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Late for Work: Final Draft Grades Are in for Ravens

GM Eric DeCosta
GM Eric DeCosta

Ravens Earn Solid Draft Grades for Box-Checking Draft

The Ravens entered the 2024 NFL Draft with a few needs and nine draft picks. By its end, the Ravens picked up talented prospects at some positions of need and earned strong grades across the NFL media landscape for this year's class.

To review, here are the Ravens' picks:

  • Round 1 – CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson
  • Round 2 – OT Roger Rosengarten, Washington
  • Round 3 – EDGE Adisa Isaac, Penn State
  • Round 4 – WR Devontez Walker, North Carolina
  • Round 4 – CB T.J. Tampa, Iowa State
  • Round 5 – RB Rasheen Ali, Marshall
  • Round 6 – QB Devin Leary, Kentucky
  • Round 7 – C Nick Samac, Michigan State
  • Round 7 – S Sanoussi Kane, Purdue’s Chad Reuter: "Grade: A-. The Ravens had yet another solid draft. Wiggins' elite recovery speed earned him a first-round slot, but he must answer questions about how his lean frame and inconsistent tackling translates to the next level. Rosengarten and Isaac were great value picks at two need spots."

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: "Grade: B+. [Eric DeCosta] landed three guys in my top 51, all of whom could be big-time rookie contributors, and got value with each selection. Nate Wiggins (30) is one of the fastest cornerbacks in this class, a long and gifted cover man with good instincts. Though he's a little light at 173 pounds, he'll grow into his frame in time. Roger Rosengarten (52), one of my favorite prospects in the entire draft, could step in and start at right tackle in 2024. Edge rusher Adisa Isaac (93) went a full round below where I rated him. He had 16 tackles for loss last season and outshined teammate Chop Robinson on tape, though Isaac doesn't have the same kind of upside as a pass-rusher. Wideout Tez Walker (113) and cornerback T.J. Tampa (130) were tremendous picks on Day 3. I thought Tampa might end up in Round 1 at one point, but there are questions about his recovery speed. Baltimore has had a great history of late-round running backs, and Rasheen Ali (165) could be the next one to make the team. DeCosta did it again in this class; there are some excellent prospects here. It's not quite in the A tier, though."

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: "Grade: A. The Ravens once again locked into their key positions of need under Eric DeCosta and practiced patience in letting values drop to them. Wiggins and Tampa have a chance to be a special starting cornerback duo in time. Issac is their style of edge rusher, while Walker provides a key missing element at receiver to help Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman. Baltimore doesn't make bad picks in relation to having the right talent available. Ali added needed backfield depth behind Derrick Henry, and Leary is a good developmental athlete.

USA Today’s Nate Davis: "Grade: B. When you're drafting at the end of every round, maybe you reach just a little in spots. Yet it seems like they did a good job – per usual – marrying value, talent and need. First-round CB Nate Wiggins (Clemson) is a supreme athlete, and his tackling will improve – because the Ravens will demand that. Second-rounder Roger Rosengarten (Washington) should be the new right tackle, while third round OLB Adisa Isaac could be a factor on passing downs straight away. And the value picks kicked in on Day 3 with deep threat WR Devontez Walker (North Carolina) and CB T.J. Tampa (Iowa State), who could give Wiggins a battle to get on the field first."

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske: "Grade: B-. The Ravens helped their defense. They fortified their secondary in particular by taking two CBs, Nate Wiggins in Round 1 and T.J. Tampa in what may have been a heist of a fourth-round selection. Getting offensive tackle Roger Rosengarten in the second round also was significant."

Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame: "Grade: A-. Baltimore used the first round to reinforce its secondary, nabbing Wiggins as a tough, undersized corner at 173 pounds. In the second round, general manager Eric DeCosta replaced departed right tackle Morgan Moses with Rosengarten, then found a productive edge in Isaac to round out the first two nights."

The Ringer’s Danny Kelly: "This was a down-the-fairway draft for the Ravens, who did what they always seem to do each year by picking up a handful of talented future contributors. I liked the selection of cornerback Nate Wiggins in the first round, giving the team an uber-athletic, plug-and-play starter on the outside. The team turned around in the second round and grabbed a smooth-moving right tackle in Roger Rosengarten, who lacks power and ballast as a blocker but brings quick feet and good hand work to a position of need. Rosengarten has the traits to play at either left or right tackle. … All in all, an unflashy but solid haul for the Ravens."

Pro Football Network's Cam Mellor: "Grade A-. Say what you want about the Baltimore Ravens, but they consistently navigate the draft board very well over the years. Despite many linking the team to a wide receiver on Day 1, the team added Clemson CB Nate Wiggins on Day 1. They then followed up that selection by finding a potential future replacement for Kevin Zeitler or John Simpson at guard with Roger Rosengarten in the second round. Other exceptional value picks were Iowa State cornerback T.J. Tampa and Marshall running back Rasheen Ali in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively."

Associated Press’ Rob Maaddi: "Grade: B+. CB Nate Wiggins (30) and DE Adisa Isaac (93) can make an immediate impact. OT Roger Rosengarten (62) had some first-round grades. CB T.J. Tampa and RB Rasheen Ali could become Day 3 steals."

Pundits' Reactions to Ravens' Day 3 Choices

Here were reactions to each pick on Day 3:

WR Devontez Walker, North Carolina’s Eric Edholm: "This is really the perfect range for Walker to have been drafted. He has Day 2 ability as a well-built athlete who can run but enough inconsistencies in his tape to suggest he'll have to work hard as a rookie to earn an immediate role. A possible home run threat for down the road."

