With the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia concluded, it is time we take a look and review the Ravens and the selections they made this year in the draft. This article is the start of an 8 article series, the Ravens Draft Review. Today we will be reviewing the draft as one collective unit, and each day following we will review each individual prospect in order of selection. Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be CB Marlon Humphrey, Wednesday will be LB Tyus Bowser, and so on. In today’s article, we will review each pick of Baltimore’s draft, give each pick a grade, and grade the overall draft.
Round 1, 16 Overall – Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Ozzie Newsome sure loves Alabama players. He drafted two in this year’s draft, setting the all time total for Alabama players drafted to the Ravens at nine. Humphrey became the first cornerback taken by the Ravens in the first three rounds of the draft since 2011, when Jimmy Smith was drafted in the first round. Humphrey comes from a very athletic family. His father, Bobby Humphrey, was a star running back for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 1980s, and later went on to a short lived NFL career. Marlon Humphrey’s mother, Barbara, was a track star at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Marlon Humphrey played two years at Alabama, and is only 20 years old. At Alabama, he won the NCAA FBS National Championship in his freshman year, and returned to it in his sophomore year. In his two year career, he recorded 81 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions, and one pick six. Many thought that the Ravens would go after a wide receiver or pass rusher in the first round of the NFL Draft, however all three of the first round grade receivers went off the board in the first ten picks. When the Ravens got their turn to pick, pass rushers like Takkarist McKinley, and Jonathan Allen were still on the board, along with inside linebacker Reuben Foster. However, the Ravens opted to improve their already deeply talented secondary, and picked Humphrey. Humphrey will now join Jimmy Smith, Tavon Young, and Brandon Carr at the cornerback spot. I assume that Smith and Humphrey get the outside positions, while Carr and Young are used all over the field, and especially in the slot. Overall, Humphrey is a solid pick for the Ravens who are trying to avoid the lack of depth at cornerback that has plagued the team over the past few years.
Overall Selection Grade: B+
Round 2, 47 Overall – Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston
Tyus Bowser is a player that I was 85% certain would end up a Raven. As evident by the draft visit a few weeks ago, and the need for an heir to Terrell Suggs, it makes sense that the Ravens would be interested in him. However, the Ravens weren’t just interested in him, they fell in love with him. Bowser is 6’3″, and weighs 247 lbs. He’s an explosive pass rusher, with great potential. In his four year career at Houston, Bowser garnered 137 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 22.5 total sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, and 3 forced fumbles. Bowser is a solid pick for a team needy of pass rushers, however, I feel that the Ravens reached a little bit here. There were higher rated pass rush options on the board, including DeMarcus Walker and Raekwon McMillan. I also feel that there was a good chance that Bowser would have fallen into the third round. Maybe Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens knew something I didn’t, but I didn’t feel the spot was quite right for the pick. Solid player but I just feel they reached for it.
Overall Selection Grade: B-
Round 3, 74 Overall – Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
The Ravens really went all out on the defensive side this year. Wormley was an obvious choice for this pick. Wormley was one of the more underrated players in this year’s draft. He played four years at the University of Michigan, and became a big time impact player in his junior and senior years. At Michigan he totaled 119 tackles, 31.5 for a loss, 17.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. The Ravens knew he’s good based on his statistics and film, but the Ravens’ didn’t just have to rely on what they saw. Baltimore had the inside scoop on Wormley. Wormley played under coach Jim Harbaugh for two years, (2015-2016). Jim Harbaugh is the brother of John Harbaugh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. With such a close relationship between the two brothers, there must have been some honest communication on draft prospects from Michigan, Wormley included. Jim Harbaugh used to coach in the NFL, and brought his successful professional football coaching style to Michigan. Wormley greatly improved under Jim Harbaugh, going from 5.5 sacks between his freshman and sophomore years, to 13 sacks between his junior and senior years. I think Wormley was a great value pick, and will have a lot of success with the Ravens in the coming years.
Overall Selection Grade: B+
Round 3, 78 Overall – Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Perhaps the steal of the 2017 NFL Draft, Tim Williams went to the Ravens in the third round. To put it in perspective, he originally was projected to be a first round prospect. However, because of some character concerns, Williams fell down to the 3rd round, where Ozzie Newsome grabbed him. The good thing about Williams is that like Wormley, the Ravens have the inside scoop on him. Newsome being a very high profile Alabama alumnus has close connections to the school and the football program. Newsome can get the real information on a player’s character from Alabama, and I have total confidence that he did so. The Ravens will give Williams a clean slate, and it is up to Williams to take advantage and turn himself around. If he does take advantage of this outstanding opportunity, there is a lot of reasons to think that he can become a primer pass rusher in the NFL. Williams played four seasons with the Alabama Crimson Tide. He also played with now Ravens Pro Bowl inside linebacker CJ Mosley in 2013, Mosley’s senior year. Williams didn’t play very much in his first two years, but excelled in his last two years. Between 2015 and 2016, Williams racked up 49 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. Williams is primarily used as a pass rusher, and should be able to excel under the Ravens’ scheme and guidance.
