Here’s what experts around the country are saying about the Ravens’ overall draft, their first under new general manager Eric DeCosta.
NFL.com: “Multiple NFL general managers told me they would have a hard time picking [Marquise] Brown, a 166-pound receiver, in the first round. Sure, he lacks size, but his talent reminds me of DeSean Jackson, who was also under 170 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine when he came out. If Brown has that sort of career, the Ravens will have done well. Plus, they gained two Day 3 picks (Nos. 127 and 197) by trading down three spots.” Grade for each round plus overall grade: A
CBS Sports, in naming Lamar Jackson as a winner of the draft: “The Ravens quarterback entered the draft with the worst wide receiver corps in the NFL and left with Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin as guys he can throw to and grow with. … Jackson can be a franchise passer. He just needed some weapons. Kudos to Eric DeCosta for managing his first draft well and making sure he put some high-powered options around his quarterback.”
Sports Illustrated: “The selection of Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin in Rounds 1 and 3 fill a desperate need at wide receiver for the Ravens. Brown has the type of speed and quickness that makes a defense passive, which will help Baltimore’s new expansive running game. Boykin might be more of a project, but in this lineup, that shouldn’t stop him from getting a first-string role outside. Selecting OLB Jaylon Ferguson between the receivers was prudent.” Grade: B
Pro Football Focus: “Earning 85.2 and 85.0 overall grades in 2017 and 2018, Oklahoma wideout Marquise Brown is a big play waiting to happen that only fell to No. 25 due to injury. Brown was a threat to take it to the house every time he touched the ball last season — he broke 17 tackles on 77 catches and scored 10 touchdowns in 2018. … Former Louisiana Tech edge defender Jaylon Ferguson recorded 64 total pressures in 2018, the third-most of any FBS edge defender in this year’s class. He also ranked fifth among qualifiers in pass-rush win percentage at 23.4%. However, his poor athleticism and change of direction limit him in the NFL. He doesn’t win with speed or athleticism, forcing him to rely on bull-rush moves more than he’ll likely get away with at the next level. He finished the pre-draft process as PFF’s No. 143 overall player.” Grade: Average
The Ringer, in awarding the Ravens “The Eliminating Your Weaknesses Overnight Award”: “The Ravens came into this draft with glaring needs at receiver and pass rusher. By the time Friday night was finished, they had added promising players at both spots. Baltimore’s pass-catching arsenal added Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin. Beyond invigorating the depth chart, they should give this offense two completely different kinds of playmakers. … On the defensive side, the Ravens grabbed Louisiana Tech pass rusher Jaylon Ferguson at no. 85. Ferguson reminds me in some ways of former Baltimore great Terrell Suggs: His athletic profile doesn’t scream “elite edge rusher,” but he plays with extraordinary power and heavy hands, wearing down opposing tackles while relentlessly collapsing the pocket.”
SB Nation: “The Ravens went heavy on speed. After sliding down to No. 25, they took the first wide receiver off the board in Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown. He can take the top off a defense and give Lamar Jackson a good deep target. … Since this is the Ravens, they addressed the front of the defense with end Jaylon Ferguson at No. 85 and nose tackle Daylon Mack at No. 160. In between, they beefed up the offensive line with Oklahoma guard Ben Powers.” Grade: B