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Late for Work 3/1: Mel Kiper Mocks One of His 'Favorite Prospects in Entire Class' to Ravens

Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers plays against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Boston.
Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers plays against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Boston.

Mel Kiper Mocks One of His 'Favorite Prospects in Entire Class' to Ravens

Wide receiver continues to be the most popular position for the Ravens in mock drafts, and Boston College's Zay Flowers is among the names frequently mentioned.

Flowers is the pick for the Ravens at No. 22 overall in the second mock draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.

"Can General Manager Eric DeCosta find a great pass-catcher here? I think so," Kiper wrote. "Flowers is one of my favorite prospects in this entire class. He had 200 catches in four seasons at BC, including 12 touchdowns last season. He can line up in the slot and make things easier on quarterbacks."

Kiper also had the Ravens selecting a wide receiver — TCU's Quentin Johnston — in his first mock draft in January.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah is another draft analyst who is high on Flowers and believes he is a good fit for the Ravens.

"Zay Flowers is an overall player I love," Jeremiah said. "The suddenness there I think would be a fun player to match up in that offense."

Salary Cap Analyst Looks at Ravens' Cut Candidates

Russell Street Report salary cap analyst Brian McFarland has released his in-depth preview of the Ravens' 2023 salary cap. One of the things McFarland looked at was which players on the team are cut candidates. Here's what he had to say about five prominent players on the list:

S Chuck Clark

"Clark is probably the likeliest veteran to be released or traded. While Clark is still a solid performer, the drafting of fellow safety Kyle Hamilton has made Clark somewhat expendable. Additionally, Clark, himself, may see the writing on the wall and ask (or have asked) to be traded. Releasing or trading Clark will create $3.64M in cap space."

RB Gus Edwards

"Edwards is definitely a guy the Ravens would probably rather hold on to, but given the team's needs for cap space, being able to save $4.384M by cutting (or trading) Edwards will be really hard to pass up."

DL Calais Campbell

"A contract extension to help reduce his cap number is probably the more likely outcome here, but if the team feels that the entire $7M in cap space is needed, Campbell could well be released. They won't like doing it though."

WR Devin Duvernay

"Duvernay, like Edwards and Campbell, is probably a player the team would rather not let go of, but by virtue of earning the PPE (proven performance escalator), Duvernay – at cap number of 4.529M and with a cap savings of $4.304M – is probably at great risk."

DT Michael Pierce

"Pierce played well in the 2+ games he appeared in 2022, but has now missed 40 (out of a possible 50 games) due to injury and opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID. The $2.095M is not a great deal of cap savings, but the Ravens may need every penny. Pierce's status is also probably tied to that of Campbell, as it seems unlikely that the team would move on from both of their veteran DTs."

Would Ravens Be Interested in Kenny Golladay?

When the news broke yesterday that the New York Giants reportedly will release wide receiver Kenny Golladay after two lackluster seasons, a couple thoughts came to mind.

The first was about how quickly things can change in the NFL. Just two years ago, Golladay was one of the most coveted free agents on the market.

The Pro Bowler had posted 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019 and led the league in receiving touchdowns the latter year. He was limited to five games in 2020 due to injury, but was on pace for another 1,000-yard season.

Baltimore was often named as an ideal destination for the big-bodied receiver by pundits, and Ravens fans salivated at the prospect of finally landing a "true No. 1 wide receiver."

At the time, Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox wrote: "With Golladay on the perimeter, the Ravens may finally have the firepower to outduel the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills in the AFC."

As the saying goes, sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make.

Golladay ultimately signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Giants. In 26 games over two seasons in New York, Golladay finished with 43 catches for 602 yards and one touchdown.

My other thought was whether Golladay, 29, might still end up in Baltimore at a much more affordable price.

The Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker mentioned Golladay in his article two weeks ago about wide receivers who might be potential fits for the Ravens.

"Golladay has been bad enough that new suitors won't trip over one another to sign him," Walker wrote. "But he's a 6-4 target with multiple 1,000-yard seasons under his belt, so he could be worth a cheap flier."

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