Ahead of the 2020 NFL draft on April 23-25 in Las Vegas, the Ravens’ biggest needs appear to be at wide receiver, interior offensive and defensive line, edge rusher and linebacker.
With Senior Bowl practices underway in Mobile, Alabama, this week before the annual all-star game Saturday (2:30 p.m., NFL Network), here are a few players Ravens scouts might be looking at:
Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee (6-3, 206 pounds)
A four-star quarterback recruit coming out of high school, Jennings broke out this season for the Volunteers, catching 59 passes for 969 yards as a redshirt senior. He’ll turn 23 before training camp, lacks top-end speed and didn’t get much experience against man coverage while playing in the slot, but he is incredible in the open field, breaking 30 tackles in 2019, per scouting website Pro Football Focus, the most of any wide receiver in the country.
Pittman doesn’t have top-end speed, but he excelled as an underneath and intermediate route runner. In 2019, he finished with 101 receptions on 133 targets for 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns and also forced 14 missed tackles, earning a PFF receiving grade of 80.4. He has some of the best hands in this loaded class, with just five drops on 176 career catchable passes, per PFF, and his ability to wrestle balls away from defenders would make him a valuable target for Lamar Jackson.
Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame (6-4, 229 pounds)
Claypool’s size alone makes him an intriguing prospect, and he broke out in a big way in 2019, catching 66 passes on 108 targets for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns. He might even become a tight end at the next level. With 27 broken tackles on 151 career catches, he’s tough to bring down, and his best football might be ahead of him. He could grow into a dynamic red zone threat.
Others wide receivers to watch: Denzel Mims, Baylor; K.J. Hill, Ohio State; James Proche, SMU; Devin Duvernay, Texas; Van Jefferson, Florida; Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty; Collin Johnson, Texas
In two years as a starter, Baun generated pressure on 16.5% of his rushes, per PFF, tied for the sixth-highest rate in the country over that span, and had 25 combined sacks and quarterback hits in 2019. But his size likely prohibits him from being an every-down pass rusher in the NFL. His future in the league is as an off-ball linebacker, where he can take advantage of his strong coverage skills.
Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State (6-1, 219 pounds)
Davis-Gaither lacks ideal size for an inside linebacker, but he became a weapon as a blitzer and in pass coverage for the Mountaineers, two coveted traits in the modern NFL. He’s graded as one of the smoothest linebackers in this class, and his ability to beat linemen one-on-one makes him an incredibly valuable piece for any defense.
Other linebackers to watch: Cam Brown, Penn State; Malik Harrison, Ohio State; Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
Despite his pass-rushing prowess and coverage ability, there are concerns. Lewis is just a year removed from a torn ACL, hasn’t shown much power or an ability to set the edge and dropped off down the stretch in 2019. But his speed and length make him a tantalizing prospect, with a pressure rate of 19.8% this past season, per PFF, that ranked third among edge rushers in the class with 100 or more pass-rushing snaps.
Joshua Uche, EDGE, Michigan (6-2, 241 pounds)
Like Baun, Uche might end up being an off-ball linebacker at the next level, but his pass-rushing skills were evident for the Wolverines. According to PFF, Uche generated pressure on 23.3% of his pass rushes and won on 28.2%, both of which ranked second among all FBS edge rushers. He’s undersized for a full-time edge role in the NFL, but his quickness, coverage skills and ability to get home on blitzes (something the Ravens do more than any other team) make him a player to watch.
Bradlee Anae, DE, Utah (6-3, 257 pounds)
Like Ravens third-round pick Jaylon Ferguson last season, Anae is perhaps the most productive edge rusher in this class, with 158 pressures since 2017 and 700-plus snaps each of the past three seasons, per PFF. His strong hands, repertoire of pass-rushing moves and ability to rush both standing up and with a hand in the dirt make him a valuable pick.
Darrell Taylor Jr., EDGE, Tennessee (6-3, 259 pounds)
Taylor has the length and explosiveness necessary to be game-breaking edge rusher, and he was consistent against the run and pass in college. He improved each season at Tennessee, recording 44 pressures as a senior with a pass-rushing grade of 87.0, per PFF. His bull rush alone makes him a prospect worth betting on.
Others edge rushers to watch: Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina; Kenny Willekes, Michigan State; Jonathan Greenard, Florida; Jabari Zuniga, Florida; Trevis Gipson, Tulsa
Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma (6-2, 304 pounds)
If the Ravens decide to move on from pending free agent Michael Pierce, Gallimore could be a nice replacement. An athletic marvel for his size, he’s shown consistent improvement during his college career and projects as a strong one-gap penetrating nose tackle in the NFL. He logged an 82.5 PFF pass-rush grade and 32 total pressures in 2019.
Fotu has the size and length to be a consistent run-stuffer at the next level, and he even showed some pass-rushing ability. He’s not just a typical space-eater, either, often making plays up and down the line of scrimmage. He earned 75.0-plus overall grades across 450-plus defensive snaps in 2018 and 2019, per PFF.
Robert Windsor, DT, Penn State (6-4, 287 pounds)
A bit undersized for an interior lineman, Windsor might move toward the edge in the NFL. His technique, balance and active hands have helped him improve his pass-rushing grade each season, but he’s already 23 and didn’t hold up well in run defense. If he can get stronger, he could become an effective pass rusher.
Others defensive tackles to watch: Raekwon Davis, Alabama; Josiah Coatney, Ole Miss; Davon Hamilton, Ohio State
Jonah Jackson, G, Ohio State (6-3, 310 pounds)
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Jackson is highly rated for his pass-blocking more than his run-blocking, which might not make him a fit for the Ravens. But he improved his run-blocking in 2019, becoming the fifth-most valuable left guard in PFF’s wins above average metric. His balance, quick hands and production at both right and left guard have made him one of the highest-graded interior linemen in this draft class.
Lloyd Cushenberry III, C, LSU (6-4, 315 pounds)
Cushenberry’s play dropped off dramatically in 2019, as he allowed 34 pressures after giving up just eight in 2018, per PFF. But his strong upper body and handwork have served him well in 27 straight starts at LSU, and he has been praised for his intelligence in leading an offensive line that was named the nation’s best in 2019.
Others offensive linemen to watch: Nick Harris, C, Washington; Damien Lewis, G, LSU; Ben Bredeson, G, Michigan; Matt Hennessy, G, Temple
The Ravens don’t need a starting safety with Earl Thomas III and Chuck Clark returning, but they might see value in Davis as a versatile weapon. As a single-high safety, per PFF, Davis combined to have more interceptions and forced incompletions than catches allowed. He’s also shown an ability to cover in the slot, and while he’s struggled defending the run, he’s a big hitter and can cover a lot of ground in the secondary.