Ravens Reportedly Among Teams Most Interested in Trading Up in First Round
Given the Ravens' proclivity for wanting as many draft picks as possible, they're always a leading candidate to trade back in the first round of the draft. They've done so multiple times in recent years.
However, with Baltimore owning 10 picks this year, nine of which are in the first four rounds, trading up seems like a realistic possibility.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Ravens are among the teams who have made the most calls about potentially moving up in the first round tomorrow night.
The Ravens, who have the 14th-overall pick, have not traded up in the first round since 2009, when they moved up three spots to No. 26 to select offensive tackle Michael Oher.
Who might the Ravens be targeting if they move up?
The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec believes Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is at the top of the list.
"The Ravens are represented at most pro days, but the report that Ravens officials had dinner with Thibodeaux after Oregon's workout seemed notable," Zrebiec wrote. "Thibodeaux was once viewed as the likely top overall pick. That's not still the case, but it certainly would be surprising if he gets out of the top 10 even with some teams reportedly turned off by his big and brash personality.
"The Ravens need another edge rusher and there seems to be a drop-off after the top five, who all could get taken with top-10 picks. Thibodeaux is a big and explosive game wrecker. He had 19 sacks and 31 1/2 tackles for loss in 30 college games. The Ravens are always reluctant to part with draft picks, but if Thibodeaux is still there in the 8-10 range, it wouldn't be surprising if [General Manager Eric] DeCosta at least made a call to gauge the cost of moving up in the draft."
Other players Zrebiec said the Ravens might consider trading up for if they slide a bit are edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II (Florida State), offensive tackle Charles Cross (Mississippi State) and cornerbacks Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati) and Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU).
Russell Street Report’s Darin McCann has the Ravens moving up to the No. 10 spot to select Johnson in his mock draft. His proposed trade has the Ravens sending the 14th-overall pick and a fourth-rounder (No. 119) to the New York Jets.
"[Johnson] is long, quick, tireless and attacks with an array of moves," McCann wrote. "I believe he and Odafe Oweh can be an electric tandem for the Ravens coming off the edge, and is worth the draft capital to move up and land him."
Zrebiec named the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Commanders, who have the ninth- and 11th-overall picks, respectively, as teams who could be willing to move back.
"There's been talk that the Giants are willing to listen to offers for the seventh overall pick, but the asking price will probably be too rich for the Ravens," Zrebiec wrote. "It would likely take something in the neighborhood of the Ravens' first-rounder at 14, the second of their two third-rounders at 100, their second of five fourth-rounders at 119 and a 2023 second-round pick to get it done. A similar package would be needed to wrestle the eighth overall pick from the Atlanta Falcons."
Jordan Davis Is Ravens' Pick in Several of the Latest Mock Drafts
Edge rusher, cornerback and offensive line have been the positions most frequently linked to the Ravens in the first round of mock drafts, but Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis is making a late surge.
The massive Davis was Jamison Hensley's pick for Baltimore in ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters mock draft.
"The Ravens have more pressing needs at pass-rusher and cornerback, but they can't pass on Davis, who would be their top-rated player on the board," Hensley wrote. "Baltimore loves big, quick and intimidating linemen, and no one fits that description better in this draft than a nose tackle nicknamed 'Godzilla.' Davis can be a foundation piece in the front seven for the Ravens, who didn't re-sign longtime defensive tackle Brandon Williams. There will be high expectations with Davis, who was primarily a run-stopper in college."
Zrebiec, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling, Pro Football Focus’ Ari Meirov and our own Ryan Mink also mocked Davis to the Ravens.
"After signing Michael Pierce and re-signing Calais Campbell, the Ravens need to get younger and more explosive up front, and Davis, the star of the NFL Scouting Combine, accomplishes that," Zrebiec wrote.
Mink wrote: "Davis is a rare specimen. At 6-foot-6, 341 pounds, he scored a perfect 10.0 on the Relative Athletic Score (RAS). That's the second-highest grade of any player at any position in the entire RAS database, only trailing former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Defensive tackle isn't the most premier position in a pass-happy NFL but sometimes the player is just worth it because they're that special."
Baltimore Positive’s Luke Jones predicted the Ravens will select Davis, but noted that Davis needs to become more versatile. He had seven sacks in four seasons at Georgia.
"He's a 6-foot-6, 340-pound run-stopping monster with impressive athleticism, but the key question is whether that sparks the necessary pass-rushing development to turn him into the next Haloti Ngata," Jones wrote.
Melvin Gordon Reportedly Re-Signing With Broncos
Veteran running back Melvin Gordon III, who reportedly was in discussions with the Ravens earlier this month, has reportedly agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos on a one-year deal worth up to $5 million.
The 29-year-old Gordon, a two-time Pro Bowler, rushed for 918 yards and eight touchdowns for the Broncos last season.
The Ravens need quality depth at running back in case J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, who both suffered season-ending knee injuries before Week 1 last year (as did No. 3 running back Justice Hill), aren't ready to go on Day 1.
Baltimore is likely to draft a running back in the middle rounds, where there figures be a number of quality options.
"While this position is very light on star power, it is extremely deep, with help to be found from Round 2 all the way through the late rounds," NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote.
Would Ravens Consider Taking WR Drake London in the First Round?
The Ravens taking a wide receiver in the first round is one of the least likely scenarios, but The Baltimore Sun’s Ryan McFadden said Southern California's Drake London is worth considering if he were to fall to them.
"It doesn't hurt to give quarterback Lamar Jackson some additional weapons to work with, especially after veteran receiver Sammy Watkins signed with the Green Bay Packers after one season in Baltimore," McFadden wrote. "Pairing London up with second-year receiver Rashod Bateman, fourth-year receiver Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown and tight end Mark Andrews would give the Ravens a dynamic passing offense heading into the 2022 season and beyond."
The Ravens have selected two wide receivers in each of the past four drafts, including Bateman (2021) and Brown (2019) in the first round. In addition to those two, Devin Duvernay (third round, 2020), James Proche II (sixth round, 2020) and Tylan Wallace (fourth round, 2021) are on the roster.