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso: "Good-sized, well-proportioned downfield burner. Will take the lid off many defenses. Stiffness in his routes and didn't run many in college. Will track it beautifully over his shoulder but not a confident rebounder. Doesn't appear to be a natural hands catcher. Minimal YAC. Niche option that fits what this offense needs."

PFF: "Pick Grade: Very Good. The Ravens finally land a wide receiver, and it's a player who many expected to be off the board by now. His 10 receptions on throws 20-plus yards downfield ranked third in the ACC, so he can be a big-play threat in Baltimore right away."

CB T.J. Tampa, Iowa State

Edholm: "Tampa's slide is among the more surprising ones so far, as he has the length and coverage feel to be a good man corner. He's still a bit raw as a converted receiver but might vastly outplay his draft position. The Ravens often scoop up sliders such as this."

Trapasso: "Grade: B. Physical, in-your-face boundary CB without premier athleticism or downfield speed. Plus awareness when the ball is arriving. Not a sound tackler. Understands how to use his bigger body when he can't mirror perfectly. Very Ravens pick."

PFF: "Pick Grade: Elite. T.J. Tampa is a highly skilled cornerback when utilized in single coverage. Iowa State gave him the keys to the castle on most of their defensive snaps. He went against very solid competition in the Big 12 in 2022 and 2023 and impressively held his own. Tampa will fit well within the Ravens' defensive backfield, where tackling is also prioritized."

RB Rasheen Ali, Marshall

Edholm: "True story: I was talking to a friend at the Senior Bowl while watching Ali, and I said something to the effect of: 'He looks like a guy the Ravens steal on Day 3.' Clearly, we're in a simulation. Ali took time away from football, which led to scouts digging on him more, and he has a biceps injury that will keep him out until summer. He did, however, average more than 5.0 yards per rush three straight seasons at Marshall."

Trapasso: "Grade: B. Bigger burner at the RB spot. Not overly elusive in the hole or creative with the ball in his hands relative to other RBs in this class but can really scoot once he reaches the second level and has feature-back size. Very Ravens pick here on Day 3."

PFF: "Ali has had some massive seasons for Marshall, having racked up over 1,100 rushing yards in 2021 and 2023. Over the last three seasons, he has 69 rushes of at least 10 yards. Baltimore continues to add depth to their backfield, with Ali filling in behind Derrick Henry and Keaton Mitchell."

Baltimore Beatdown’s Joshua Reed: "Ali is an explosive playmaker who can complement Henry well as a supplemental member of the backfield rotation. He also possesses potential to carve out a larger role on offense down the road. Ali has a similar build and skill set to veteran Justice Hill when it comes to just about everything but pass protection, where he can improve to be an any-down option moving forward."

QB Devin Leary, Kentucky

Trapasso: "Grade: B-. Never quite developed after huge year early in his NC State career. But certainly has NFL-caliber arm strength. Many impressive in-pocket throws on film."

PFF: "The Ravens were expected to address quarterback at some point in this draft as they look to improve their backup options to Lamar Jackson. Leary's lone season at Kentucky saw him earn a 72.1 PFF grade, with 17 big-time throws and 23 turnover-worthy plays."

Russell Street Report’s Nikhil Mehta: "He already had solid reviews from scouts at the Combine before a great throwing session. It's a good Day 3 dart throw for a potential long-term backup on a rookie deal."

C Nick Samac, Michigan State

Edholm: "A leg injury hurt his chances to boost his stock leading up to the draft. Samac struggles with quick interior rushers but can be a boss in the run game."

Trapasso: "Grade: A. Arguably the best, most methodical run-blocker in the class. Plenty of experience. Not loads of anchoring skill but very aware of games up front from the defensive line. Shrewd pick here."

Russell Street Report’s Darin McCann: "The Ravens have been thought to be looking for a replacement for Sam Mustipher as the backup center, and Samac figures to figure in that competition. He started for three years in the Big 10, and that's big-boy football. The pick makes sense."

S Sanoussi Kane, Purdue

Edholm: "Kane emerged as a reliable starter at Purdue, earning a reputation as a strong tackler and forcing three fumbles over two years, but his lack of ball skills limit his appeal as a DB."

Trapasso: "Compact, in-the-box safety who plays more like a linebacker than a coverage type down the field. Some stiffness when changing directions. In a straight-line he's impressive."

McCann: "Kane appears to be a box safety/sub linebacker who is at his best close to the line and coming downhill. Those guys have value, but he should probably commit hard to special teams if he wants to make his mark early."

Bill Belichick Compliments Ravens' First-Round Choice

For years, the Ravens have dominated the draft. It's their roster's foundation and with it they've built out their roster, developed talent and found success.

Don't just take our word for it, though. Take six-time Super Bowl winning head coach Bill Belichick, who gave the Ravens props for how they've operated during his appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show NFL Draft broadcast" on Thursday.

"Yeah, [the Ravens] do a real good job. They've built a real good football team consistently going over, almost, a couple decades now," Belichick said. "You've got to give them a lot of credit. Year in and year out, they're tough."

The compliments came after the Ravens drafted Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins in Round 1, who Belichick also approved of.

"Very lean but he's fast. He has excellent coverage skills," Belichick said. "You want somebody to play man-to-man, this guy is a good man-to-man corner. He sticks to them like glue when he's on. Good ball skills, you can see him high-point the ball. Every once in a while he kind of loses focus a little bit but this guy can really close on the ball. ... This kid's a good player. You just can't be late and sloppy [against] this guy. He's going to make you pay. He's got good hands, good ball skills and he can close space in a hurry."

Quick Hits

Yesterday's Most Read: Ravens' Full 2024 Draft Class

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