Mailbag: Will the Ravens Draft a Wide Receiver?

Georgia wide receiver George Pickens runs for a touchdown which was called back due to a penalty during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Athens, Ga.

Mink: The Ravens have drafted two wide receivers in each of the past four years. General Manager Eric DeCosta has said that he believed Baltimore's troubles hitting on wideouts in the draft was, in part, a result of not taking enough shots. So chances are the Ravens will pick one this year too. It seems especially likely after Sammy Watkins left in free agency and Miles Boykin was released earlier this week.

Despite those departures, however, the Ravens still have a lot of depth at receiver with Hollywood Brown, Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II and Tylan Wallace. I would expect them all to be on the team and offensive contributors this season. Duvernay, Proche and Wallace have all shown enough potential, I think, to deserve a shot at expanded targets. So how much need is there really to add a sixth wideout? The Ravens could use a bigger-bodied wide receiver to diversify the mix, but how much use would that player get?

The bottom line is, DeCosta isn't going to pass up value. If a wide receiver falls to them that is just too good to pass up, they'll pounce. If Georgia's George Pickens is available at No. 45 in the second round, is it just too tempting? If the Ravens are going to pick a wide receiver, Day 3 with one of those five fourth-round picks is probably the most likely scenario.

Brown: I could see the Ravens trading up to grab LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. The Ravens need corners and the 6-foot, 190-pound Stingley could be a star. Injuries have plagued him over the last two seasons, but he had six interceptions as a freshman and I love his size and versatility. Put Stingley in the same secondary with Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters and Baltimore's cornerback rotation becomes deeper and more dynamic – potentially the best in the NFL when all three are healthy.

I don't see Baltimore getting cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, a potential top-five pick. Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie could be available at No. 14, which would be a solid choice. But McDuffie doesn't have Stingley's size or penchant for forcing turnovers.

If you trade up in the first round, you want an impact player. That's what a healthy Stingley looks like. His foot seemed fully healed at his recent Pro Day when he ran a 4.37 in the 40, along with a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Maybe the Ravens would trade up for Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. But if I'm moving up, I'm targeting Stingley.

Mink: The Ravens' reported interest in veteran running back Melvin Gordon III shows they want more insurance at the position with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards both coming off season-ending knee injuries. In an offensive scheme built around the running game, you need to have dynamic runners. Head Coach John Harbaugh said recently that "it's still a process for those two guys" and that they will be brought along slowly. He said they could start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Thus, I do expect Baltimore to take a running back and think the fourth round is probably the sweet spot. Two prospects catch my eye and they're both from Georgia: James Cook and Zamir White. Cook is a smaller back who offers more as a receiving weapon, which is a role the Ravens were looking to expand with Dobbins last season. White is a bigger-bodied one-cut downhill runner more in Edwards' mold (but not that big).

Brown: Good question. I think Baltimore will eye a pass-catching tight end to reduce the load on Mark Andrews and strengthen their depth.

Daniel Bellinger of San Diego State, Charlie Kolar of Iowa State and Cade Otton of Washington are all potential Day 3 picks.

Bellinger had a strong Senior Bowl week, and in addition to catching 31 passes last season, he was an excellent blocker.

The 6-foot-6 Kolar caught 168 passes over four seasons and excelled at running intermediate routes. He could become another target for Lamar Jackson in multiple tight end formations.

Otton is coming off an ankle injury and may not be ready for action until training camp. However, he's a precise route runner who often lined up in the slot, and he also played special teams.

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