The 2021 NFL Draft has finally come to an end. It is safe to say that the Baltimore Ravens are a better team now than they were a week ago. They addressed needs and added playmakers. Let’s breakdown the Ravens draft picks.
Round 1: No. 27 – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Ravens started their night by drafting Rashod Bateman. The first-round wide receiver is 6-1,193 pounds. He is an outside receiver, but he can also play the slot. Bateman is a good route runner and he does a good job selling his routes. He also does a good job adjusting to bad throws, and he can make tough catches in a crowd of defenders. However, Bateman has only played at one speed. He has the ability to utilize a second gear, but he’s yet to do that. Additionally, he struggles to track the deep ball. He needs to do a better job finishing his blocks, especially because in Baltimore he will be called on to block a lot.
Round 1: No. 31 – Odafe Oweh, OLB, Penn State
The Ravens finished their first round activity by selecting Odafe Oweh. The defender formerly known as Jayson is a 6-5, 257-pound outside linebacker. Oweh has the right build and natural traits. He is explosive, fast and strong. He needs to work on hand placement and usage, as well as learning to decipher different blocking schemes. Oweh can stop the run, but he’ll need more experience and coaching before he can consistently do that. He needs coaching but he has the natural traits that should let him be a centerpiece of the Ravens pass rush.
Round 3: No. 94 – Ben Cleveland, G, Georgia
The Ravens knew they had to address their offensive line at the draft. They started doing that by taking Ben Cleveland, a third-team All-American and first-team All-SEC player. He has a good first strike, but struggles to finish his blocks. Cleveland is a powerful run blocker, but struggles to process all the moving pieces in pass protection.
Round 3: No. 104 – Brandon Stephans, DB, SMU
Brandon Stephans played running back with UCLA, until he switched to SMU. At SMU, he played cornerback, but he can likely play safety. Unsurprisingly, he is still learning how to play cornerback. Stephens fights hard at the catch and has the physical traits to improve as a tackler. He had 22 passes defensed in two years at SMU. Stephans is still learning the position, so there are a bunch of developmental issues. He isn’t good at press coverage, route recognition, using angles or getting off blocks. With that said, the Ravens believe that he will continue to learn the position and possibly take over for Anthony Levine Sr.
Round 4: No. 131 – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
The Ravens took their second wide receiver in the fourth round. Tylan Wallace is a 5-11, 195-pound receiver that was a semifinalist for several national awards. Wallace was named to the first-team All-Big 12 by coaches, and he was a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 pick by the Associated Press. He is an outside receiver. He is a little smaller than the prototypical outside receiver, but he plays bigger than his size. Wallace is a crisp route-runner, and he has strong hands and does a good job winning jump balls. He needs to be better against press coverage. He is a fierce competitor and has great ball skills.
Round 5: No. 160 – Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
The Ravens kicked off their fifth round by selecting Shaun Wade, who has experience playing outside as well as in the slot. He does a good job of using his body to match up. Wade is also a good run defender. He showed a lack of urgency in 2020, and he doesn’t have the speed to stay with all wide receivers. Another issue that can be fixed is that he needs to work on his backpedaling.
Round 5: No. 171 – Daelin Hayes, OLB, Notre Dame
The Ravens value versatility on defense. Daelin Hayes can fill that role. Hayes is an outside linebacker who can also play in coverage. He lined up all over the line of scrimmage for Notre Dame in 2020. Hayes needs to work on stopping the run and having a plan for every time he rushes the passer. He has a history of shoulder injuries, dating back to high school. Hayes is not ready to play yet, but he could be a valuable piece down the road.
Round 5: No. 184 – Ben Mason, TE/FB, Michigan
With their final pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Ravens took Ben Mason. He is similar to Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard. Like Ricard, he can play on the defensive line and special teams as well as his primary role on offense. Mason is a good pass catcher and only a good ball carrier when he is running downhill. Mason struggles to run east-west. He is a good run blocker, but he struggled at pass protection.