ILB Devin Lloyd Is 'Perfect Pick' for Ravens
Utah inside linebacker Devin Lloyd has become a popular first-round pick for the Ravens in mock drafts.
NFL.com’s Adam Rank is the latest pundit to mock Lloyd to Baltimore with the 14th-overall selection. Rank based his mock draft on what teams should do, not what he thinks they will do.
"There is no player in this draft I look at more and think, 'This guy should be a Raven,' than my guy Devin Lloyd," Rank wrote. "He's the kind of player who can get to the passer and also excels in coverage. I'm telling you, there's no such thing as the perfect pick. But this might be the perfect pick."
As noted in our latest mock draft roundup, The Athletic's Dane Brugler and NFL Network's Rhett Lewis also have the Ravens selecting Lloyd. NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter said Lloyd is the "ideal pick" for the Ravens.
On a side note, Brugler has the Ravens selecting Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon in the second round (45th overall), and Minnesota offensive tackle Daniel Faalele (76th) and Cincinnati edge rusher Myjai Sanders (100th) in the third round.
"In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Ravens were patient as an 'oversized' offensive tackle (Orlando Brown Jr.) fell to them at pick No. 83 in the third round. Maybe history repeats itself with Daniel Faalele, who won't be for everyone because of his size and play style, but in the mid-third round he could be a steal for Baltimore," Brugler wrote.
Which Version of Franchise Tag Would Ravens Apply to Jackson?
If a contract extension for Lamar Jackson doesn't get done before the 2023 season, the Ravens would have to apply the franchise tag.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio posed the question of which tag the Ravens would use — the exclusive version or the non-exclusive version?
"The non-exclusive version was $29.7 million in 2022. If the salary cap increases by 15 percent for 2023, the non-exclusive tender will land in the range of $34 million," Florio wrote. "The exclusive version will be driven by the average of the five highest cap numbers at the position in 2023. Based on current 2023 cap numbers, that would be $45.4 million.
"The difference is significant. In 2024, it would become even sharper. With a 20-percent raise, the non-exclusive franchise tender would become $40.8 million. The exclusive tender would be $54.54 million. Over two years of the tag, that's $74.8 million under the non-exclusive tag and nearly $100 million under the exclusive tag."
Florio said the practical difference is significant as well.
"The exclusive tender would keep Jackson off limits to other suitors," Florio wrote. "If the Ravens use the non-exclusive franchise tender, other teams would be able to set up visits with him. They can make him offers. They can sign him to an offer sheet. The Ravens can match it, or they can accept two first-round draft picks."
Should Eric DeCosta Be Higher in GM Power Rankings?
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal revealed his NFL GM power rankings, and Eric DeCosta came in at No. 15 out of 22. (A GM had to have more than one draft completed with his current team in order to be considered.)
A strong case can be made for DeCosta, who was Sporting News' 2020 NFL Executive of the Year, being ranked much higher. In fact, Rosenthal made a pretty strong case himself, which makes his modest ranking for the Ravens GM a bit puzzling.
"You can barely tell Ozzie Newsome has left the GM post, which is intended as the highest of compliments," Rosenthal wrote. "The Ravens balance short-term goals against veteran contracts along with tough decisions about their future (the Orlando Brown trade) as well as any team in the league. Baltimore staying competitive despite the worst injury luck in two decades speaks to the organizational strength. DeCosta just needs a few draft home runs like Newsome used to hit to round out the portfolio."