The Baltimore Ravens are sitting with a late pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and that could be just the position they need in order to land a top talent for their defense.
What position would that player play, though? Perhaps not one many of the armchair experts expect. Recently, NFL Network analyst Peter Schrager sat down for a chat with Ravens.com in order to shed some light on what could be coming up. As he said, there could be a mild surprise in store.
“I think pass rusher in the first round, that’s what I’d go with,” he said. “I know everyone wants the linebackers. I’ve heard a lot of Ravens fans reach out to me and say is there a chance we get Patrick Queen where we are sitting? Is there a chance Kenneth Murray is there at 28? No, probably not. You could get a high end defensive end or pass rusher type. I look at guys like A.J. Epenesa out of Iowa. I look at Yetur Gross-Matos out of Penn State. These are guys that are playing are a high level and are going to be first round picks. Because a lot of teams are going to be over-drafting offensive line, I think they can still get pass rush at the end of the first round, and like a good pass rusher. A guy that can contribute in year one.”
Schrager also explained the team isn’t quite complete even though they look like one of the best groups in the NFL on paper.
“I look at this team and it’s one of the deepest rosters in the league. There’s always room for improvement,” he said.
Such a spot that could be improved is the defensive line, and it would be easy to see the Ravens going with some of the names that Schrager provided that figure to be on the market.
Ravens Interviewed Top Linebacker Talents
As Schrager explained, most want to see the team go after a linebacker early in the NFL Draft, and the team has casted their interview net in that direction in recent days. The team already sat down with Patrick Queen virtually.
Queen has been a very productive player during his time in college with 131 tackles, 4 sacks and 1 interception to go with 17.5 tackles for loss. Obviously, the Ravens need to look for help defensively, and Queen is a player who could be in play late in the first round when the Ravens pick, even as Schrager admits that possibility might be getting slim.
A player who could be in the team’s wheelhouse? Alabama’s Terrell Lewis, another interview target of the team. Potentially, the Ravens could like Lewis in either the late first round or at some point in the second if he slides, although he’s seen plenty of interest leading into the draft.
Ravens Offseason Needs
The Ravens are seemingly in a decent spot in terms of both sides of the ball thanks to the fact that they have a young roster, but there’s little question that the team needs to make a few well placed additions, especially on offense, as DeCosta hints. Baltimore could still use another receiving threat to help Lamar Jackson, and depending on what happens with some of the team’s own free agents, another linebacker could be on the docket as well, though that position could get filled in the NFL Draft.
Baltimore shouldn’t need many more dramatic moves after what they have already done, but should continue to lock up their own talent while looking to make a few well-placed additions to the mix.
Continuing to add defensive backs and keep the right players in house could be a huge benefit to the team moving forward that helps them continue to cultivate a championship roster. So far, that’s been the move for the Ravens this offseason.
Perhaps adding a linebacker would help matters as well. That’s likely to be on the menu for the team in the draft when things get going.
First, though, could come some help along the defensive line for the team, especially if a preferred linebacker prospect is not on the board.