Three First-Round Trade Proposals for Ravens
We've all been inundated with mock drafts for months, but ESPN's Bill Barnwell put a twist on his mock.
Instead of forecasting which player each team will select, he proposed trade scenarios for all 32 first-round picks.
The Ravens were involved in three of them: one in which they traded up and moved offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr.; one in which they traded out of the first round; and one in which they landed a wide receiver as part of a three-team trade.
Here's a synopsis of each.
No. 9 Denver Broncos get: 1-4 (round, pick), 5-148 (from ATL).
Atlanta Falcons get: 1-9, 3-71, 2022 first-round pick (from DEN), 4-131 (from BAL).
Ravens get: WR Tim Patrick (from DEN).
Barnwell's comments: "As a restricted free agent, the Broncos would be at risk of losing Patrick to unrestricted free agency in 2022, so it might make sense to send him out as part of this deal. The Falcons don't need another wide receiver, but they could pass along Patrick to the Ravens for a mid-round pick. Patrick would be part of the wideout rotation in Baltimore and a possible breakout candidate catching passes from Lamar Jackson."
13. Los Angeles Chargers get: OT Orlando Brown, 1-27.
Ravens get: 1-13, 4-113.
Barnwell's comments: "The Ravens will likely lose Brown after the season in free agency, so while they would gain a compensatory pick in the 2023 draft, they have to be giving some thought to the possibility of a Brown trade. … The Ravens would move up and be in position to add one of the promising receivers in the draft if they fall to No. 12. They did add Sammy Watkins this offseason, but the possibility of acquiring a playmaker such as Jaylen Waddle would give Lamar Jackson the upside of a superstar wide receiver."
27. Ravens get: 2-57, 3-88, 2022 second-round pick.
Los Angeles Rams get: 1-27.
Barnwell's comments: "The Ravens can address their front seven with additional picks in the second and third round."
Orlando Brown Jr. Trade Talks Reportedly 'Heating Up'
Speaking of trades, talks surrounding Brown are "heating up," according to ESPN's Josina Anderson, who noted that Pittsburgh Steelers free-agent left tackle Alejandro Villanueva visited the Ravens yesterday.
When asked during a live chat yesterday what the chances of Brown being traded before the end of the draft are, The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote: "I spoke to somebody who is pretty close to the situation about 10 days ago, and at the time, there was absolutely nothing going on with it. The combination of a good OT draft, Brown's asking price on an extension, the perception that the Ravens have an OL-friendly offense/scheme and perhaps Brown wouldn't be as effective in other offenses were all cited as factors for why interest has been relatively limited. But all it takes is one team and there seems to be hope that interest will increase as we get closer to the draft.
"And there's always the chance that there is a big run on tackles late in first and a team hoping to get one early in the second is shut down and suddenly turns its attention to Brown. This is just throwing a number against the wall, but I guess I'd put the chances maybe at 35-40 percent."
Brown, a two-time Pro Bowler while playing primarily at right tackle, has requested a trade to a team that will allow him to play left tackle. The Ravens already have an All-Pro left tackle in Ronnie Stanley, who is coming off a season-ending ankle injury.
Villanueva, 32, is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who has started every game at left tackle for Pittsburgh over the past five seasons. Adding him would give the Ravens insurance at the position regardless of whether Brown is traded. It would also be insurance in case Stanley, who had multiple surgeries, isn't ready to play at the start of the season.
Pundit Says Drafting Michigan Edge Rusher Kwity Paye Is Dream Scenario for Ravens
Pro Football Focus' Michael Renner identified what every team's dream scenario would be in the first round of the draft. For the Ravens, it would be selecting Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye with the 27th-overall pick.
"No team in the NFL has a better track record of developing edge talent than the Ravens," Renner wrote. "Paye also possesses perfect developmental tools for their scheme, with his ability to corner and play with power on the edge. He's reportedly run a sub-6.5-second three-cone in the past and did 36 bench reps at his pro day."
