The Baltimore Ravens made one of the boldest moves before the 2021 NFL Draft, trading offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr. for a draft pick haul from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Now, there’s been a little more insight into the reason behind those moves for the team. While it might seem silly for a team to pick up the 31st pick in a draft that hasn’t been lauded as being particularly deep, the Ravens might be seeing things a bit differently.
The latest Ravens news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Ravens newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Ravens!
After the move was revealed, Peter King of NBC Sports took time out to provide some insight as to the deal in a Football Morning in America piece. As King reported, while others aren’t sure about the depth of the draft, the Ravens might not see a huge difference and thinks they will be able to land a great player on their board with the selection they gained.
“For the Ravens, they figure that the 31st pick they’ve acquired in this draft is not the value of the 31st pick on their board. When they acquired that pick, they think of it more like the 20th or 22nd pick. Why? Because they figure that when their board is stacked with finality this week, there will be a player ranked in the 20 to 22 range left on their board. That comes from experience. Every team doesn’t see the board the way the Ravens see it. The whole thing is fascinating to me.”
For years, Eric DeCosta has marched to the beat of his own drummer as general manager with the Ravens and the franchise has seen tons of success with their methods, so nobody really has to question what he is doing at all. Baltimore could package the selections and move up for a player they like, stay put and draft a pair of players they like or field offers from other teams who want to trade back into the first-round.
Add it all up and the team likely felt they made a bright move to land another top selection for a player that wasn’t in their plans for the 2021 season.
Top Ravens Draft Needs for 2021
With a pair of picks in the first-round, the Ravens now have some ability to fill holes in a confident way. Some see the biggest needs on the defensive side in terms of adding a new edge rusher to account for the loss of multiple players at the position in free agency, while others see the team’s wideout spot as a huge hole on the roster. Others could maintain that the Ravens could need another tight end to add to the mix, but that might not happen until the later rounds. Certainly, an offensive lineman could be prioritized given what Baltimore traded away, but the team might be content to simply sign a veteran or two in order to account for that.
The Ravens should be able to confidently fill out their selections with their picks, so look for these spots to be of interest throughout the weekend.
Ravens Now Have Pick Haul to Work With
The one thing that is certain? After the trade, the Ravens have plenty to work with. Baltimore dealt Brown Jr. as well as the 58th pick and a sixth-round selection in 2022 to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for the 31st, 94th and 136th pick in the 2021 draft and a 2022 fifth-round selection.
If that seems like a quality development for the Ravens, it is. Brown Jr. wasn’t in the plans for the 2021 season, and the Ravens scored in a big way by trading him. Now, the team has nine total picks at their disposal for the 2021 draft coming up during the week and weekend.
Ravens now have 9 picks in next week’s draft:
1st round (2): Nos. 27 & 31 (from KC)
2nd round: None
3rd round: Nos. 94 (from KC) & 104
4th round: Nos. 131 & 136 (from KC)
5th round: Nos. 171 & 184
6th round: No. 210
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) April 23, 2021
The Ravens have plenty of big needs to fix, not the least of which is at edge rusher and wideout in the draft. The good news is those spots could be deep for the team, and they have a couple of first-round picks to play with now in terms of a move up or down for a player, or someone falling in their lap.
This blockbuster deal should set the Ravens up very well for the future, even with losing Brown to a key AFC rival. The Ravens might know that more than anybody when all is said and done.
READ NEXT: Ravens Reportedly Host Durable Veteran Lineman for Free Agency Visit