The Baltimore Ravens made a big trade with the Kansas City Chiefs a week ago, and the deal may have had the unintended consequence of making the team a tougher foe for the reigning AFC champions.
Baltimore acquired the 31st pick for Orlando Brown Jr. and had the 27th pick which they put to use on Rashod Bateman. with the 31st pick, the team picked up edge rusher Jayson Oweh. Those moves were enough for one analyst to proclaim the team has a good shot of overtaking Kansas City.
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During the draft, Emmanuel Acho tweeted that he believes the Ravens should be considered along with the Bills and Browns as the teams that have the greatest potential to knock off the Chiefs.
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) April 30, 2021
Many have proclaimed the Ravens to be close to the Chiefs in the past, and now that the team added some weapons in the draft, this mindset is coming back again. At this point, though, the team simply has to get on the field and prove the pundits right with some better performances.
Ravens Receive Mixed Draft Grades for Moves
While some see the team as an easy threat based on what they did in the draft, others aren’t so sure. With pick 27, the Ravens came away with wideout Rashod Bateman and then turned around a few picks later and nabbed Penn State’s Jayson Oweh. Both players were amongst the best of the best in the Big Ten, but that doesn’t mean the Ravens received elite grades for the moves right off the bat.
Yahoo! Sports columnist Eric Edholm graded the moves in real-time for the Ravens, and handed the selection of Bateman a B-. As he said, the big play potential of this wideout is hard to ignore for the Ravens, who needed an infusion of that in their offense.
“This was a pick widely speculated, as Bateman is an outside receiver who will battle for balls. One thing we noticed on tape (that will work very well with Lamar Jackson): Bateman is really good at coming back to the ball on scramble drills. This pick will work, even with the need on the offensive line.”
As for the selection of Oweh, the Ravens scored a bit lower in the mind of Edholm. As he wrote, Oweh is a great athlete, but he has to find a way to translate potential when he gets into the league.
“The offensive line can wait. Oweh is a true 1% athlete, even by NFL standards. He’s raw as a pass rusher, finding his way into the backfield with his rare traits and very hot motor. The Ravens typically put a lot of stock into sack production in their projections. Oweh had zero in seven games in 2020 and only seven in 24 college games. Will he harness his skill?”
When the second-round comes, the Ravens can be expected to look at fixing their offensive line since they ignored that in the first-round. Still, with the needs they were able to fill, it was mostly good news for the team.
Ravens Have Major Rivalry With Chiefs
If there’s been a team that has consistently stood in the way of Lamar Jackson’s quest to make a Super Bowl and win an AFC title, it has been the Chiefs. Not only has the team stood in the way of the Ravens in the regular season, the team hasn’t even managed to win enough games in the playoffs to get a long-awaited showdown with the team.
Obviously, for the Ravens to be considered a contender to do this, they will have to win some playoff games quickly. Many believe the time could be coming for them to do just that and the Chiefs now have a target on their backs.
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