The Baltimore Ravens came into the draft with a huge goal of upgrading two positions in wide receiver as well as edge. As far as some folks are concerned, mission accomplished for the team in a major way in at least one of the spots.
Following the conclusion of the draft, Pro Football Focus took a look at some of the roster spots across the league that were improved in big ways. Baltimore’s X receiver spot was named by Pro Football Focus as one of the most improved position groups in the NFL. Writer Seth Galina was impressed by not only the players they added, but their fit with the team.
“The Ravens’ biggest need in the draft was a true outside receiver who could win one-on-one battles and keep defenses honest. NFL defenses did not care about who they put on the outside last season, choosing to instead allocate an enormous amount of resources to stopping the slot receivers, tight ends and run game.
Throwing to outside receivers was wasteful last season in Baltimore. They were a bottom-quarter team in both yards per route run and contested-catch percentage for players lined up outside. In comes free agent signing Sammy Watkins, first-round pick Rashod Bateman and fourth-round pick Tylan Wallace. Seeing Bateman fall to Baltimore at Pick 27 represents incredible value. He’s a top-20 talent. Wallace provides some insurance later in the draft at a similar position.”
Overall, it was a good weekend for the Ravens who not only gained a few offensive weapons, but offensive lineman Ben Cleveland as well in addition to fullback Ben Mason. Those players will help with the identity of the offense, and could boost the team’s ability to do bigger things on offense.
Ravens Needed Talent Infusion at Wideout
If Baltimore’s wideout spot is upgraded, this is huge news for the team considering that was a massive need going into the 2021 season. The Ravens didn’t add much in free agency minus Sammy Watkins, so to come away with two major pass-catching targets for Lamar Jackson is a huge win for the franchise in terms of their quest of getting playmakers into the fold to help make the offense much more dynamic.
With these guys in the fold, it would not be a shock to see the Ravens having a much better season on offense, though developing them will be the biggest key for the team.
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. This revival could begin at wideout.
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