Ravens Give Their Take on D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley


The Ravens are still in the market for wide receivers, and almost assuredly will draft at least one.

Alabama's Calvin Ridley and Maryland's D.J. Moore are widely believed to be the top two wide receivers in this year's draft.

Ridley, from Ozzie Newsome's alma mater, and Moore, from just down I-95, both have connections to the Ravens. They're both projected to be off the board in the mid-to-late first round.

So, what do the Ravens, who hold pick No. 16, think of them?

Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz answered Wednesday at Baltimore's pre-draft press conference:

Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Junior; 6-foot-0, 189 pounds
2017: 63 receptions, 967 yards, 5 touchdowns
Combine: 4.43-second 40-yard dash, 15 bench press reps, 31-inch vertical jump
DeCosta: "He's an explosive vertical guy. He's a home-run hitter. He runs outstanding routes. He's a big-play receiver. He's an excellent prospect. He's a first-round receiver, lots of upside, lots of potential. I think he's going to be one of the best receivers in the draft."

D.J. Moore, Maryland
Junior; 6-0, 210 pounds
2017: 80 receptions, 1,033 yards, 8 touchdowns
Combine: 4.42 40-yard dash, 15 bench press reps, 39.5-inch vertical jumpHortiz: "D.J. is a productive player; he's a good player. We had the opportunity to see him play a lot down here, being close by. It's an impressive year this year knowing he's played with three different quarterbacks. That's a difficult thing to adjust to and he was productive throughout the season and was consistent and was helping those guys out."

Ridley was viewed among pundits as the head-and-shoulders top receiver in this year's class. Then the Combine happened. Moore's better-than-expected performance, paired with Ridley's below average leaps, leveled the playing field.

Moore went from a player that pundits viewed as a potential Day 2 gem to a first-round pick in most mock drafts. Hortiz said there wasn't any change in Moore's standing on the Ravens' draft board after the Combine.

"I think he performed well at the Combine and he performed well again on his pro day," Hortiz said. "He's holding his water. He's doing a good job at each level, in terms of getting ready for the draft."

Outside of Ridley and Moore, the Ravens believe this year's wide receiver class has a lot of depth, and will provide ample talent and value particularly in the second through fourth rounds.

The Ravens have only drafted two receivers in the first three rounds since 2008 (Torrey Smith in 2011 and Breshad Perriman in 2015), and just one first-round wide receiver (Perriman) since 2006.

That has left Baltimore constantly trying to find veteran solutions at the position, which has been successful with trades/signings such as Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith Sr. and Mike Wallace. The Ravens tried that strategy again in signing Michael Crabtree last month, but know they still want to infuse youth and find more long-term solutions in the draft.

"To get a good player at any position, you've got to swing," DeCosta said. "We probably haven't swung quite as much [at wide receiver], quite honestly, for a lot of different reasons."

Part of that is because, as DeCosta explained, wide receivers have been picked before the Ravens were comfortable selecting them based on Baltimore's grade. DeCosta said front offices feel pressure to draft offensive skill players.

"I think that the receiver position and skill players in general, what I see is a sense of inflation," DeCosta said. "Players are getting drafted higher where we necessarily see their skill level necessarily being. We see players we see as second- or third-round players being drafted in the first round.

"We have to make a decision. Are we going to react to that as well?"

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