Ravens Wire's Kevin Oestreicher also believes Paye would be a good fit for the Ravens, who have a need at edge rusher after losing Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency.
"Paye has an unconventional stance that lets him use his athletic abilities to his advantage. He plays with an extremely high motor and gives 110% effort on every play, which are both traits that the Ravens value in potential draft picks," Oestreicher wrote. "He also has both speed and power moves that he has shown the ability to use at times, but does need to refine his overall technique a bit."
Paye has most often been projected as being selected somewhere between picks No. 10 and 20.
"For Baltimore, if Paye somehow dropped to them at No. 27, they'd most likely seriously consider taking him," Oestreicher wrote. "His talent is undeniable, and his potential is off of the charts. He would fill a position of need for the Ravens while giving them a great prospect both on and off of the field."
Ravens Are Among NFL's Elite at Drafting Best Player Available
The Ravens, like most NFL teams, often say they take a "best player available" approach to the draft. But do their actions back up their words?
A study by The Athletic's Larry Holder indicates the Ravens' track record for drafting the best player available is among the best in the league.
Using Pro Football Reference's "weighted approximate value" as a gauge, Holder researched every draft in the Super Bowl era, starting in 1966 and stopping at 2018 (since conventional judging for a draft should be three years later).
During that span, the Ravens selected the best player available (BPA) nine times, trailing only the Pittsburgh Steelers (12), Indianapolis Colts (10), New England Patriots (10) and Dallas Cowboys (10).
"Maybe the most amazing aspect of the league-wide totals comes with the Baltimore Ravens," Holder wrote. "I made them their own franchise, unlike the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts and Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. The Ravens, in their short history, rank near the top of the league, going against franchises that spanned throughout the study."
The Ravens were especially proficient in the 2018 draft. Lamar Jackson first round, No. 32 overall), Brown (third, 83), tight end Mark Andrews (third, 86) and center Bradley Bozeman (sixth, 215) were all the BPA when the Ravens selected them.
"This is where the amazement comes in with the Ravens hitting on four BPAs in one class," Holder wrote.
Who Really Is the Best Player Under 25, Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen?
As highlighted in yesterday's Late for Work, Jackson was No. 1 in Bleacher Report's Top 25 Under 25 rankings and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen was No. 2.
The list sparked a spirited debate on Fox Sports' "Speak For Yourself" over which of the 2018 first-round picks deserved the top spot. Marcellus Wiley asserted that Bleacher Report got it right, while Emmanuel Acho contended that Allen was more deserving.
Wiley began his argument by pointing out that Jackson made an immediate impact and in 2019 became just the second unanimous league MVP in history.
"Lamar Jackson hit the ground running. Lamar Jackson saved coaches' jobs and steadied the franchise," Wiley said. "Josh Allen didn't hit the ground running. That counts in this conversation. … I'm not going to give Josh Allen the nod over a unanimous MVP, even though I love him. An amazing career already by Lamar Jackson."
There's no question Jackson outplayed Allen over their first two seasons, but Allen made a huge jump last year, when he finished second in MVP voting and led the Bills to the AFC Championship Game.
Acho's case for Allen being No. 1 on the list is that he has gone further in the playoffs than Jackson, and he believes Allen's 2020 season was even better than Jackson's MVP campaign the year before.
"Josh Allen, you had a greater individual season than when Lamar Jackson was the unanimous MVP, and
you've had greater playoff and greater collective success than Lamar Jackson has had," said Acho, noting that Allen had more total touchdowns, total yards and passing yards in 2020 than Jackson had in 2019. "Right now, Josh Allen is a better quarterback than Lamar Jackson."
Wiley wouldn't concede that Allen is a better passer. He cited that Jackson has a higher completion percentage, yards-per-attempt average and quarterback rating at this point in their careers.
Acho said he also was factoring in future success, and he doesn't believe Jackson and the Ravens can win a Super Bowl with their run-heavy offense.
- An Ole Miss student who has been on the football team's video staff for three years will be working on the video operations staff for the Ravens.