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Late for Work: Mel Kiper Jr. Mocks 'High-Ceiling, High-Risk' Offensive Tackle to Ravens

Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims (50) run the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2024.
Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims (50) run the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2024.

Mel Kiper Jr. Sends 'High-Ceiling, High-Risk' Offensive Tackle to Ravens in Latest Mock Draft

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his latest mock draft, and he has the Ravens selecting Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims with the 30th-overall pick.

"The Ravens' trade of Morgan Moses piqued my interest," Kiper wrote. "Do they believe 2022 fourth-rounder Daniel Faalele is ready to step into the starting job at right tackle, or are they planning to draft a tackle? And could the answer be yes to both? I'm leaning toward the latter outcome. Faalele hasn't shown enough to be the entrenched starter, and maybe General Manager Eric DeCosta is thinking about the future along the offensive line. This is the draft to do that.

"Mims is the perfect case of a high-ceiling, high-risk prospect. The risk comes in that he has started only eight college games because of injuries and draft picks in front of him. The ceiling comes in when you watch him beat up on defenders, and the way he can move his feet at 340 pounds. He didn't allow a single sack at Georgia. Offensive line coaches will want to try to mold him because of his elite tools."

In Kiper's previous two mock drafts, he went with cornerbacks for the Ravens: Missouri's Ennis Rakestraw Jr. and Georgia's Kamari Lassiter.

Mims, who had a sparkling Combine showing before shutting it down due to a hamstring injury, has been a popular mock draft pick to Baltimore.

ESPN Pundit Predicts Ravens Will Take Step Back in 2024

After the Ravens signed Derrick Henry last week, pundits began debating whether adding the star running back would get the AFC finalist over the hump and into the Super Bowl. Opinion was divided.

ESPN's Dan Graziano is the latest to weigh in, and he believes that not only is it an overreaction to say that Henry puts the Ravens over the top, but they might not even maintain the status quo.

"Nothing against the Henry move, which I like a lot. But for me, the story of this Ravens offseason is more about what they've lost than what they've added," Graziano wrote. "It started with three defensive coaches departing — coordinator Mike Macdonald (now Seahawks head coach) and assistants Anthony Weaver and Dennard Wilson (defensive coordinators in Miami and Tennessee, respectively). … There are going to be a lot of changes for the Ravens this season, mainly on defense. And in a division in which every team had a winning record and three made last season's playoffs, I think the Ravens might actually end up taking a step back in 2024."

To Graziano's point about the AFC North, on paper it does appear that the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Cleveland Browns got better this offseason.

Jadeveon Clowney Named Best Fit for Ravens Among Remaining Free Agents

The Baltimore Sun looked at which of the league's remaining free agents is the best fit for the Ravens. Brian Wacker and Childs Walker both came up with the same answer: outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.

Clowney had one of the best seasons of his 10-year career after signing with the Ravens last offseason. The team reportedly is interested in re-signing him, but he has other options. Clowney met with the Carolina Panthers last week and is scheduled to visit the New York Jets this week.

"It's a boring answer, but Clowney," Walker said. "We know DeCosta prefers to fill out his edge rusher group with veterans on short deals, and Clowney in 2023 was his greatest coup, delivering Pro Bowl-level production and durability at a steep discount. Though Clowney loved his time in Baltimore, he has other suitors who might pay more than the Ravens can afford. He's almost certainly looking for a significant, well-earned raise. But if he and DeCosta can get to an agreeable number, a reunion would be great for both team and player. Clowney has plenty of juice left, and he's not going to win a Super Bowl ring with the Carolina Panthers."

Wacker wrote: "Bringing back outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney should be a priority, but at a projected $9 million, per Pro Football Focus, and with several teams interested, he would probably have to be willing to take a lesser, incentive-laden deal to return to a place where he was genuinely happy. Bringing Kyle Van Noy back would be a cheaper, nearly as effective option, though Clowney is much better against the run."

Wacker said the other position the Ravens should target in free agency is wide receiver. The Ravens are probably in the market for a replacement for Odell Beckham Jr., who was released last week and posted a thank you to Baltimore on Instagram Sunday night.

"Tyler Boyd would be a terrific addition as a slot receiver with good size (6-2, 185 pounds), excellent hands and a willing and capable blocker in the run game," Wacker wrote. "Plus, it would weaken the division rival Cincinnati Bengals. But at a projected $8.25 million a year, per PFF, he is perhaps too expensive."

Georgia Wide Receiver Ladd McConkey Mocked to Ravens

Speaking of wide receivers, it's highly likely the Ravens will take one in the draft, but in which round?

ESPN's Mina Kimes and The Ringer's Danny Kelly conducted a mock draft on “The Mina Kimes Show.” For the Ravens at No. 30, they debated whether to go with Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey or Rakestraw before settling on McConkey.

"Personally, I don't think I want this to happen in real life just because they're a run-heavy team and I'm a fancy guy and want Ladd McConkey to go to a high-volume passing offense," Kelly said. "But I think in terms of his fit in that offense, he is a guy that is gonna get open; he has an incredible amount of yards-after-the-catch ability; he is one of the quickest receivers in this class in terms of just his pure acceleration is elite. And I think he fits with what they want to do.

"Zay Flowers, to me, is more of a get-him-in-space [and] let him do his thing. He has some ability to get deep but he's much more of a space player, and I think that McConkey can be a really good complement to what Zay Flowers brings and what Rashod Bateman brings."

The Ravens have drafted a wide receiver in the first round in three of the past five years, but with other needs (offensive line, edge rusher, cornerback) and a deep draft class at wide receiver, it's probable that they won't take a receiver before Day 2.

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