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Five Third-Round NFL Draft Targets For Ravens

April 27, 2018
As the Ravens prepare for Day 2 of the NFL Draft, they do so knowing they have already checked off one of their biggest needs by drafting athletic tight end Hayden Hurst.

They also created a lot of buzz by trading back into the first round to select former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, whose selection with the final pick of the first round dramatically overshadowed the selection of Hurst less than an hour earlier.

While drafting the dynamic Jackson generated headlines, it did nothing to fill more pressing needs that the Ravens still have entering the second day of the draft. And the deal for the Eagles' pick at No. 32 cost the Ravens their second-round pick this year -- as well as next year.

The Ravens do, however, have the first pick in the third round, No. 65 overall, acquired when they traded down from their original No. 16 draft slot with the Buffalo Bills. They also have their original third-round pick at No. 83.  

"We're just getting started," assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said after the first round. "We've got some more opportunities [Friday]."

Barring any other trades, the Ravens will have to watch and wait as 32 more picks are made before they are on the clock again, and several potential targets are likely to come off the board in Round 2. 

But here are five players who could potentially find their way to the Ravens in the third round:

1. T Orlando Brown Jr., Oklahoma
Brown, the massive (6-foot-8, 345-pound) son of the late former Ravens tackle, was once viewed as a first-round talent before disastrous results at the NFL Scouting Combine sent his stock tumbling. Still, he was an Outland Trophy finalist who protected Baker Mayfield this past year, and the Ravens will be looking to shore up their tackle position after letting Austin Howard go. 

2. WR D.J. Chark, LSU
It's possible there will be a run on wide receivers in Round 2, but talented wide receivers should still be available. And despite signing restricted free-agent Willie Snead, along with earlier signings of Michael Crabtree and John Brown, the Ravens are still on the lookout for playmakers. Chark has size (6-foot-3) and speed, and also brings ability as a punt returner. He had two return touchdowns for LSU this past season. 

3. WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State
The Ravens have touted the depth of the receiver class, so they see value in Round 3. Gallup isn't overly tall at 6-foot-1 (205 pounds), but he is known as a physical receiver and a jumper who can high-point the ball and win contested catches. That's something the Ravens sorely lacked last season. 

4. S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
Could Ozzie Newsome possibly go through his final draft as general manager without taking an Alabama player? Granted, Harrison very well might not make it to Round 3, but the Ravens would do well to groom young safety talent behind Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson. Harrison is known as a hitter, but then again so was Matt Elam. 

5. LB Darius Leonard, South Carolina State
Leonard is an athletic linebacker who could possibly fit the Ravens' weak-side linebacker role, though some see him as better suited for a 4-3 defense. At 6-foot-2, 234 pounds he is bigger than Patrick Onwuasor, who won the starting job last year alongside C.J. Mosley. Leonard also is considered strong in coverage, which has been a liability for Ravens linebackers. Leonard has played against lesser talent in the MEAC at South Carolina State, but all signs suggest he can make the jump. 

Follow Bo on Twitter @bsmolka   

Photo Credit: Courtesy of LSU Athletics