Sooner or later the Ravens have to hit on drafting a great pass-catcher, and it seems like ages since they have done so.
Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome spoke with the media at the Combine, and he covered a lot of ground over the course of his press conference. He spent a good amount of time talking about the wide receiver position and said the Ravens are “looking for the opportunity to change that room, in terms of personnel.” Newsome will look at avenues through the draft and free agency to upgrade that group.
Wide receiver or pass-catching tight end, the Ravens have got to come out of the 2018 Draft with something resembling a big playmaker.
Alabama’s Calvin Ridley came into the week viewed as the top receiver in the draft, and his workout did nothing to change that perception. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds and impressed during the rest of his on-field drills.
Maryland’s D.J. Moore was told by the NFL’s Advisory Committee a few months ago that he should stay in school for another year. He took his chances by declaring for the NFL Draft and that looks like the right call so far. His stock is on the rise after an impressive Combine where he measured in at 6-feet tall and clocked a time of 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki is generating some buzz as someone who could be the “next Rob Gronkowski.” The 6-foot-5 pass catcher shined during the on-field drills, running the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds and leaping 41.5 inches in the vertical. The Ravens want to add pass–catching tight ends to the roster, and getting Gesicki will be more difficult after his performance.
Meanwhile, according to Garrett Downing of BaltimoreRavens.com, Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown (son of Ravens’ alumnus “Zeus” Brown) was viewed as a popular target for the Ravens at No. 16 before a rough showing at the combine. He only put up 14 reps in the bench press and then ran the 40-yard dash in 5.86 seconds, and it now seems unlikely that he’ll be a first-round pick.
Also, the Combine didn’t end the debate about the top quarterbacks in this year’s class. USC’s Sam Darnold didn’t throw at the Combine, but some draft analysts still view him as the best passer in the draft. Wyoming’s Josh Allen showed off his big arm in the passing drills by throwing a pass 70 yards in the air. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield had a good showing, while UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson both had up-and-down performances in the passing drills.