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Late for Work 4/17: Ravens Ranked a Top-10 Drafting Team

GM Eric DeCosta
GM Eric DeCosta

Ravens Rank No. 8 in Sports Illustrated's Draft Pick Point System

The Ravens have long had a reputation for being a superb team in the draft. It's how Baltimore has been consistently among the most competitive clubs in the league. That remains true to this day.

In an attempt to measure teams' ability to draft over the past five seasons, Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame put together a point system to rank NFL franchises draft prowess.

Points were given to each team if their selections became starters or earned All-Pros. Also, teams were granted points for team success, with wins, especially in the playoffs, being heavily weighted.

With the points tallied, the Ravens ranked No. 8 on Verderame's chart, with 87 total points and 30 draft points. That's the top quarter of NFL teams.

"The Ravens have found first-team All-Pros in Jackson, [tight end Mark] Andrews and [wide receiver Devin] Duvernay, but haven't been able to advance deep into the playoffs," Verderame wrote.

The heavily weighted scoring of postseason points brought the Chiefs to No. 1, with 129 total points, with only 23 being draft points, seven fewer than the Ravens. The Bills were one spot ahead of the Ravens.

In the AFC North, the Bengals ranked 13th, Steelers 19th, and Browns 20th.

Sports Medicine Doctor Details How Odell Beckham Jr. 'Tore an ACL He Didn't Have'

Last week during his introductory press conference, Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. shared the process of his second ACL injury, including how he played after Week 9 "without an ACL."

How a player could tear a non-existent ACL was a bit confusing. Brian Sutterer, MD, gave a possible explanation.

"What happened [in Super Bowl LVI] with Odell was not a new tear of his ACL," Sutterer said. "What we saw here was an instability episode. Basically, we see the exact same movement of the knee we see that same position where the knee goes inward, we see that tibia shift forward but it's the instability because the ACL was already torn and he just so happened to have his knee in a position where that instability event occurred to make us think the ACL had been torn and then of course what we heard with the communication afterwards about the injury. So, this wasn't that he re-tore a non-existent ACL. It's that he finally had an instability episode on the field…"

This could help to quiet the notion of Beckham being an injury risk. Rather, it highlights Beckham's tenacity that delivered 593 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on 48 catches in his 12 games in a Rams uniform on a torn ACL.

2022 NFL Redraft Sees Ravens With a New Safety in the Secondary

The 2022 NFL draft featured an influx of young talent last season, something the Ravens know all about with their two first-round selections of safety Kyle Hamilton and center Tyler Linderbaum.

But in a redraft with the power of hindsight, The Athletic's Nick Baumgardner sees the Ravens running it back with one change, starting with their selection at No. 14 overall.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
Original pick: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

"To the surprise of absolutely no one, Linderbaum looked awesome (once he was healthy) as a rookie center in Baltimore," Baumgardner wrote. "The former Iowa star was a perfect fit — and a steal at 25 — for the Ravens and had stretches in which he looked like a future Pro Bowler. He wasn't quite on Creed Humphrey's level as a rookie, but he also was not too far behind as a run blocker."

The change from taking Linderbaum over Hamilton left the Ravens hoping Hamilton would fall to them at No. 25. However, the Green Bay Packers nabbed Hamilton at No. 22, leaving the Ravens to take the third safety off the board when their pick arrived.

25. Baltimore Ravens: Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois
Original pick: Linderbaum, C, Iowa

"Another safety, this time the Lions' third-rounder. Like many guys in this redraft, it took Joseph a bit of time to find stability and adjust to the speed of the NFL," Baumgardner wrote. "Once that happened, though, he took off. He finished the year with four picks as a very active, physical center fielder for Detroit. Joseph also played his best ball at the end of the year — you might be noticing a theme there, too."

When Hamilton was taken at No. 22, Baumgardner gave credit to Hamilton, Linderbaum and the Ravens.

"This is probably too low for Hamilton, who, like his rookie teammate Linderbaum, had an outstanding debut season at a very difficult position," Baumgardner wrote. "Safeties are always tough to slot, just like centers. Frankly, I wanted to give Baltimore both Hamilton and Linderbaum at 14 because they were such great selections in real life."

ESPN Selects Two Cornerbacks for Ravens in 'Fills Need' vs. 'Best Value' Draft Prospect Consideration

Unsurprisingly, after the Ravens landed Beckham, experts and pundits now see cornerback as their greatest need in the upcoming draft. ESPN’s Matt Miller and Jordan Reid took one prospect for each team based on "biggest need" and a second prospect for "biggest value." For the Ravens, both choices were cornerbacks.

Miller's pick that fills a big need: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

"The Ravens signed free agent Odell Beckham Jr. so there isn't a massive need at wide receiver any longer -- though they should still add at least one more pass-catcher. But the spot opposite Marlon Humphrey at cornerback is open following Marcus Peters' departure. Porter is long, physical and aggressive, and I've actually comped him to Humphrey. I love his scheme fit here."

This is far from the first time Porter has been cited as the best option for the Ravens, with Porter being named one of top cornerbacks in his class. But as Reid states, it's unlikely he'll be available at No. 22, where he sees the best value being a different defender.

Reid's pick that gets best value: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

"Porter isn't here, but Banks is, and he still offers really good value as a top-20 prospect. And like Porter, he is a big and aggressive corner who displays high-level instincts at the position."

Banks has quickly become the favorite for the Ravens at No. 22, with a skillset the Ravens tend to appreciate, and a Maryland connection to boot.

Ray Lewis Trends on Twitter After PFF Asks 'Who's the Best Linebacker This Century'

On Sunday, PFF asked Twitter "Who's the best linebacker this century?"

Resoundingly, one answer jumped to the top, as "Ray Lewis" became a trending topic. What followed was 800 quote tweets of the original post, with the overwhelming majority calling Lewis the greatest of all time.

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