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Ravens earn solid draft grades for six-player class: ‘Excellent job with what they had’

All 259 picks from the 2023 NFL draft are in, and so are the grades.

The Ravens came away with six selections, one of their smallest classes in years, but they still impressed evaluators. Here’s a look at their final report card, with grades ranked from highest to lowest.

  • Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers (No. 22 overall, first round)
  • Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson (No. 86, third round)
  • Mississippi edge rusher Tavius Robinson (No. 124, fourth round)
  • Stanford cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly (No. 157, fifth round)
  • Oregon offensive lineman Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu (No. 199, sixth round)
  • Southern California guard Andrew Vorhees (No. 229, seventh round)

NFL Media’s Chad Reuter: A

“The Ravens found a tough and quick receiver in Flowers to complement Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman. Even after wisely trading their 2023 second-round pick for linebacker Roquan Smith last season, Simpson’s closing speed and ability to play outside or inside made him a home run pick in Round 3.

“Robinson adds needed depth off the edge. Kelly can lose his target in man but will attack plays in zone. He was a good find for Baltimore in the fifth round. Aumavae-Laulu is massive, like some of his predecessors at tackle for the Ravens, but he has better short-area quickness than you’d expect. Vorhees is working his way back from an ACL tear he suffered at the NFL Scouting Combine. He could end up being a tremendous Round 7 value after he returns.”

DraftKings Nation’s Grace McDermott: A

“The Ravens knew what they needed coming in, and they went out and got it where they could. They grabbed one of the best receivers in the draft right off the bat to give the recently re-signed Lamar Jackson a full slate of top receivers. Simpson was the best player still on the table, and will be an asset right off the bat to their defense. While Kelly was a solid choice to fill their cornerback void, they will need to sign a more veteran CB, but still grabbed a solid developmental choice here. Baltimore started strong, and despite having mostly Day 3 picks, did an excellent job with what they had.”

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: A

“The Ravens delivered the best possible outcome with limited volume after re-signing Lamar Jackson to a lucrative extension right before the draft. Flowers is a key extra weapon for the new, more wide-open offense of Todd Monken, while Simpson gives them the NFL’s best linebacker corps. The key is Kelly turning into an absolute gem to replace a big need at corner minus Marcus Peters.”

USA TODAY’s Doug Farrar: A-

“Flowers was my top-rated receiver in this class — not only because of all the ridiculous things he did on tape, but also because he did it with a quarterback situation that was borderline unwatchable. He might be the most talented receiver on the Ravens’ roster outside of a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., and I can’t wait to see what he does with Lamar Jackson throwing him footballs.

“The Ravens addressed their primary needs in this draft to a greater or lesser degree, and Flowers is an absolute grand slam of a pick.”

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: B+

“Baltimore’s best move on Thursday? Signing Lamar Jackson to a long-term deal, of course. Everything else was overshadowed by the news that the quarterback would be back. And still, getting my top-ranked wideout, Zay Flowers, a few hours later had to have made Jackson even more happy. Ravens receivers caught just seven touchdown passes all of last season, and general manager Eric DeCosta has now added Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. to the depth chart. Flowers will make plays out of the slot, but he can line up outside too. He can break tackles or run by defensive backs. This is an awesome addition.”

“DeCosta didn’t do his usual wheeling and dealing with trades this weekend, but he landed a nice class, headlined by my guy Flowers.”

Fox Sports’ Greg Auman: B+

“You closed a quarter-billion-dollar deal to keep Lamar Jackson hours before the draft, so you could draft nearly anyone and it’s still a good weekend. Leading with Zay Flowers (after landing Odell Beckham) makes life easier for Jackson and new OC Todd Monken, and linebacker Trenton Simpson is solid for a third-rounder. Stealing USC lineman Andrew Voorhees in the seventh round, knowing he’s lost for the year to a torn ACL, feels like a bargain start to their 2024 draft.”

The Ringer’s Danny Kelly: B

“The Ravens had a relatively quiet draft and picked just twice in the first three rounds, but I liked what they did with limited capital. Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers, Baltimore’s first-round pick, is a twitchy, dynamic playmaker, who brings some downfield juice and yards-after-the-catch talent to give Lamar Jackson a much-needed boost in the passing game. Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson is an exceptional athlete with sideline-to-sideline speed and a knack for slicing through the line on blitzes. I also liked their Day 3 pick of Stanford cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly, a speedy corner with good size and some playmaking instincts.”

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske: B

“The best thing the Ravens did was getting Lamar Jackson signed to a record five-year, $260 million contract extension. They made him even happier by using a first-round selection on WR Zay Flowers. The use of a third-round choice on LB Trenton Simpson fueled speculation that Patrick Queen could be traded.”

New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy: B

“Another strong draft from the Ravens. What else is new? Flowers’ elite speed and ability to separate combines with Odell Beckham Jr. for the best weapons of Lamar Jackson’s career. Simpson — the best coverage linebacker in the draft — offered great value at No. 86.”

Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame: B

“Baltimore signed quarterback Lamar Jackson to a five-year extension before the draft began, and then gave him a new weapon in Flowers. A four-year contributor with Boston College, Flowers should step in and form a nice trio with veterans Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman. Baltimore also did a nice job to land Simpson in the second round, who should provide a nice rotational piece alongside Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen at the second level. Kelly is also a sleeper, a Senior Bowl standout who could eventually replace Marcus Peters, who is currently a free agent.”

Pro Football Focus: B

“Vorhees made news at the combine after putting up 38 bench press reps (98th percentile) after tearing his ACL in the drills. That speaks to the kind of power that he brings to the interior. Vorhees earned 80.0-plus PFF grades in each of the past two seasons as a starter for USC and is an intriguing “redshirt” selection here for Baltimore in the seventh round.”

Associated Press’ Rob Maaddi: C+

“With Odell Beckham Jr. in the flock, should’ve addressed the secondary in the first round instead of taking WR Zay Flowers at No. 22. Went defense with next three picks.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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