How all 8 draft picks play out and what’s available for next season – The Mercury News

The Ravens’ 2021 draft class challenges relatable stories. In late April, general manager Eric DeCosta opened it with a rarity: the first two picks. At the end of August, the eight-player count was reduced to six, another rarity at the main office. There are highs and lows, breakouts and injuries, warmups and fallbacks.

“In general, we just try to pick good players who can do a lot of things, people that are right for us, who are character-wise,” DeCosta said after the NFL draft ended on Thursday. May 1. “We tried to pick you guys who are smart, tough and competitive. Honestly, if we had a choice between two players and they were equally talented, we would always put off the guy who actually lived like a Crow, so to speak. That’s what we’ve divided a lot of guys with this year. ”

As Ravens officials prepare for the draft this April, the team’s class of 2021 will be evaluated. Here’s how Raven’s eight picks work and how they might fit (or not) on next season’s team.

Can be a beginner

WR Rashod Bateman

Statistics: 12 games (four starts), 46 catches on 65 goals, 515 picks (171 after catch), one touchdown, 29 first knocks, two misses, two penalty (one false start, one interception of the attacking pass); ranked as PFF’s #9 wide receiver out of 13 qualified rookies

Summary for 2021: The 27th overall pick missed the Ravens’ first five games while recovering from groin surgery, which cut short a promising training camp. Despite the delayed introduction and limited time with Lamar Jackson in midfield, Bateman finished the season with the second-most yards received per game by a rookie in franchise history ( 42.9), just behind Torrey Smith (52.6 in 2011).

Bateman’s production tends to be inconsistent – he went through one no-catch and one catch around his 103-yard opener in Week 14 – but the former Minnesota star has shown ability. His running ability made him very effective in college. He also has some outstanding catches and smooth post-catch moves.

Forecast for 2022: Bateman said he got through the season healthy, but after three months with a groin repair surgery, the season may have come as a relief. He admitted after last year’s draft that his run blocking ability would have to improve and that another year on the NFL powerhouse program would help him thrive there, too.

With those accomplishments in mind, Bateman could replace Marquise “Hollywood” Brown as Raven’s most extensive outside receiver next season. While Bateman is a less efficient position receiver (1 yard per line run) than Brown (2 yards per line run), he is more efficient at outside alignments (1.5 yards per line run). route) than his colleague in the first lap (1.2 yards per route), according to Sports Info Solutions.

OLB Odafe Oweh

Statistics: 15 games (two starts), five pitches, three forced fumbles, 33 tackles (five losses), 15 midfield hits, one tackle, four penalties (two rough foul on the passer, one offside, one neutral zone violation); ranked as PFF’s 4th edge racer out of 12 qualified rookies

Summary for 2021: The 31st overall pick didn’t take long to get away from his 2020 season at Penn State, which he finished without a bag. Oweh knocked out Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders on his NFL debut, then had a game-changing mandatory acrobatic stunt in the Ravens’ comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. Week 4 and Week 2 respectively. Week 5, he knocked Denver Defender Teddy Bridgewater of the Broncos out of the game and stripped Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis Colts.

According to the PFF, despite missing the Ravens’ final two games with a foot injury, Oweh ended the season with 49 close runs at full-back, the most of any rookie on the run. The Ravens are also creative with his arrangement, sometimes asking him to defeat guards, track quarterbacks, or interrupt the receiver’s release when going down clear.

Forecast for 2022: If Tyus Bowser recovers from the Achilles tendon injury that reportedly will push him back midway through next season, and if Raven is unable to re-sign Justin Houston, Oweh will enter Week 1 as a defender. the top outer wing of the team.

He has the athleticism and footballing wits to dominate as a running defender and keeps himself in range to protect the pass. As a passer-by, however, Oweh is still learning how to make the most of her gifts. He needs to prove he can cause as much trouble as those in line with his speed on the fringes as with the size, length and combination of counters.

S Brandon Stephens

Statistics: 17 games (11 starts), 78 tackles (49 solos, one lost ball), four defensive passes, one midfield hit, one penalty kick (illegal contact); ranked as PFF’s #5 safe out of six qualified recruits

Summary for 2021: The third-round pick never played less than 23% of Raven’s defensive saves in a game, and he took all hits on four of them. Stephens’ role only expanded after a safe start. DeShon Elliott suffered a season-ending biceps and chest injury in Week 9. He finished the year with 744 defensive saves (sixth most on the team) and 223 special catch phase (second only to Wallace among Raven’s rookies).

Stephens, who primarily plays as a full-back at Southern Methodist, is lining up everywhere to defend in 2021 – sometimes unnecessarily, sometimes like a piece. For example, in the defense of the pass, he made 11 tackles as an outside corner, 75 corners in the slot, 90 corners in the box and 265 deep corners. , according to SIS.

