Ravens Select Linebacker Daelin Hayes With 171st Pick

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Baltimore Ravens 2021 NFL Draft presented by Horseshoe Casino Daelin Hayes, Outside Linebacker, Round 5, Pick 171

The Ravens weren't done adding to the edges of their front seven on Day 1, as they took big, versatile linebacker Daelin Hayes of Notre Dame with the 171st pick in the fifth round.

Hayes has good mixture of toughness, athleticism and the right kind of makeup to develop behind Baltimore's other linebackers.

He played standing up and with his hand in the ground on Notre Dame's defense, registering nine sacks in his four seasons before heading to the Senior Bowl. He especially came on as a senior, showing he has the potential to be a strong pro.

The Ravens have a strong track record of developing Day 3 edge rushers, including Matthew Judon (fifth round) and ZaDarius Smith (fourth round) in recent years. Baltimore will hope Hayes can be next in line.

The 2020 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year finalist was a two-year starter at Notre Dame and team captain in 2020.

Size: 6-foot-4, 253 pounds

2020 stats: 12 games, 17 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception

2019 stats: 4 games, 6 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack

Why he fits Ravens: Baltimore needed to restock its outside linebacker room after the departures of Judon, Yannick Ngakoue and Jihad Ward. With a deep draft class of edge rushers, this was the right year to do it. The Ravens don't need Hayes to be a huge contributor immediately, but he can bolster the group's depth, develop, and step into a larger role next year or after.

How the pick went down: There weren't any edge rushers taken in the fifth round before Baltimore plucked Hayes near the back end of the fifth.

Scouting report: "A two-year starter at Notre Dame, Hayes lined up primarily in the boundary in former defensive coordinator Clark Lea's scheme, standing up and rushing with his hand on the ground. After barely playing in high school, he was very raw when he arrived in South Bend and was a part-time player until the 2020 season, showing steady improvement each season. Hayes flashes explosiveness as a pass rusher to threaten the edge or win gaps with quickness, finishing with a closing burst. While active with his hands, he needs to be meaner with them and improve his play strength to hold up on early downs. Overall, Hayes has the athletic frame and lower body agility to be a better pro than college player, but he must weaponize his hands and improve his rush efficiency. He projects as a developmental pass rusher if his history of shoulder issues doesn't interfere." – Dane Brugler, The Athletic

Background: Hayes grew up in the Detroit area but was a Ravens fan in his youth, idolizing Baltimore's defense and its stars. His mother sacrificed a lot to help Hayes in his youth, and that helped instill his commitment to giving back in the community. A four-star linebacker recruit out of high school, Hayes was the No. 10 rated outside linebacker in the 2016 class and the No. 5 recruit in the state of Michigan.

What Hayes said: "I feel like I'm as versatile of a defensive player in this draft as anyone. For me, it's just about that consistency with pass rush. That's going to come with more reps. Obviously, I'm going to be able to learn. I've taken a lot of strides just from the season to the Senior Bowl."

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