The Ravens entered the final day of the NFL draft on Saturday with three picks — Nos. 124 (fourth round), 157 (fifth round) and 199 (sixth round) — but they came away with four. Here’s a look at whom they’ve taken.
No. 229: Southern California G Andrew Vorhees
Just when it looked like the Ravens’ day was over, they traded their 2024 sixth-round pick to the Browns for Cleveland’s seventh-round selection.
With the pick, No. 229 overall, the Ravens again targeted the offensive line, selecting Southern California guard Andrew Vorhees. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Vorhees, who tore his ACL during the NFL scouting combine last month, isn’t expected to play this season but could be in line to compete for a starting job the following year.
“We are getting a tough and physical competitor who is polished and experience,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said, adding that he expected Vorhees will be ready for the 2024 season. “This is a move that really solidified our line for the coming years.”
Vorhees made 48 starts in six seasons at USC, including 23 at left guard, 20 at right guard and five at left tackle. He received first-team All-America honors last season and was a third-team All-American in 2021.
He was also the highest-rated offensive lineman in the Pac-12 each of the past two years, with Vorhees receiving an 80.4 grade from Pro Football Focus.
The Kingsburg, California, native also showed his toughness. After he tore his ACL at the combine, he ripped off 38 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press, the highest total of any player invited to Indianapolis.
No. 199: Oregon OL Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu
The Ravens used the last of their five picks in this year’s draft on Oregon offensive lineman Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, a 6-5, 317-pound right tackle who also spent time at guard for the Ducks.
After having originally declared for the 2022 draft, he changed his mind and returned to Eugene for another year. It proved to be a wise decision with Aumavae-Laulu leading Oregon in snaps (902) on his way to earning All-Pac-12 honors.
In all, he played 2,007 total snaps in four seasons at Oregon, with 1,823 at right tackle and 184 at right guard. Pro Football Focus gave the Hawaii native a 77 overall grade, a 77.8 pass-blocking grade and a 76 run-blocking grade in 2022, though he earned a pass-blocking grade of at least 80 in five games and allowed just 14 total pressures in 442 pass-blocking opportunities.
A former no-star recruit, Aumavae-Laulu went to Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, and became the No. 1 offensive tackle in junior college, earning interest from several Power 5 programs before committing to Oregon.
Oregon’s offensive line led the nation with just five sacks allowed last season. The Ducks also were the only team to finish in the top 20 in rushing and passing yards per game.
No. 157: Stanford CB Kyu Blu Kelly
The Ravens have a cornerback.
With the 157th overall pick, Baltimore selected Stanford’s Kyu Blu Kelly.
The 6-foot, 191-pound defensive back is the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brian Kelly and a two-time All-Pac-12 second-team selection. In 2021, he led the conference with 13 passes defensed and added two interceptions and a forced fumble while recording 58 tackles.
Last season, Kelly, a four-year starter, missed two games because of injury and finished with 35 tackles and six pass breakups. He ended his college career with 148 tackles, 26 passes defended and three interceptions.
He’s far from the fastest cornerback in the draft, however, having run the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds. Kelly is also not the most physical, either, something he’s keenly aware of but eager to work on, especially when it comes to facing Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round pick Zay Flowers in practice.
“That’s definitely something I can [add] in my game, not being the same size as [cornerback] Marlon [Humphrey], different type of player but at the same time making sure I bring that same physicality that they demand from their top guy.
“Those are guys [Beckham and Flowers] I want to line up against. That’s going to make me better.”
Off the field, he created a video game that a movie will be based on about Seal Team Six traveling back in time to try and stop people in historical events. He also dabbles in real estate development.
The Ravens entered the draft with a pressing need at cornerback after letting Marcus Peters hit free agency. They passed on potential fits such as Maryland’s Deonte Banks and Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. in the first round to pick Flowers, then took Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson at No. 86 overall in the third round.
Mike Preston’s instant analysis: The Ravens selected Stanford cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly in the fifth round, but he isn’t the answer the Ravens need on the back end. A former track star and state long jump champion at Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas, Kelly is athletic. He was a starter in college since his freshman season and has good speed. He appears to be sound as far as his fundamentals and plays with leverage. He can turn and run in man-to-man college and has a knack for finding the ball, but he can get lost playing zone and has trouble tracking the ball and finding receivers in the seams. He could become a quality slot corner, but the Ravens already have Marlon Humphrey in that position. A knock on Kelly was that he missed some tackles coming up in run support. The Ravens are in need of corners, and Kelly will be one of several along with second-year players Damarion “Pepe” Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis competing for playing time.
No. 124: Ole Miss OLB/DE Tavius Robinson
They used the first of their Day 3 selections on Ole Miss edge rusher Tavius Robinson.
The Ravens love their edge rushers, and in Robinson they got a 6-foot-6, 257-pound defender who had 44 total tackles last season, including eight for loss. He also had seven sacks and five forced fumbles, both of which led the team.
Robinson’s seven sacks ranked sixth in the Southeastern Conference, while his five forced fumbles put him in a tie with Houston’s D’Anthony Jones to lead the nation. Robinson, who was born and raised in Guelph, Ontario, which is about an hour west of Toronto, had 28 tackles, 4 1/2 tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks coming off the bench in 2021.
That he even ended up at Ole Miss was somewhat fortuitous.
Robinson, 24, spent his first two years of college football playing at the University of Guelph and dreaming of the Canadian Football League. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and football was canceled.
“I was sending out my tape everywhere trying to get a school in the states and Ole Miss was one of my first [Southeastern Conference] offers,” he said Saturday.
Universities in Canada also don’t offer full scholarships and Robinson had applied for a job at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? once the pandemic hit to pay for school. Then he got the offer from Ole Miss.
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“I was scheduled to go into work and then got Ole Miss offer two days before,” Robinson said. “I quit and was on a plane to Ole Miss the next day.”
Off the field, Robinson twice made the dean’s honor roll at Ole Miss, among other academic honors. On it, he said he has tried to model his game after Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby.
“He has a relentless motor,” Robinson said. “That’s what I tried to model my game off of, never giving up on plays. On top of that, he has great pass rush moves and he’s a great run defender.”
In terms of how he’ll fit with the Ravens, Robinson played his first three years in college football as a stand-up edge rusher and his last two with his hand in the dirt.
“I’m very comfortable with both,” he said. “I’m like a sponge. I like to be coached. There’s a lot of room to grow for sure.”
Mike Preston’s instant analysis: The Ravens selected OLB/DE Tavius Robinson in the fourth round and he appears to be more of a project than an immediate starter. Because of his 6-6, 257-pound frame, he has potential, but he looks awkward at times. He has good hands, but lacks explosion off the ball. In fact, he appears slow, but that’s something the Ravens should be able to correct. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds at the scouting combine, but because he is long and rangy, the Ravens will need to teach Robinson how to keep opposing offensive linemen off his body. The strength in his hands is a good start. There is some raw talent here, but he needs time to develop.