Forecast for 2022: Stephens was one of Raven’s highest-rated players in the final month of the season, according to the PFF, and his relative inexperience in safety opens up a number of possibilities for his future. in the next season. Do Ravens staffers see his greatest value as safety in the center, safety in the box, or safety on the game, who can help anywhere? If it’s the latter, Raven could target more traditional safety in free or draft agency, one that could complement Chuck Clark and Stephens in second.

To be identified

G Ben Cleveland

Statistics: 12 games (four starts), no sacks allowed, two penalties (one hold, one wrong start); ranked as PFF’s 6th pass blocker and 8th run blocker out of nine qualifying guard rookies

Summary for 2021: Offensive coordinator Greg Roman hailed the third-round pick as the best running blocker in the draft, but injuries and growing pains from five rookies have hampered Cleveland’s growth somewhat. . In an early-season share of the season at left-back with Ben Powers, he played almost 50% of the attacks from Week 2 to Week 4.

However, a minor knee injury in Week 5 sidelined the Georgia product for more than a month, and he didn’t earn his next attacking shot until mid-December. After Powers was injured At the end of the season in Week 14, Cleveland played every attack in Raven’s last four games.

Forecast for 2022: Cleveland, who was expected to compete with the more experienced Powers and Tire Phillips for the starting position at left-back, was rarely overwhelmed in defending the pass and displaying fine movement skills. for a 6 foot 6, 357 pound rookie. His next step is to convert strength into power; Cleveland has had some success clearing spaces in doubles teams, but he has struggled to weed out defenders as a one-on-one tackle.

WR Tylan Wallace

Statistics: 17 games (one start), two hits on six goals, 23 yards (14 after catching), nine special teams competing for the ball (four solos), two returns (19, 5 yards per return), one penalty kick (illegal redirect)

Summary for 2021: After a knee injury ended the 2019 season at Oklahoma State and disrupted the 2020 campaign, Wallace passed his rookie year with barely any time on the injury report. (He only missed one practice, in December, while addressing the NFL’s concussion protocol.) The fourth-round pick ended in sixth place on the team in special teams (58). .7% overall), the most for any Ravens rookie or offensive player, and has had some ups and downs as an AD carry on coordinator Chris Horton’s punt team.

As a receiver, Wallace had to adapt to new territory. After working almost exclusively as a right-hand collector in college, he has started 31 of his 51 lines this season, according to SIS. His two catches were both impressive: a 5-yard comeback in an out-of-field throw against the Green Bay Packers in Week 15, and an 18-yard catch and run a week later against the Cincinnati Bengals, in which he after two treatments.

Forecast for 2022: Wallace has proven the worth of his exceptional teams. Now he’ll have to continue his development at the wide receiver, where he’ll fight for profitability after Brown, Bateman and Devin Duvernay, and possibly other. Wallace has thrived as a vertical, jumping ball menace in Oklahoma State, but the best pass receivers make quick profits with their running track, soft hands, and reliable clearance. If Wallace evolves into a reliable target in the middle, he can block James Proche II’s path for more playtime.

OLB Daelin Hayes

Statistics: One game (four times defense) and no ball

Summary for 2021: The fifth-round pick was one of Raven’s most impressive recruits through off-season workouts and during the first two weeks of training camp. Then trauma got in the way, as they sometimes did at Notre Dame. Hayes missed the Ravens’ first two games with a knee injury, only to sprain his high ankle on his Week 3 debut. He then underwent a minor knee surgery midway through the season. Hayes returned to training at the end of December but was placed on the bench due to a season-ending injury on January 1.

Forecast for 2022: A healthy Hayes will be a rotating outside full-back in Baltimore next season. The Ravens could have used him on the strong side as a rookie, especially as injuries and a coronavirus outbreak drain the depth of position. Hayes has reliable moves and impressive flex for an angled racer, and his mobility, versatility and angled setup will keep him playing time. .


CB Shaun Wade

At the end of a unimpressive training camp, the former Ohio State star was traded to the New England Patriots for a 2022 seventh-round pick and a 2023 five-round pick. Wade, a fifth-round pick. , appeared in three games for the Patriots in the second half of the season, seeing 11 defensive fouls and seven special team fouls.

FB / TE Ben Mason

The fifth-round pick from Michigan, drafted as the heir to full-back Patrick Ricard, has left Baltimore after failing to make the Ravens’ season-opening 53-man roster. He joined the Patriots’ practice team, then never appeared in a game for New England, the league that made his debut in November. Mason joined the Chicago Bears’ practice team in December but was dropped. reserve/future contract. How all 8 draft picks play out and what’s available for next season – The Mercury News


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