With the twenty-second pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select…
22. Baltimore Ravens: D.K. Metcalf WR | Mississippi
All aboard the Lamar Jackson train! At least that is what the Ravens are saying after trading 11 year veteran and Super Bowl XLVII MVP quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos this offseason. Jackson sparked a second half season surge last year, posting a 6-1 record after the bye and leading Baltimore to an AFC North division title. It was Jackson’s legs more than his arm that helped turn the Ravens season around, as he averaged 79 yards carrying the ball as part of the leagues second best rushing attack. That magical ride came to an end in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, where Jackson had arguably his worst game of the season against a Chargers team that had just seen and lost to these Ravens two weeks earlier. It makes you wonder with all the tape on Lamar Jackson now, will teams be able to find a way to easily shut him down in year 2?
To try and make sure that doesn’t happen two things need to happen. First, Jackson needs to work on his mechanics and be able to drop back and throw from the pocket with accuracy if he wants to prove he can be a starting caliber quarterback in the NFL. Second, the Ravens need to get him some more weapons so that he can do this. Baltimore has a solid offensive line, a capable running back with the free agent signing of former Saint, Mark Ingram, and a complete tight end group featuring Nick Boyle, Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews. What this offense is sorely missing, are quality wide receivers. Former 2015 first round pick Breshad Perriman was suppose to be that guy, but injuries and inconsistency forced the Ravens to cut their losses prior to last season. Michael Crabtree and John Brown are gone and all that remains is Willie Snead and the recently signed Seth Roberts. Ew. The Ravens prefer big, physical receivers and lucky for them the biggest and most athletic receiver in this draft class is still on the board. I give you Mississippi receiver D.K. Metcalf! Metcalf is a physical specimen at 6’3” 228 lbs and a 4.33 40 yard dash. Have you seen pictures of this dude? He is an absolute unit! Baltimore better jump on him if he’s still available at this point, otherwise Al Davis may whisper from the grave for the Raiders to grab him with their 2nd or 3rd first round pick. Metcalf could go as early as #9 overall to the Bills, but I’m hearing teams are coming back down to reality since his combine performance so a late teens early twenties seems more likely. Metcalf gives Lamar a huge target so even if those accuracy issues persist, the big fella should still be able to come down with the ball.
Now, the Ravens have always been known for their defense and were #1 overall on that side of the ball in 2018. However, despite the signing of safety Earl Thomas to replace Eric Weddle, there are some huge holes within the front seven. Pro bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley is now with the Jets, longtime Raven Terrell Suggs is now with the Cardinals, and up and coming edge rusher Za’Darius Smith is now with the Packers. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens opt to go with a pass rusher here like Brian Burns out of Florida State or Jachai Polite out of Florida and then maybe grabbing a guy like Alabama’s Mack Wilson on the inside in round 2 to help retool the defensive side of the ball. For a playoff team a year ago, the Ravens have a ton of needs they need to address if they hope to hold off the Steelers and now Browns from stealing the AFC North iron throne.