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Baltimore Ravens 2023 NFL Draft Review

Baltimore Ravens 2023 NFL Draft Review: With the 2023 NFL Draft over, let's take a look at the Ravens selections from this year.
Baltimore Ravens 2023 NFL Draft

The Baltimore Ravens 2023 NFL Draft is in the books, making this a good time to review their draft class. The team entered the draft with five picks and made the most of their capital by targeting positions that they will need to find replacements in soon. The team also traded back into the seventh round to add another player to the ranks.

The Ravens and Eric DeCosta have often done their best work in April, as testified by previous years’ draft reviews. Is 2023 another DeCosta masterclass?

The players that Baltimore drafted in 2023 were as follows:

Baltimore Ravens 2023 NFL Draft Review Grade: 7/10

Baltimore Ravens 2023 NFL Draft Review: Building 2024

The Best Player: Zay Flowers

Zay Flowers was touted by many to be a Raven in the pre-draft process. They were not wrong. The selection simply made too much sense. Despite adding Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor to their ranks, the team was not done bolstering their receiver room. Last year, Baltimore’s receiving corps was depleted by the time the playoffs rolled around. This year, they are doing everything they can to prevent a similar situation. As it stands, Beckham projects to be the team’s primary receiver, with Rashod Bateman opposite. That leaves Flowers as the projected starting slot receiver.

Flowers adds a level of dynamism and explosiveness to the Ravens offense that was seriously lacking last season. They are a ground-and-pound team that deploy a run-heavy offense. Flowers offers a new dimension and will be an upgrade on Devin Duvernay. Duvernay will be a free agent in 2024. Flowers presents a long-term solution in the slot and keeps the newly-signed Lamar Jackson happy. With Baltimore looking to reinvent their passing game under Todd Monken, Flowers is the perfect selection to help kickstart their revolutionised air attack.

Zay Flowers Scouting Report

The Head-Scratcher: Tavius Robinson

The Ravens entered this draft needing help on the edge. However, they leave the draft having only added one edge rusher. Tavius Robinson is a physical defender who has excelled at stopping the run and setting the edge at college level. He needs work on his pass rush package and grow his frame, but he has decent athletic tools to be a rotational defender for now.

The Robinson pick is not necessarily the head-scratcher per se. The more confusing aspect of this pick is that Baltimore could, and arguably should, have prioritised edge earlier. They not only need depth at the position, but also quality. Robinson certainly brings depth, but does he offer enough to be Baltimore’s third edge rusher (behind David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh)? Many have wondered whether the Ravens would have been better off grabbing an edge rusher earlier.

The Surprise: Trenton Simpson

With few picks in the draft and only a few needs, not many people expected to Baltimore to spend their second-highest selection on an off-ball linebacker. Indeed, the reason the team were missing a second-round pick was because they traded it away for Roquan Smith. So why select Trenton Simpson in the third? While the selection seemed puzzling at first, there is a very good reason why Baltimore drafted Simpson.

Patrick Queen is scheduled to hit free agency next off-season. The team are not expected to pick up his fifth-year option, meaning Queen will be off the team by next off-season at the latest. As such, Simpson will be the successor to Queen, filling in beside Smith after Queen’s departure. In Simpson, Baltimore have got a versatile linebacker with excellent pursuit and decent coverage skills. In his rookie year, if Queen is around, the Ravens will be able to try Simpson out in a few different positions and also let him learn under the tutelage of Smith.

While Simpson was good value at 86, this was a surprising pick given the team’s other needs at the time. However, the Los Angeles Chargers deployed a similar strategy by selecting Daiyan Henley with Kenneth Murray’s fifth-year option declined.

Trenton Simpson Scouting Report

The Steal: Andrew Vorhees

Perhaps one of the best guards in the entire draft, Andrew Vorhees’ huge slide can only be accounted for due to his ACL tear during the NFL Combine. Prior to this, he was touted as a second or third-round pick. Even with the ACL tear, Last Word On Sport’s Alexander Haynes placed Vorhees’ draft value in the fifth round. Grabbing Vorhees in the seventh was a smart long-term decision for Baltimore.

While Vorhees has bundles of talent, it remains to be seen whether the lost year will impact Vorhees’ overall development. He is a very talented player that many believe is a plug-and-play starter at the NFL level. The Ravens have not been afraid to draft players coming off big injuries, just look at David Ojabo from last year. As such, Vorhees’ arrival in Baltimore makes perfect sense. This is coupled with the fact that Baltimore lost Ben Powers to the Denver Broncos this off-season, meaning a ne starting guard is needed. They can roll the dice with Ben Cleveland but, if he is not the answer, Vorhees can step up in 2024.

Andrew Vorhees Scouting Report

Most Likely to Turn Heads in Training Camp: Kyu Blu Kelly

Kyu Blu Kelly enters a cornerback room that needs another boundary corner. The team have yet to re-sign Marcus Peters, leaving the spot opposite Marlon Humphrey free for now. Kelly, with his strong college resume, could step up in minicamp and stake a claim as a rotational starter. The former Stanford Cardinal has excellent footwork and jumping ability but can struggle to stay sticky in man coverage. However, in recent seasons, young, athletic cornerbacks have found success in heavy man coverage schemes (see L’Jarius Snead). For this reason, Kelly could see more playing time than expected.

Kyu Blu Kelly Scouting Report

The Rest

The only other pick that the Ravens made this year was in the sixth round, grabbing Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu. Perhaps the only thing harder than pronouncing Aumavae-Laulu’s name is his playstyle. Aumavae-Laulu is an aggressive blocker with decent versatility as a guard and a right tackle. He will be good depth for the Ravens due to his positional flexibility.


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