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Mailbag: Which Prospect Could Fall Into Ravens' Lap?

From left: Laiatu Latu, Tyler Guyton, Amarius Mims
From left: Laiatu Latu, Tyler Guyton, Amarius Mims

Mink: It often feels like great prospects fall into the Ravens' lap. Such is the life when you truly live by the best-player-available mantra. That's what happened when the Ravens selected safety Kyle Hamilton at No. 14 overall a couple years ago and that has paid of handsomely.

Picking at No. 30 this year, the Ravens' hope is that a player ranked in their top 20 somehow makes it to them. Who could that be? I'll give you three names.

Big, talented offensive tackles often fly off the board. But with so eight projected to go in the first round, one or two could slip through the cracks. The logical candidates are Amarius Mims of Georgia and Tyler Guyton of Oklahoma because of their lack of experience and injuries. Mims had just eight career starts and Guyton had just 14. While the tools certainly seem there, the lack of college tape makes them a projection.

The other player is UCLA pass rusher Laiatu Latu because of medical concerns. Latu suffered a neck injury that required fusion surgery before his sophomore year, and was at the time announced as retired because of it. He transferred and returned to the field to post 23.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

Any of those three prospects would probably be a slam dunk for Baltimore at No. 30.

Brown: I don't think the Ravens are finished building their wide receiver room. They may draft a wide receiver, sign a veteran, or both. Michael Gallup, who is a free agent, reportedly visited Baltimore last month and Josh Reynolds also reportedly visited before signing with Denver.

That indicates the Ravens are still in the wide receiver market. They expect Zay Flowers to build off his outstanding rookie season, and this is a big year for Rashod Bateman, a talented former first-round pick who will be asked to fill a bigger role. But even after re-signing Nelson Agholor, I expect Baltimore to add at least one more receiver.

General Manager Eric DeCosta described this year's wide receiver class as "deep" at this pre-draft press conference. Don't be surprised if Baltimore takes a wide receiver on Day 2 or 3, and there's still have plenty of time to add one before Week 1 in September.

Mink: The Ravens' position of most immediate need is the offensive line. Outside of that, I could see Baltimore ranking wide receiver, cornerback, and edge rusher fairly equally. All three have starters in place but needs for depth and likely new starters in the not-so-distant future.

I think DeCosta will be aggressive in trying to land an edge rusher and cornerback in the early-to-mid rounds. But I could seem him doing the same for a wide receiver.

The Ravens will absolutely choose a wideout in this year's draft. If one of the top options is there for them at No. 30 (or close enough to trade up for), which I highly doubt, Baltimore could pounce. But more likely is that the Ravens wait it out in a deep receiver class.

Brown: As I mentioned previously, a larger role is anticipated for Bateman coming off his first healthy season in three years with Baltimore. The Ravens haven't announced if they will pick up Bateman's fifth-year option in May, but he knows the 2024 season is pivotal in his career. He wants more targets and should get his wish, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the Combine that he thinks "Rashod Bateman is going to take a big step."

I think the stage is set for Bateman to have his best season. He is an excellent route runner with speed, playing in an offense that features other dangerous weapons who demand defensive attention.

As a rookie in 2021, Bateman had career highs in receptions (46) and receiving yards (515) despite missing the first five games with a groin injury. There's no reason to think he can't surpass that production in 2024, especially with another year of experience under his belt in Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's system.

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