Mock Draft Predicts Ravens Will Select ‘Precise Route Runner’ in Round 1

baltimore ravens nfl draft

Getty A mock draft predicted the Baltimore Ravens will select Ladd McConkey in Round 1.

The Baltimore Ravens have a lot of directions they could go in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.

They’ve lost three of their five starters on the offensive line this offseason.

Their top two edge rushers hit free agency.

A second cornerback has been seen as a need since before the end of the 2023 season.

They don’t have a WR2 after Odell Beckham Jr. became a free agent.

ESPN’s Matt Miller believes that last need will be the one the Ravens address in round one. In his latest mock draft he predicted that the team would select former Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey.

Here’s what he had to say about the pick:

“With Zay Flowers looking like a true WR1 in his rookie season (77 catches, 858 yards, 5 TDs), the Ravens have to feel good about their developing passing game. But let’s keep building, especially since Rashod Bateman hasn’t emerged and Odell Beckham Jr. is a free agent. McConkey is a precise route runner with 4.39 speed and the stop-start quickness to dominate on underneath routes. Coming off an ankle injury in 2023, McConkey had a really strong Senior Bowl week and dominated his combine workout; he’s a Round 1 target on my board.”

Plenty of Wins, Not Much Production

McConkey saw plenty of success during his time as a Georgia Bulldog.

While with the team, McConkey won a pair of national titles and the team went 13-1 in his final season.

However, his numbers weren’t quite as impressive as his team’s success.

He had a solid start to his career, making 31 catches for 447 yards and 5 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman.

The following year his numbers improved, but still not enough to establish him as an elite receiver. In 2022 he made 58 catches for 762 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Those numbers included the 5 catches for 88 yards and 2 TDs he posted in Georgia’s title game demolition of TCU.

He earned All-SEC Second Team honors after the 2022 season.

This past season, there was hope that McConkey would take the next step toward elite status, but injury issues held him back.

He played in just nine games, making 30 catches for 478 yards.

It seems that the lack of elite production isn’t holding him back.

The skill he put on display in college along with the impressive speed he showed at the NFL Combine have been enough to keep him in the first round conversation.

They could even be enough to convince the Ravens to spend their first rounder on him to be their WR2.

Ravens’ Wide Receiver Situation

The Ravens really only have one sure thing at wide receiver right now and that is Flowers. As a rookie he immediately became a dependable option for Lamar Jackson to throw to and he should be their WR1.

Beyond him, it gets a bit murkier. The team re-signed Nelson Agholor, but he is more of a WR3 or WR4 option. Baltimore is also still waiting for Bateman to finally on the potential that convinced them to draft him.

There is one big reason the lack of certainty isn’t seen as a huge issue. Mark Andrews is one of the league’s best tight ends and has been Jackson’s favorite target for years.

It also just so happens that he isn’t the only talented tight end on the roster. Isaiah Likely has also shown plenty of potential when Andrews has been unavailable over the past couple of seasons.

The team could choose to address its lack of a true WR2 by using more sets with two tight ends.

If that isn’t the plan, then they’ll need to find themselves a receiver in the draft as the WR2 options in free agency have almost all been signed at this point.

Still, round one might not be the time for them to look for one. They have plenty of other needs on their roster after suffering a lot of losses this offseason.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Ravens draft a receiver in the first couple of days in this year’s NFL Draft, but it would be surprising to see them take McConkey in round one.

Read More