Overall Selection Grade: A-
Round 4, 122 Overall – Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State
Nico Siragusa is a solid guard from San Diego State. Before you ask, no, he’s not related to former Raven Tony Siragusa. Although this was not a good draft class for offensive linemen, Siragusa has tons of potential. Nico Siragusa is 6’4″ tall, and weighs 319 lbs. He started every game at left guard since his sophomore year. For his outstanding play, he was awarded first-team All Mountain West in both 2015 and 2016, along with third-team All American by AP. Siragusa has plenty of potential, and could be placed at center for the team, since they traded away starting center Jeremy Zuttah to the San Francisco 49ers earlier this offseason.
Overall Selection Grade: B
Round 5, 159 Overall – Jermaine Eluemunor, G, Texas A&M
The Ravens opted to take offensive linemen, specifically guards, with two consecutive picks in the later rounds. Not a bad decision for a team with offensive line needs. Eluemunor, like Siragusa, is a solid lineman in a class with less than stellar players at that position. Eluemunor was actually born in London England, and moved to the United States at age 14. He is a former rugby player, and has said that he finds rugby to be harder than football. He’s tough, and that is exactly what the Ravens will need on the offensive line. Also like Siragusa, I could see the Ravens finding him another spot on the line instead of guard, potentially right tackle to replace Ricky Wagner who departed for Detroit earlier this offseason.
Overall Selection Grade: B+
Round 6, 186 Overall – Chuck Clark, S, Virginia Tech
With the last pick of their draft, the Ravens selected Chuck Clark. Clark is a safety from Virginia Tech, who will be a developmental project for the Ravens. His main claim to fame is his tackling abilities. At Virginia Tech he made 292 tackles in his career, 14 of them for loss, and 2.5 of them sacks. He also intercepted the ball 2 times, and forced 1 fumble. Best case scenario for Clark this year would be to sit and learn behind the Ravens’ very talented veteran safety corps of Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, and Lardarius Webb. There he would learn how to be an NFL safety, and hopefully transform into a potential starter. It’s a big if but it has been done before by players taken in the 6th round. I’m looking at you Tom Brady.
Overall Selection Grade: B
Undrafted Free Agents
Many people either forget about or just ignore the undrafted free agents of a draft class, but it is important that the Ravens give these players a shot, because sometimes they prove everyone wrong and become solid NFL players. Here are some of the undrafted free agents that the Ravens have signed after the draft this year so far, and a short bio on them.
QB Zach Terrell, Western Michigan – Had a very good career at Western Michigan, playing with the Titans’ first round selection Corey Davis. Also was the starter in front of Joe Flacco’s younger brother at Western Michigan.
WR Tim White, Arizona State – Played for two years at Arizona State University. Between those two years he had over 1,000 yards receiving, along with 10 touchdowns. Also had over 1,000 yards returning kicks, where he scored 2 touchdowns.
WR Tim Patrick, Utah – Spent three years at Utah, only played two. Had to sit out his first senior year because of injuries, returned for a second senior year last year and totaled 711 yards and 5 touchdowns.
WR Quincy Adeboyejo, Ole Miss – Played four seasons at Ole Miss, never really had a single great season. His four year career garnered him 1454 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
WR C.J. Board, Tennessee Chattanooga – Four year starter at Tennessee Chattanooga, a Division I FCS team. Had a decent time in college at receiver, totaled 2032 yards and 10 touchdowns over four years.
LB Bam Bradley, Pittsburgh – Hailing from a college in a godforsaken town, he played for four years at Pittsburgh. He made 106 tackles, 17 for a loss, 4 sacks, and 1 interception at Pittsburgh. Also forced 1 fumble and recovered 1 fumble.
DE Omarius Bryant, Kentucky – Two year player at Kentucky, the defensive end had 67 tackles, 13 for a loss, and 4.5 sacks in his two year career. Also recorded one fumble recovery.
RB Taquan Mizzell, Virginia – Four year player at Virginia, had a good career in college. He ran for 2068 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Also totaled 1560 yards receiving, and 7 touchdowns. The versatile back may make an impression this offseason.
FB Ricky Ortiz, Oregon State – Ortiz played three years at Oregon State, but didn’t get a lot of running action. The Ravens will want to see if he can be a decent enough blocker to be kept on the roster.
OL Andrew Wylie, Eastern Michigan – Wylie is a 6’6″ 311 lbs prospect who played both tackle positions and left guard in his college career. Baltimore will want to see if he can fill any needs for them.
K Bobby Puyol, Connecticut – Four year player at Connecticut. Finished his college career with 91% completion on extra point attempts, and 76.5% completion on field goals.
P Kenny Allen, Michigan – Another Michigan player to the Ravens. He played three years at Michigan (missed sophomore year). Did field goals, extra points, and punts at Michigan. He converted all of his extra points with 100% completion. Also completed 82.2% field goals, and averaged 43.7 yards per punt over 56 punts.
Overall Draft Grade: B+
The Ravens had a pretty good draft. They managed to boost the defense up very well, and got tons of value at most of their picks. Marlon Humphrey will be a solid cornerback in the NFL. Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams have the chance to become big time playmakers for the Ravens. Chris Wormley has a lot of potential to start and has proven to be a play maker in the past at Michigan. Both Nico Siragusa and Jermaine Eluemunor are solid guards who can become starters at guard, or other positions along the offensive line if needed. Finally, Chuck Clark is a developmental player with solid tackling skills.