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Late for Work 5/2: Ravens Make Biggest Jump in Post-Draft Power Rankings

Baltimore Ravens post-draft press conference.
Baltimore Ravens post-draft press conference.

Ravens Soar in Post-Draft Power Rankings

It's been a good few weeks for the Ravens, and their momentum was reflected in’s post-draft power rankings.

Baltimore made the biggest jump, moving up six spots from last month's rankings to No. 7.

"Everything In Its Right Place," Dan Hanzus wrote. "Lamar Jackson is back with his flock on a historic new contract, and the clouds have parted in an instant above Charm City. Baltimore used the top of its draft on Boston College star Zay Flowers, a dynamic playmaker who joins a wide receiver room that has more talent than it did at any previous time during Jackson's tenure as starter.

"Flowers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman are a legit trio, while Mark Andrews returns as one of the best playmaking tight ends in the sport. Lamar got his money (well, most of it) ... and the supporting cast he's desired for years. It's time for the Ravens' offense to fly again."

ESPN's Todd McShay wrote yesterday that the Ravens' offensive weapons give Baltimore a "legit Super Bowl-caliber unit."

Giants Reportedly Were Trying to Trade Up to Pick Flowers

General Manager Eric DeCosta admitted at Flowers' press conference that he was nervous about the wide receiver potentially being selected before the Ravens were on the clock at No. 22.

"I was worried about teams behind us coming up over us to get Zay," DeCosta said. "I was a little bit anxious about that. And fortunately, it didn't happen, and we lucked out."

DeCosta's concern was valid, according to The Athletic's Dan Duggan.

"A source from another team believes the Giants were trying to move up to land Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers," Duggan wrote. The Giants had the 25th-overall pick.

Flowers was the third receiver amid a stretch of four-straight receiver selections. The Giants ultimately traded up one spot to take Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks.

"I would say it got pretty tense," Giants GM Joe Schoen said. "The way it went down and the way the board fell, we were getting depleted."

DeCosta said he prepares for every possible scenario in the draft, but that doesn't make it any easier on his nerves when the board starts going in an unfavorable direction.

"It was a little bit nerve-racking, because things were falling very nicely for most of the round, and then all of a sudden, boom, boom, boom, you start to see that run," DeCosta said. "And whenever there's a run in the draft, it's an emotional thing, [and] other teams start to not panic, but they start to think, 'OK, this is our chance if you want to fill that position.'"

Jason McCourty Isn't Ready to Put Ravens at the Top of AFC

There's no question that the Ravens are a better team on paper than they were at this time last month, but are they good enough to overtake AFC heavyweights Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Buffalo?

"Good Morning Football's" Jason McCourty isn't ready to go there just yet.

"You look at this roster and you see some of the names on it, you're like, 'My goodness, the Baltimore Ravens have improved,' and yes, they have," McCourty said. "But when you look at the total of the AFC, you start to look at the quarterbacks, you start to realize that Lamar Jackson's one of those guys, but there are a lot of guys in the AFC and there's only seven playoff spots.

"So I think Baltimore added a lot of weapons, they're one of the very good teams in the AFC, [but] I'm not going to put them at the very top and just say, 'All right now, the moves that they've made, they're just going to the Super Bowl and they're going to be at the top of the AFC.' There's still a lot of question marks and there's a lot to be determined."

McCourty said he wonders how quickly new players in a new scheme under first-year Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken will jell, and he has questions about the Ravens' defensive backfield.

Those are valid points, as is McCourty's take on how loaded the AFC is, but there's also reason to believe the Ravens are as good as anybody.

Jackson is 45-16 (.738) as a starter, and that was without the caliber of weapons he has now. While there is uncertainty at cornerback at the moment, the team has plenty of time to address the position before the start of the regular season. The defense, which was No. 3 in points allowed last season, figures to again be one of the better units in the league.

Ravens Got Best Value Pick in Two Rounds of the Draft

The Ravens had the best value pick in two rounds of the draft, in the opinion of ESPN's Jordan Reid.

Reid said inside linebacker Trenton Simpson (No. 86 overall) and guard Andrew Vorhees (No. 229) were the best value in the third and seventh rounds, respectively:

"The Ravens have shown a pattern of valuing toolsy linebackers, acquiring Roquan Smith in a midseason trade and drafting Patrick Queen in 2020," Reid wrote. "Simpson, who starred on Clemson's defense, figures to be next in line. He can play multiple positions, which is key in this Baltimore defense.

"The Ravens are notorious for taking flyers on players who have suffered recent injuries — even if they can't contribute as rookies, they might return to their pre-injury form in the following season. Baltimore did it a year ago with defensive end David Ojabo, and did it again this year with Vorhees. After tearing his right ACL at the combine, he's likely to miss all of next season, but the former USC lineman could absolutely compete for a roster spot in 2024."

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