The 2017 NFL draft is officially in the books.
253 new players were welcomed to their new NFL families, this past weekend in Philadelphia.
In this years draft players from several schools, conferences, states and countries were represented. And it’s hard to deny that this year’s NFL draft was stacked with a boatload of talented players on both sides of the ball. A countless number of teams were able to fill their off-season needs with the top players in college football.
Here’s a recap of the Baltimore Ravens draft picks this past weekend in Philadelphia.
The Baltimore Ravens had one of the best draft classes they had in a long time. We were able to quickly infer that General Manager Ozzie Newsome wanted to continue to strengthen our defense.
Ozzie Newsome spent the off-season and free agency rebuilding the secondary bringing in veteran S Tony Jefferson and CB Brandon Carr. So with the 16th pick in the draft many analysts and also fans thought that the Ravens were going to go with a play-making, speedy receiver like Western Michigan’s Corey Davis or Clemson’s Mike Williams.Even NFL’s Daniel Jeremiah and Lance Zierlein both projected the Ravens to select Corey Davis. But with Ozzie in charge you never know what to expect you just know to trust him.
The Ravens instead went with Alabama’s CB Marlon Humphrey adding yet another defensive back and Alabama defender to the roster. Humphrey is a defender with a complete and unique skill set, he is a player that can play just as well in press as he can in deep coverage. He has the ability to contain speedy receivers and the height to slow down bigger receivers. This past college season he had 33 tackles, 2 interceptions(one returned for a touchdown) and 5 pass breakups. In fact when Alabama played Washington, Humphrey held the fastest receiver in the draft and Bengals 1st round pick WR John Ross to 5 receptions for 28 yards. Safe to say Ozzie made a right call call with this one.
The second day was all about getting back to the Ravens old defensive form and reestablishing that same dominant Ravens pass rushing force that people were so used to in the past. The Ravens had only 31 total sacks this past season, their lowest since the 27 sacks they had in the 2011 season. The Ravens were in need of some new and young play-making DEs and LBs that can go after the QB. The team had said goodbye to LBs Elvis Dumervil and Zachary Orr this past off-season and pass rushers such as Courtney Upshaw in the past. The only consistent pass rusher on the roster is Terrell Suggs and Ozzie knows that’s not enough and he himself is nearing the end of his career so it’s about time that the cycle gets regenerated.
With the 47 pick in the draft the Ravens selected outside linebacker from Houston, Tyus Bowser. The Ravens have always run a 3-4 defense under Dean Pees, meaning that Bowser would play the outside linebacker role. Bowser had a monster season with Houston causing problems for quarterbacks and headaches for offensive coordinators. He finished with 47 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and pass batted. Bowser’s speed, strength and ability to cover will give the Ravens exactly what they need, pressure on the QB. Bowser talent isn’t only in pressuring the QB, when you watch his film you see him drop back as much as any other LB does if not more, his ability to read the quarterback makes him one of the best linebackers to drop back and cover in this year’s draft.
Chris Wormley was the Ravens next pick. Wormley is a DE from Michigan with quickness and great tackling ability. Wormley is one of the best run defenders in this draft class, and with the loss of DT Timmy Jernigan, the Ravens really needed a replacement fast. Pro Football Focus gives him a 85.5 grade among run defenders, ranking him in the top 5 in this year’s class. It’s no doubt that his versatility, toughness and determination to get to the QB and stop the run will add depth to the line and to prove to be a valuable pickup for the Ravens.
Tim Williams is another Alabama alum that Ozzie just can’t seem to get enough of. Unlike Bowser, Williams talent all comes in Pass rushing, not coverage. Williams is an impressive player for a couple of different reasons, most impressively, his speed off the ball snap. He’s a versatile, powerful and fast edge defender with the ability to be at his best when the game is at stake. In other words, clutch. If there’s no threat of run, you better know he’s getting to the quarterback.
The last day of the draft the Ozzie focused on big physical athletes to protect Joe and block for our backs. The Ravens went with Nico Siragusa, OG from San Diego State. Although Siragusa has the size and ability to give Joe time in the pocket, his specialty is in run blocking. Siragusa has a 99.2 grade in run blocking, second in this class. Siragusa’s run blocking is a big reason for Donnel Pumphrey’s record breaking career in San Diego State.
Jermaine Eluemunor is also another extremely versatile offensive lineman, as he plays both guard and tackle. He started 12 of 13 games for Texas A&M and his ability to stay healthy is exactly what the Ravens need at the line to keep a consistent starting unit to make it easier to develop chemistry.
With the Ravens last pick, the Ravens went back to adding on to the defense. The Ravens picked DB Charles “Chuck” Clark. Clark is a 6 foot tackling machine, on 258 tackle attempts he only had 19 misses. It’s unlikely to see Clark going in to start day 1 but he will definitely add depth to the Ravens secondary, which is what they’ve desperately needed for the past couple of seasons.
In a draft filled with talent left and right, Ozzie Newsome made sure to try and capitalize, he did. This offseason Ozzie made it evident that he wanted to build on to the outstanding defense from last year. Ozzie was able to add speed and size to the secondary, new edge defenders and defensive linemen to bring the Ravens pass rushing defense to old form and a pair of two huge offensive linesman for Flacco and the backs.
Although Ozzie came through big time for the defense, we can’t overlook their needs on offense, specifically a wide receiver. But of course Ozzie knew that.
“We are not done acquiring players,” Ozzie responded, when asked about the holes in the roster.
So all we can do now is #trustinOzzie.