Well, the draft is finally over. There were offensive linemen, there were pass catchers, there were defensive depth picks, and most of all, there were trades galore. In Ozzie Newsome’s final draft, he maneuvered his way through the draft like only a seasoned pro could, turning the Ravens 8 picks (and one 2019 2nd round pick) into 12 picks for this year, tied for the most in Ravens draft history with the 1997 draft. Obviously, with 12 picks, even the biggest Ravens draft nerds might have found themselves lost in the team’s moves and can’t remember who went where. So for all Ravens fans, here is a quick recap of what the team did in the NFL draft.
1. Pick 25 – Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
The Ravens took Hurst, who was widely considered the most complete tight end in the draft, after two trade backs. Hurst is an older player, having began his career in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as a baseball player, but is still younger than Dennis Pitta was when he was taken by the Ravens in 2010. Hurst provides a very strong, reliable target to move the chains.
2. Pick 32 – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Ravens surprised everyone when they traded back into the 1st round to select Jackson, a 2016 Heisman Trophy award winner. Jackson is an electrifying Quarterback whose running game is as strong as his passing game. His selection seems to signify that the Ravens are ready to usher in a new type of offensive scheme and certainly are thinking about a successor to Joe Flacco.
3. Pick 83 – Orlando Brown, Jr., OT, Oklahoma
(AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
The Ravens got a very emotional and helpful pickup when they selected Brown Jr, the son of the late former Raven OT Orlando “Zeus” Brown. Brown Jr was linked to the Ravens as early as Round 1 early in the draft process, but a poor NFL Combine led his stock to drop considerably. While the Combine performance is a concern, Orlando should provide a strong RT that can start for them as soon as this year.
4. Pick 86 – Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
(Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America)
Yes, the Ravens took another TE when they selected Mark Andrews, much like they did in 2010 with Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. Andrews is a great slot TE option, not quite as strong as Hurst, but should provide even more help to rebuild a Tight End group that has been decimated in the last few years by injury, retirement, and failed draft picks.
5. Pick 118, Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama
The Ravens took a CB for the 4th straight year, in the hopes that more draft picks can continue to bolster their depth at the position. Averett isn’t a “ballhawk” type CB, but can play the outside CB position well and stick with WRs deep down the field. He was consistently rated as a Round 2-3 prospect, so was incredible value for the Ravens in Round 4.
6. Pick 122, Kenny Young, LB, UCLA
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
The Ravens got a potential ILB starter in Young, who led the UCLA Bruins in tackles with 101 in 2017. Young had the slowest 3 cone drill for all linebackers, but he excels in coverage, which is a big area of need for the Ravens. The Ravens had hoped Kamalei Correa could slot in where Zach Orr had played well in 2016, but lost his job mostly to Peanut Onawuasor. Young should provide immediate competition there.
7. Pick 132, Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State
(Michael Conroy, AP)
The Ravens were expected to add at WR during this draft, and they tapped into the class with Scott. Scott is 6’5” and is known for his consistent hands and strong performance in contested catches. Ozzie Newsome commented that, even when compared to the Ravens’ free agent WR signings, Scott provides a different skillset than the options currently on the roster.
8. Pick 162, Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
There’s quite a lot of noteworthy content with the selection of Jordan Lasley. The Ravens grabbed 2 WRs in the draft for the first time since 2015. The selection of Lasley is intriguing because he had a VERY high drop rate in college, which is something the Ravens have had problems with already. Also, Lasley has plenty of character issues, with a few team suspensions in his past. The Ravens typically shy away from a pick like Lasley, but Ozzie felt that he could live up to his promise that he has changed. Lasley produced in a large way for UCLA, so it’s a very boom or bust pick.
9. Pick 190, DeShon Elliott, S, Texas
(Getty Images North America)
The Ravens had several chances to take high talent S earlier in the draft, but find a great value safety in Elliott, who could’ve gone as early as 3rd round. DeShon isn’t quite the “Centerfield free safety” that the Ravens could use to eventually succeed Eric Weddle, but Elliott played well all over the field in college. He has good size at 210 pounds and 6’1”, and ran well in the Combine.
10. Pick 212, Greg Senat, OT, Wagner
(Darron Cummings, Associated Press)
Wagner hasn’t produced an NFL draft pick since 1965, but the Ravens took a chance on the very small school tackle in Senat. Senat is also a basketball player and has great size for the tackle position, but obviously is very raw and not very tested against elite college competition. That said, at this late in the draft, Senat is a good developmental pick and it’ll be interesting to see if he can provide solid depth with some NFL level coaching.
11. Pick 215, Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama
(JP Waldron, Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
Ravens score double points here for grabbing a 2nd lineman in a row, the 2nd Alabama player in their draft class, and one that fills a need to boot. Bozeman has great size, weighing in at 317 pounds. He went late due to some lacking performance in the Senior Bowl and in some senior year games. While it’s far from certain that he will develop into a starting NFL center, the Ravens took a C in the 6th round in 2013 that just developed into one of the highest paid Centers in the NFL. So history could be in the Ravens favor here.
12. Pick 238, Zach Sieler, DE, Ferris State
It’s fitting that Ozzie Newsome, with the final pick in his NFL draft career, selects a small school defensive lineman, something he has found great success with through the years. Again, Sieler has not faced strong competition, but has great athletic ability and his tape shows him absolutely dominating opposing offensive linemen. He will need NFL coaching to produce, but could be the last, great Ozzie Newsome gem in a long career of mining draft gems.
So, to sum up the master class of Ozzie Newsome’s final draft, the Ravens took 4 pass catchers on a team that lacked quality pass catchers in 2017, took 3 offensive linemen to pair with 2 offensive linemen from last year’s draft in hopes to restock their depth and talent in the trenches, and took 4 defensive players to fill key holes and depth. On top of that, Ozzie set his successor up with a potential franchise quarterback that many NFL analysts feel could wind up being the most exciting and promising in the entire 2018 class. Ozzie did all that while only trading away one pick from next year (a 2nd rounder). The 2018 Ravens certainly changed this weekend in major, exciting ways.