Mel Kiper's Third Round Fits for Ravens at Positions of Need


The Ravens have a lot of needs and just one first-round pick. That means most spots will be filled by a third- or fourth-round pick.

Baltimore has two picks in the third round (Nos. 85 and 102) and two in the fourth (Nos. 113 and 123). General Manager Eric DeCosta called them "gold."

So who might be good fits at positions of need for the Ravens in that range? ESPN's draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. stopped by "The Lounge" podcast this week to give some possibilities:

Wide Receiver

*Riley Ridley, Georgia *Junior; 6-foot-1, 199 pounds
2018: 43 receptions, 559 yards, 9 touchdowns

Ridley is the cousin of Calvin Ridley, who was a popular projection to the Ravens in last year's draft and ended up going to Atlanta, where he had a strong rookie season. Riley Ridley isn't as fast and wasn't as productive, but he's known for being an excellent route-runner, physical competitor who likes to block and catches everything thrown his way.

*Andy Isabella, Massachusetts *Senior; 5-foot-9, 188 pounds
2018: 102 receptions, 1,698 yards, 13 touchdowns
What Isabella lacks in height, he makes up for in speed and quickness. The projected slot receiver blazed the 40-yard dash in 4.31 seconds and had massive production in college.
Kiper: "You want a Danny Amendola, Wes Welker-type slot guy? Andy Isabela is one of the fastest guys in this draft."

Mecole Hardman, Georgia
Junior; 5-foot-10, 187 pounds
2018: 35 receptions, 543 yards, 7 touchdowns

Hardman is a blazing speedster who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds at the Combine. He can take the top off opposing defenses and threaten them underneath with his quickness. He's also a dynamic special teams returner.

Jalen Hurd, Baylor
Senior; 6-foot-5, 226 pounds _2018: 69 receptions, 946 yards, 4 touchdowns
_Hurd was originally a running back at Tennessee before transferring and changing positions. He was still used to run some at Baylor (48 carries, 209 yards, three touchdowns), but has emerged as a physical possession receiver who can also make big plays down the field.
Kiper: "Big, athletic kid with a great work ethic. He really studies the game, is passionate about the game."

Edge Rusher

Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion
Senior; 6-foot-3, 253 pounds
2018: 58 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 interception

Ximines led the Monarchs in sacks and tackles for loss ever since his redshirt freshman season. He was highly productive against the lower level of competition.
Kiper: "You could see him drop maybe down that far."

Chase Winovich, Michigan
Senior; 6-foot-3, 256 pounds
2018: 59 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks

A relentless rusher who plays like his hair is on fire, Winovich was a steady high producer on one of the best defenses in college football.
Kiper: "Maybe a second but probably a third is Chase Winovich, who out-produced Rashaan Gary, who is going to go a little higher in the draft."

Ben Banogu, TCU
Senior; 6-foot-3, 250 pounds
2018: 57 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

An athletic rusher with great quickness, Banogu could be more of a developmental rusher.

Inside Linebacker

Bobby Okereke, Stanford
Senior; 6-foot-1, 239 pounds
2018: 96 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks

Okereke is a very accomplished player on and off the field. He won the prestigious Watkins Award in 2014 as the nation's top African-American high school player in terms of academic and athletic excellence and took steps forward each year at Stanford.
Kiper: "Jon Gruden and I spent a lot of time in meetings together. Jon always stressed length for inside linebackers. You don't find a lot of guys with length, and that can be very disruptive to a quarterback. Everybody worries about the edge; what about up the middle of the field? With his long arms, he can be a disruptive force for quarterbacks and was a really good player for David Shaw."

Sione Takitaki, BYU
Senior; 6-foot-1, 238 pounds
2018: 118 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 3 sacks

After some off-the-field troubles and sitting out a year of football, Takitaki got married, matured and blossomed on the football field. He's an aggressive downhill player.
Kiper: "He's played inside and out, all-over-the-field type of player for BYU. He really came on strong this year and matured a lot over his career at BYU. He's interesting."

David Long Jr., West Virginia
Junior; 5-foot-11, 227 pounds
2018: 108 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks

Long is a hard-hitting, penetrating linebacker who isn't afraid to take chances to make plays. He doesn't have ideal size, but that hasn't stopped the Ravens before.

Running Back

Damien Harris, Alabama
Senior; 5-foot-10, 216 pounds
2018: 150 carries, 876 yards, 9 touchdowns; 22 receptions, 204 yards

While teammate Josh Jacobs is considered the top running back in the draft, Harris actually had more carries and yards last season at Alabama. Pundits don't view him as explosive or dynamic as a receiver, but he could still be a very good pro.
Kiper: "That was a guy who back in August that we thought would be a maybe a first-round pick, at worst an early 2. He was outshined by Jacobs late, midway through the year. Damien Harris is a high-character kid, really good player. If he were there in that third-round area, he would be interesting."

David Montgomery, Iowa State
Junior; 5-foot-10, 222 pounds
2018: 257 carries, 1,216 yards, 13 touchdowns; 22 receptions, 157 yards

Montgomery was a highly-productive ball carrier the past two seasons. He has a good blend of size, eyes, toughness and balance. The knock is that he didn't have many explosive carries.
Kiper: "Dependable running back out of Iowa State, doesn't fumble the ball. Earned his real estate."

Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic
Junior; 5-foot-7, 203 pounds
2018: 261 carries, 1,348 yards, 22 touchdowns; 6 receptions, 36 yards

He's an ultra-productive runner with 4,287 college career rushing yards and a staggering 66 rushing touchdowns. He saw a ton of action (301 rushes as a sophomore), so wear-and-tear is a concern, as was his slower-than-expected 40-yard dash at the Combine.
Kiper: "Had a ton of yards, ton of carries. Never really was banged up. Dependable, reliable. Only ran a 4.66 at the Combine, that will hurt him at bit. He could drop down and become a real bargain for somebody."

Bryce Love, Stanford
Senior; 5-foot-9, 200 pounds
2018: 166 carries, 739 yards, 6 touchdowns; 20 receptions, 99 yards

Love was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2017 when he ran for 2,118 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. His 2018 season was hampered by a lingering injury and ended by a torn ACL, so there are injury question marks. He's an explosive runner who once had 15 straight games with at least one carry of 30 or more yards.
Kiper: "If he didn't get hurt against Cal with the knee, he would probably in the second- or third-round discussion. Maybe now he drops down a round or two more than you would think."

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