Five Factors That Could Impact the Ravens' First-Round Pick


When selecting near the end of the first round – like the Ravens are this year at No. 28 – much of the first round will be spent just sitting and watching it all go down.

Who the Ravens pick will largely be dependent on what others teams do. Sure, a player of interest could come tumbling down the board and Baltimore could have discussions about trading up, but a massive leap would be highly unlikely for a team that values picks so much.

So here are five factors that could impact the Ravens' first-round pick:

Pay close attention to picks Nos. 19-24.

If you want the Ravens to draft an inside linebacker in the first round – either Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray or LSU's Patrick Queen – then make sure you're tuned in by pick No. 19.

Four teams within picks No. 19 and 24 have linebacker high on their list of needs. The teams are the Las Vegas Raiders (No. 19), Philadelphia Eagles (No. 21), New England Patriots (No. 23) and New Orleans Saints (No. 24). If the Ravens were going to make a move up to grab an inside linebacker, it would likely be to leapfrog one of these teams.

If one or both of the inside linebackers gets through this gauntlet, there's a fairly good chance they make it to No. 28.

Who falls in love with Love?

The top quarterbacks – Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert – will be gone within the first 10 picks. The consensus fourth quarterback is Utah State's Jordan Love.

The Patriots could take him to replace Tom Brady. The Saints could take him to be Drew Brees' heir apparent. The Dolphins (No. 26) could grab him if they don't draft a quarterback earlier (though that's unlikely).

Any team in the early second round could try to move up into the first if they also don't get one of the top three.

Who wants an offensive tackle?

The other potential trade-back scenario that could unfold for the Ravens is a team (or teams) looking to move up into the first round to grab an offensive tackle.

There could be some very good ones available near the end of the first round, such as USC's Austin Jackson, Houston's Josh Jones, Georgia's Isaiah Wilson or Boise State's Ezra Cleveland.

The Redskins, Giants, Dolphins and Chargers are all looking for offensive tackles, which the Ravens don't need (at least early) considering they have bookend Pro Bowlers in Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr.

When does the run on wide receivers start?

Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb, Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, and LSU's Justin Jefferson are all expected to be off the board in the early teens. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has them all going in a row from picks 12-15.

The question is when the second "run" on wide receivers starts. Arizona State's Brandon Aiyuk, TCU's Jalen Reagor, Clemson's Tee Higgins and Baylor's Denzel Mims, Colorado's Laviska Shenault Jr. and Notre Dame's Chase Claypool have all been mocked as potential first-round picks.

If they start popping off the board in the late first round, the Ravens could get in on the run. If they're not getting gobbled up, it's a good sign that there could be good second-round options available.

Injuries to highly-regarded prospects could force drops.

Two players to keep an eye on are South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw and LSU linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson. They are top talents who could fall because of injury concerns, both past and present.

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, Kinlaw has a laundry list of past injuries that have led to "wear and tear" on his body. Pelissero and Rapoport said it's "unlikely that a top-20 talent falls out of the first round" but anywhere close to pick No. 28 could be too tempting to pass up despite there not being a big need on the defensive line.

Chaisson is similarly a freakish talent, but a torn ACL ended his second season after one game and led to a bit of a slow start last season. The twitchy pass rusher picked up steam, but still finished with just 6.5 sacks last season. Could his injury cause him to fall close enough for Baltimore to strike?

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