Lamar Jackson‘s future is yet to be certain in Baltimore. Regardless, Odell Beckham Jr.’s addition to the team is a testament that the team could be competitive in the upcoming season. However, there are more glaring problems that the Ravens can immediately fix with more certainty. One way they could patch these holes would be through the 2023 NFL Draft later this month.
Here are the three draft aspirants that the Baltimore Ravens may pursue:
NFL: Draft Prospects Who Fit the Ravens’ System
1. Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Cornerback
The 5-foot-9 player from TCU is one of the better defensive prospects in the 2023 Draft class. Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson‘s game is characterized by his great route coverage and agility. These skills have allowed him to win the Jim Thorpe Award in 2022, and get hailed as First Team All-American in the same year.
Statistics of 15 passes defended, and opponents only getting 34.6% in pass completion when he is on the targeted receiver prove why he can do a lot on defense. Allowing him to play alongside Marlon Humphrey would create a matchup nightmare for opposing receivers.
Baltimore has struggled with single-man coverage in the 2022-2023 season. This TCU Horned Frog would be the best fit given that he is versatile on running routes. More than that, his tackles and steals are violent to the point where the offense could feel that their wind has been knocked off of them.
2. Jaxson Kirkland, Offensive Lineman
Patrick Mekari and the Ravens’ offensive line need more help in pass protection — the two-time John P. Angel Linemen of the Year awardee can surely do the job. Standing at 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, this Washington Husky has one of the best run-game timing among all draftees.
Jaxson Kirkland‘s game is all anchored around his above-average field awareness and low center of gravity. This allows him to defend against great pass-rushers in the league. Baltimore can use better coverage for Lamar Jackson to buy him more time in the pocket.
A new tackle would help the flock go deeper as most of their linemen are approaching their early 30s which is when their bodies catch up to them. Fresh legs in their rotation would add more explosiveness to pass protection. With Jaxson’s game sense, the Ravens’ offense can be more smooth.
3. Will McDonald IV, Defensive End
Fresh out of Iowa State, this 6-foot-4 player was consecutively part of the All-BIG 12 team from 2020 to 2022. Will McDonald‘s hands are vicious when he goes all-in to strip the ball from the quarterback. Moreover, his athleticism only allows for a small margin of error that often makes it hard to throw a pass.
Totals of 39.5 tackles for loss and a flat 33 sacks for his college tenure make him a defensive menace. With the amount of potential he bears, Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald will surely have a blast when drafting his sets on defense.
A lot of Will’s draft stock comes from his potential and vicious nature. Think of it as — if Patrick Beverley were in the NFL, that would be the expectation for him. The kid plays with a lot of heart and passion which allows him to be peskier when attacking the opponent’s passes.
Only time will tell if the Baltimore Ravens do go with these draft picks. Regardless, the flock is alive more than ever.
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