draft, I projected the Ravens would go cornerback-offensive tackle with their first two picks, but picked the wrong guys. It was partly because of size. Nate Wiggins and Roger Rosengarten must get bigger and stronger. But that can be remedied. Speed and athleticism cannot.

General Manager Eric DeCosta said Rosengarten "does everything pretty well." There were other high-ceiling second-round offensives tackles the Ravens liked, but Rosengarten topped the list because he was a "very safe, clean pick." Baltimore won't hesitate to make him a Day 1 starter if he earns it this summer.

Baltimore is a great landing spot for Wiggins, in part, because he doesn't have pressure to step in and be an immediate starter. He'll play a lot of meaningful snaps as a rookie, but don't expect him to be thrown into the fire the way Zay Flowers was last year.

The Ravens went into the 2024 offseason looking to rebuild their offensive line, mostly through the draft. Instead, they did more heavy lifting at cornerback. Fourth-round pick T.J. Tampa may not be far behind Wiggins when it comes to starting, depending on the futures of Brandon Stephens and Marlon Humphrey.

The Ravens bet on Wiggins, passing up eight trade offers to move back and perhaps take cornerback Cooper DeJean. They've also bet on Rashod Bateman, not only with the extension, but by passing on four straight wideouts picked right after No. 30 – Ricky Pearsall, Xavier Legette, Keon Coleman, Ladd McConkey.

Devontez Walker is the ninth wide receiver the Ravens have drafted in the fourth round. The best rookie season belongs to Demetrius Williams (22 catches, 396 yards, two touchdowns) in 2006. Everybody else had a combined 20 catches for 211 yards. Armed with elite traits, Walker will defy the odds.

My prediction is Walker rivals Williams' production and tops Tylan Wallace, Jaleel Scott, Chris Moore, Tandon Doss, Marcus Smith, Ron Johnson, and Brandon Stokley. The Ravens, including Lamar Jackson, felt like a big, fast receiver who could make plays over the top was the missing piece in the aerial attack.

DeCosta wanted to take a guard earlier in the draft, but their board got "wiped out." While he likes the in-house starting options, there's was interest in adding more competition and I expect a signing at some point. The question is whether it's an obvious starter or veteran fallback option.

Andrew Vorhees is like a mid-round pick in this year's draft, except better. While he didn't see the field last year as he rehabbed his knee, Vorhees was in meetings and got lessons on how to be a pro. He knows he must prove it on the field this summer

Here's how the Ravens' unofficial depth chart is shaping up after the 2024 draft class has been selected.

Clifton Brown Staff Writer

There's a bunch of intriguing prospects in the Ravens' undrafted rookie class. With 14 free agency departures and just a handful of additions, plus only nine draft picks, Baltimore has room on the roster. That surely helped with recruiting. The next Keaton Mitchell may be in this class.

If I'm handicapping the undrafted rookie class sight unseen, I'd say Maryland's Beau Brade has the best chance to make the 53-man roster. The Ravens need another safety for depth after Geno Stone's departure. Seventh-round pick Sanoussi Kane was eight picks away from going undrafted. That's a pretty level competition.

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