Ravens Can Get 2 Wide Receivers Via Draft-Day Trade With Raiders

Baltimore Ravens draft

Getty The Baltimore Ravens can acquire two wide receivers via a draft-day trade with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Improving their talent at wide receiver is one of the priorities for the Baltimore Ravens headed into the 2023 NFL draft. If there’s an opportunity to still do that even after trading out of the first round and acquiring three more picks, general manager Eric DeCosta should jump at the chance.

This trade scenario is proposed by Pro Football Focus and involves the Las Vegas Raiders: “The Raiders send Pick Nos. 38, 100 and 109 to the Ravens to move up to No. 22.” Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey is the Silver and Black’s reward for doing this deal, while the Ravens would benefit from having three extra picks to address two positions.

PFF has the Ravens using the newly acquired second-round choice to take Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents, who is “long, tested well this offseason and allowed a catch on just 46.2% of the 52 passes thrown into his coverage this past season.”

Brents would be an asset at a position still mired in some uncertainty while Marcus Peters remains a free agent. Yet, the true value of this trade is how it would help the Ravens restock at receiver, with DeCosta taking Nebraska star Trey Palmer in Round 3, followed by Jonathan Mingo of Ole Miss in the fourth.

Ravens Add 2 More Pass-Catchers to New-Look Offense

Going through with this trade would let the Ravens re-enter Round 2 after sending their original second-rounder to the Chicago Bears for inside linebacker Roquan Smith last season. It would also give DeCosta more opportunities to load up on pass-catchers around Odell Beckham Jr. and Lamar Jackson.

Signing Beckham, along with Nelson Agholor in free agency, has given Jackson two new veteran targets, but there are still question marks about his supporting cast. Beckham missed all of last season after tearing his left ACL for the second time in his career, so they’re naturally doubts about the 30-year-old’s durability. Meanwhile, Agholor has rarely managed to live up to the status of being the 20th player taken in the first round of the 2015 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Those doubts make Palmer well worth the 100th pick, especially since he “boasts elite speed and could help Baltimore improve downfield,” per PFF. Palmer has track speed, something he exhibited by posting the “fastest 40-time of any WR in the draft,” according to RotoBaller’s Kyle Lindemann.

Adding a true field-stretcher would transform a pedestrian Ravens passing attack that produced just 33 completions of 20-plus yards last season. That was the second-fewest in the league, ahead of only the New York Giants.

Palmer’s presence would also let an older Beckham work between the numbers more often. That’s also an area where Mingo could shine because his “6-foot-1, 220-pound frame is almost running back-like,” something PFF believes is “unique in this class.”

Mingo is a wideout former Ravens’ 1,000-yard receiver Steve Smith Sr. dubbed “a bowling ball. He will run around you. He will run through you.”

Mingo is the type of receiver able to turn any kind of pass into a bigger gain than expected. The quality should appeal to Jackson, who would surely become a better quarterback with such a wide variety of targets to aim for this season.

That depends on Jackson signing his franchise tag, something yet to happen, but seeing the Ravens load up on receivers could be the encouragement No. 8 needs.

Either way, trading out of the first round and collecting more picks is becoming a common scenario for the Ravens.

1st-Round Trade a Repeated Option for Ravens

DeCosta trading away the 22nd pick is also endorsed by Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. He noted how the Ravens “haven’t had a draft class of five players or fewer since their four-player 1999 class.”

That’s how things stand now, but Zrebiec thinks the Ravens can send their opening pick to the Houston Texans for the 33rd and 73rd selections. Those picks would be used to take Mississippi State corner Emmanuel Forbes and Mingo, respectively.

A trade-back strategy makes sense in a draft defined more by depth than a high level of elite talent at the top end. Trading out of the 22nd spot would also suit the Ravens if Jackson’s contract situation comes to a head on draft day.

Jackson isn’t “any closer to agreeing to terms than he was before OBJ became a Raven,” according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. It means there’s still a chance somebody could make DeCosta an offer he can’t refuse on draft day.