Who Were the Draft Winners and Losers on the Ravens?
The Ravens have been universally lauded as winners in last weekend's draft, but there also are perceived winners and losers on every team as a result of the draft.
The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer each identified individuals on the Ravens who benefitted from the draft and those who were negatively impacted. Here are some excerpts:
GM Eric DeCosta
"This was billed as a pivotal draft for DeCosta and at least according to the pundits, he delivered in a big way. … Draft grades mean nothing, but if you would have said on the eve of the draft that the team was going to land safety Kyle Hamilton, center Tyler Linderbaum, outside linebacker David Ojabo and defensive tackle Travis Jones by the end of Round 2 and then start Day 3 with offensive tackle Daniel Faalele, even the most negative Raven fan would have probably applauded. Trading wide receiver Marquise Brown during the first round leaves another blemish on DeCosta's first draft class in 2019. However, DeCosta made the best of a bad situation, recouping a first-round pick for the receiver who was disgruntled and on the verge of getting expensive. DeCosta got good value in the trade, the theme of the draft for the Ravens." — Zrebiec
WRs Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Tylan Wallace
"All three figured to factor in the Ravens offensive plans regardless of what happened in the draft. The trading of Brown, though, and the decision to not draft a receiver bodes well for the trio to have expanded roles this year. As things stand, Duvernay is the team's No. 2 receiver behind Rashod Bateman with Proche as their top slot option. Wallace is entrenched in the fourth receiver role. The Ravens will add to the position in the coming weeks, so the pecking order will likely change. However, the organization showed its faith in the young receiver group last week by not overreacting to a clear need." — Zrebiec
OC Greg Roman
"The Ravens' offensive coordinator doesn't need a squadron of elite wide receivers to be happy. Just give him a cohesive offensive line, a group of productive tight ends and a quarterback as talented as [Lamar] Jackson, and Roman should find his comfort zone. Even without top wide receiver Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown, traded away Thursday night to the Arizona Cardinals, the Ravens have more of the kind of personnel that Roman can optimize better than most. Top center prospect Tyler Linderbaum, who thrived in Iowa's zone-running schemes, will diversify a running game that struggled at times last season. Minnesota's Daniel Faalele has the power to displace edge defenders as effectively as offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. did in Baltimore. And Iowa State's Charlie Kolar and Coastal Carolina's Isaiah Likely give Jackson two more intriguing tight ends to target over the middle." — Shaffer
OLBs Jaylon Ferguson, Daelin Hayes
"Like at wide receiver, it's inconceivable that the Ravens are done addressing the outside linebacker position. Still, the expectation was that the Ravens would double-dip in what was a highly-touted edge rusher class. Instead, they drafted only one, and Ojabo won't be ready for the start of the season. It appears that Ferguson, the 2019 third-round pick who had zero sacks in 10 games last season, and Hayes, a 2021 fifth-round pick who played all of four snaps as a rookie, will get significant opportunities this summer to earn regular roles. Even with the signing of a veteran, there will be plenty of snaps to go around." — Zrebiec
ILBs Patrick Queen and Josh Bynes
"In a defense-heavy draft, the Ravens addressed every position but inside linebacker. Queen and [Josh] Bynes remain the favorites to start at weak-side linebacker and middle linebacker next season, respectively. — Shaffer
S Chuck Clark
"Clark hasn't missed a defensive snap over the past two seasons. He's a locker room leader and a trusted on-field communicator. He's on a team-friendly deal through 2023. Teammates turned his blunt cameo at the Ravens' Week 18 postgame news conference — "As respectfully as I can say as possible, just watch how we bounce back" — into a rallying cry for this offseason. Now, though, Clark's role in Baltimore is uncertain. With the arrival of [Marcus] Williams and Hamilton, along with Brandon Stephens' flexibility as a nickel safety, how many snaps are there for Clark? Even if he remains a starter, Clark likely won't play every down and, as a result, will have to give up the green dot as the defense's signal-caller." — Shaffer
RB Justice Hill
"The Ravens will keep at least three running backs on their season-opening roster, and the uncertain recovery timetables for J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards could open a spot for Hill. But the fourth-year speedster is coming back from his own season-ending injury, a torn Achilles tendon. After three quiet seasons, sixth-round pick Tyler Badie, along with returners Ty'Son Williams and Nate McCrary, should put up a fight on the roster bubble. Hill's best hopes could lie with his special teams ability." — Shaffer
"The defensive backfield is suddenly quite crowded after the Ravens added Hamilton, [Jalyn] Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams in the draft. They join a secondary that also includes Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Clark, Marcus Williams, Brandon Stephens, Geno Stone, Tony Jefferson and Ar'Darius Washington. That's 11 players who will either be roster locks or firmly in the mix and we haven't even mentioned any of the backup natural cornerback candidates, a group that includes Kevon Seymour, Robert Jackson, Iman Marshall and Kevin Toliver II. The draft all but guaranteed that the secondary will feature one of the most spirited roster competitions this summer." — Zrebiec
Marquise Brown Says Chiefs and Packers Also Were Interested in Trading for Him
Before the trade that sent Brown to the Arizona Cardinals was finalized, the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers also expressed interest in him, Brown said on "I AM ATHLETE TONIGHT."
Brown said he told the Ravens his preference was Arizona so that he could be reunited with former Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray.
"I told them I would like to go to the Cardinals. I think the Chiefs and Packers made a play towards the end, and the Cardinals came through and came and got me," Brown said.
It makes sense that the Chiefs and Packers would be in the mix, as this offseason Kansas City traded All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Green Bay traded All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell had floated the idea of the Ravens trading Brown to the Chiefs on multiple occasions this offseason.
Tyler Badie's Versatility Makes Him an Intriguing Prospect
As mentioned above, Badie is among the candidates to be the Ravens' No. 3 running back, but Shaffer said the Missouri star could begin the season with an even bigger role given the fact that Dobbins and Edwards are coming off season-ending ACL tears.
"Would anyone be that surprised if sixth-round pick Tyler Badie opens the season as the Ravens' starting running back?" Shaffer wrote. "He's quick and elusive. He's secure with the ball. He's a viable receiving option. And — most important, considering the other Ravens running backs he'll be meeting soon — he's healthy.
"Team officials value high-end production, and after biding his time between Larry Rountree III at Missouri, Badie broke out in his first season as a full-time starter. He had 1,604 rushing yards and 6 yards per carry in 2021, along with 54 receptions for 330 yards. If Badie can't crack the Ravens' two-deep, he could at least help out as a kick returner."
Baltimore Positive’s Luke Jones also believes Badie could make an impact this season because of his versatility.
"Tyler Badie getting to play for the Ravens after growing up in Randallstown is a terrific story, but his receiving ability is intriguing," Jones wrote. "With Justice Hill entering a contract year and Ty'Son Williams not exactly seizing his opportunities last year, Badie should have a rock-solid chance to make the roster."
Pundit Says UDFA Alabama WR Could Be Good Fit
While the Ravens did not draft a wide receiver, they reportedly did sign several undrafted free agents at the position.
Among them is Alabama slot receiver Slade Bolden, who could be a good fit for the Ravens, according to Roll Tide Wire’s AJ Spurr.
"Despite not being overly tall or strong, Bolden has a way of getting through and [past] defensive backs to give his quarterbacks wide open looks," Spurr wrote. "His film speaks for itself when it comes to his ability to run crisp routes."
Bolden, who had 42 catches for 408 yards and three touchdowns last season, had been projected to be a late Day 3 pick before running a 4.66 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine.