Mailbag: Biggest Potential Ravens Shocker on Draft Weekend

Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton in action during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. Cincinnati won 24-13.

Mink: I'm going to lump these two questions together because I think safety Kyle Hamilton would be my biggest shocker that could potentially happen. Hamilton seems to be a bit polarizing considering the range he showed on tape didn't match the speed he showed in workouts. The Notre Dame star is a big-bodied safety who was dynamic both as an in-the-box tackler and back-end pass defender. He could be an elite matchup weapon in a scheme that utilizes his versatility.

The Ravens don't have an immediate need at safety with new free-agent addition Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark as the starters. But for a team that places so much value on having a strong secondary, a player as enticing as Hamilton shouldn't be ruled out. Mike Macdonald could certainly find ways to use him.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer has Hamilton going to the Vikings at No. 12 and The Athletic's Dane Brugler has him landing with the Commanders at No. 11. That's not far from 14, where the Ravens would have a very interesting conversation if Hamilton were surprisingly available.

The other potential shocker would be if the Ravens were to draft a wide receiver at 14. There's obviously way bigger needs, but Drake London, Jameson Williams, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave are all projected to go right around the middle of the first round. Plus, wide receiver values seem to be skyrocketing around the league. If players at positions of greater need are gone and a wideout is far and away their highest-ranked player, maybe the Ravens could take a first-round receiver for the third time in four years.

Downing: The big question on this is how far a team would be moving up to get pick No. 14. If a team trades up 10+ spots, then that may take a future first-round pick to make that happen. A team making that kind of trade would likely only be doing so to get a quarterback. If the Ravens would only be trading back a few spots, that would land them an additional mid-round pick, with the potential for some late-round swaps as part of the deal. The 2018 draft is a good example, as the Ravens traded back from No. 16 to the 22nd pick. As part of the deal, the Ravens sent first- and fifth-round selections (16th and 154th) to Buffalo In exchange for Buffalo's first- and third-round selections (22nd and 65th). That's likely a good model if the Ravens move back a few spots in this draft.

Mink: The Ravens are a team that generally prefer to trade back rather than up to acquire more picks. With the draft being so strong in the middle rounds this year, they're probably even more likely to move back in the first round if they can. With that said, it would not surprise me if the Ravens moved up on Days 2 or 3. They have the ammunition with 10 picks and other squads will look at Baltimore's five fourth-round selections as quite valuable. If the Ravens love a player hanging around early on Day 2, they could move up to get him. Same goes for the third round.

I think there's virtually no chance Baltimore makes a pick at all 10 of its current slots and I would be surprised if every move was backwards. I'll set the over/under for moves up at 1.5.

Downing: I'll be honest, I don't understand the Penning criticism that's out there. I know he had some bad reps at the Senior Bowl in one-on-one drills, but I think he's going to be a stellar offensive lineman at the next level. He plays with a nasty streak that teams covet from their offensive linemen, and he's an ascending player who blossomed in his college career at Northern Iowa. I know he wasn't facing top-notch talent on a weekly basis, but he has the tools and makeup to be a quality NFL tackle, and I'd be excited if the Ravens landed him in the first round. He would give the Ravens an insurance policy if Ronnie Stanley's injury lingers this season, or he could likely step in at guard if Stanley is back to full strength. Penning is a good player, and I expect him to be quality starter in the NFL this season.

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