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Potential 2019 NFL Draft Scenario For Ravens: Edge Rusher

April 23, 2019
If the Baltimore Ravens draft an edge rusher in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, how would that selection shape the look of the team's picks in the third and fourth rounds? 

This exercise assumes the Ravens make no trades in the first round and use the No. 22 overall pick. The Ravens' top needs are wide receiver, edge rusher, linebacker and offensive line. [See also:  wide receiver scenariooffensive lineman scenario.]

ROUND 1

If the Ravens select an edge rusher at No. 22, who could it be?

Montez Sweat, Mississippi State: Could fall due to health concerns, but set the combine on fire and very productive in 2018.

Brian Burns, FSU: High, high upside, but scouts seemed split on his floor.

Clelin Ferrell, Clemson: 4-3 end who is strong at the point of attack and can collapse the pocket.

Chase Winovich, Michigan: Maybe the best all-around game of the group?

Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech: All-time sack leader in college football, but off-the-field issues make him likely to be a second- or third-round selection.

ROUND 3

So, who would the third-round target be? (Remember, the Ravens currently do not have a second-round pick.)

The Ravens could target a wide receiver, linebacker or offensive lineman in Round 3. Here are some options for each position of need in the third round. The Ravens have two third-round picks (picks 85 and 102).

Wide Receiver:

Emanuel Hall, Missouri
Miles Boykin, Notre Dame
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
Terry McLaurin, Ohio State

Linebacker:

Bobby Okereke, Stanford
Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame
Joe Giles-Harris, Duke
Blake Cashman, Minnesota

Offensive Line:

Dru Samia, Oklahoma
David Edwards, Wisconsin
Nate Davis, Charlotte
Ben Powers, Oklahoma

Offensive line gets thin fast in this draft. Yes, there are players who could develop, but the middle of Round 2 is where sure-fire starters stop in 2019. I do like the upside of Davis in this round, though. 

Receiver depth is strong in this year's draft, so if the Ravens decide to go this route, I would love to see them take two receivers between the third and fourth rounds. 

Linebacker is not as deep this year, and if the Ravens are going to address that position in this draft, the third round is about the end of getting a potential starter for 2019. I am a big fan of Cashman here.

ROUND 4

The Ravens have two picks in the fourth round as well. Here are some options for each position of need in the fourth round.

Wide Receiver: 

Antoine Wesley, Texas Tech
DaMarkus Lodge, Mississippi
Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska
Jakobi Meyers, NC State

Linebacker:

David Long Jr., West Virginia
Sione Takitaki, BYU
Gary Johnson, Texas

Offensive Line:

Connor McGovern, Penn State
Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama
Phil Haynes, Wake Forest
Bobby Evans, Oklahoma

Should the Ravens wait for offensive line help, I think Haynes is a sleeper who would be a solid addition in the fourth. McGovern and Evans could contribute if need be, but they'd be backups to start. 

Again, as far as the depth goes, I still love the receiver class in the fourth round more than the linebacker and offensive line classes. Takitaki is a solid prospect at the linebacker position, as is Long. Other than that, the perceived group available in the fourth round at linebacker and offensive line is underwhelming. 

Now, the Ravens could certainly draft other positions with their top five picks, and running back may be a best-player-available type selection, but they could attack their biggest needs early in the draft. The Ravens have a poor track record (to be nice) of drafting wide receivers, especially in Round 1, but the team must improve the position. Sometimes you just can't wait until the fifth round of a draft to do so.

Photo Credit: Kelly Donoho/MSU Athletics