The Baltimore Ravens secured one of the better draft classes in the NFL, and now, the only goal the team has is to get them on the field and keep them there in the future.
While the team has relied on veteran players before, it’s clear that this could be a new situation for the Ravens in terms of getting some young players into the mix consistently and keeping them there. In the past, that might not have been the biggest goal of a veteran-laden team, but come 2021, that should be changing.
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Recently, NFL.com writer Marc Sessler took a look at the biggest priority the rest of the offseason for every AFC team. Instead of there being a player that needed to be added or a spot to focus on in free agency, Sessler simply thinks the Ravens need to stay put and make sure they develop their youngsters first and foremost.
“First-round wideout Rashod Bateman was brought on board to start right away inside an offense looking to “expand our profile” and “play with the kind of balance that we really want to play with,” according to Baltimore’s play-caller, Greg Roman. Feisty fourth-round receiver Tylan Wallace feels like a Raven, while third-round guard Ben Cleveland has a shot to win a starting job. On defense, first-round pass rusher Odafe Oweh is all but locked in for a lead role after Baltimore’s other edges — Tyus Bowser, Pernell McPhee and Jaylon Ferguson — collectively piled up just seven sacks in 2020. It cuts against the grain of Baltimore’s typical approach to youth, but the Ravens can’t ignore the newbies in 2021.”
It doesn’t seem likely the team will ignore the newbies at all this coming season, so it seems more likely than not that the Ravens will take this idea moving forward to help in developing their team for the present and the future.
Ravens Rookies Set to Lead the Way
It is not a bold statement to say that this Ravens class could be the one that sets the tone for the franchise moving forward. The team added key pieces on the offensive and defensive side of things, and might be able to transform a couple of position groups for the future. Wideout comes to mind specifically, and Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace could become leaders at the spot in the future to drive a new era of production. Similarly, the team can hope they get Odafe Oweh into the starting lineup on defense, and Ben Cleveland up front as well. These players are all at key spots on the roster.
Ravens 2021 NFL Draft Recap
From the start of the first round until the fifth, the Ravens did some nice work, filling out plenty of their needs in a confident way. Wideout Rashod Bateman and defensive end Odafe Oweh were the team’s first selections. In round three, the team took guard Ben Cleveland and cornerback Brandon Stephens. Round four brought a potential steal in wideout Tylan Wallace. The fifth-round brought cornerback Shaun Wade and defensive end Daelin Hayes as well as fullback Ben Mason.
Overall, it was a well-balanced class for the Ravens, who did well to add the players they did both in free agency and during the draft. It will be interesting to see how this class begins to transition itself moving forward, and if they get the respect they need from the team.
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