BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A week has passed since the 2019 NFL Draft took to the streets of Nashville, and as always, there were some head-scratching picks.
The New York Giants selected quarterback Daniel Jones out of Duke, a projected third-round pick, sixth overall.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a kicker for the second time in the past four drafts with their fifth-round pick.
But Ravens rookie General Manager Eric DeCosta did not make any outlandish picks in his first draft. Instead, he filled some important spots that the team needed to address after losing some key players to free agency this offseason.
Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma: Grade, C-
You may be thinking, C- sounds a bit little harsh, but the fact of the matter is the grade has nothing to do with Brown’s talent. That’s right, Brown has all the potential in the world to be a star wide receiver in the league. He has incredible speed and great hands. However, to be a premier wide receiver in the NFL, you need a quarterback who can put the ball in your hands, and well, Lamar Jackson has yet to prove he can deliver the ball to his wide receivers on a consistent basis. Jackson completed just 58 percent of his passes last season, with an average of only 12 yards per-pass completion. Speed is one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL, but it is useless if you don’t have a consistent quarterback under center. Don’t believe me? Just ask John Brown how useful his speed was when Jackson took over as quarterback last season.
Jaylon Ferguson, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Louisiana Tech: Grade, A+
The Ravens may have gotten the biggest steal in the third round of the draft with Ferguson. After losing Terrell Suggs to free agency this offseason, the Ravens replaced him with the all-time Division I leader in sacks. Ferguson broke Suggs’ NCAA record with 45 career sacks. That earned him the nickname “Sack Daddy.” Ferguson also led the FBS in sacks last season with 17.5. There is no doubting that Ferguson can step onto the field and make an immediate impact for the Ravens this season.
Miles Boykin, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame: Grade, C-
The Ravens continued their mission to equip Jackson with weapons on offense, but again, Boykin’s success will rest on the shoulders of his quarterback. Boykin provides the Ravens wide receiving corps with a little more size. He led the Fighting Irish in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions last season. Like Brown, Boykin has the chance to be a solid pick for the Ravens, but until Jackson proves he can be a premier passer in the league, his potential is TBD.
Justice Hill, Running Back, Oklahoma State: Grade, A-
The Ravens relied heavily on their rushing attack last season and will likely continue to be a run first, pass second offense in 2019. The team signed Mark Ingram this offseason and added another solid back with the addition of Hill. Hill ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds at the NFL Combine, the fastest of any running back this year. Last year at Oklahoma State, Hill had 13 games with 100+ rushing yards. There is no doubting Hill will be a great back for Jackson to hand the ball off to and will be a solid addition to the Ravens’ back field.
Ben Powers, Guard, Oklahoma: Grade, B+
The Ravens offensive line was plagued with injuries last season, and a good offense relies on a strong offensive line. The Ravens addressed one of their biggest needs in the draft with the selection of Powers. Powers has the chance to compete for a job immediately. Powers also played with Orlando Brown Jr., the Ravens starting right tackle, during his time at Oklahoma. Look for Powers to fight for a starting gig during camp this season.
Iman Marshall, Corner Back, University of Southern California: Grade, B+
There are a lot of questions about the Ravens defensive back field going into this season. Jimmy Smith, a former first-round pick, is entering the final year of his contract and Brandon Carr isn’t getting any younger. Marshall will bring grit and toughness to the Ravens next season. He had 36 pass break ups last year and is a hard hitter. He will be a welcomed addition to the defense which will be key to the team’s success next year.
Daylon Mack, Defensive Tackle, Texas A&M: Grade, C+
Mack had a strong season for the Aggies last season. He had 17 tackles and 5.5 sacks last season. Mack adds size to the Ravens defensive line at 6’1” 336 lbs. In his sophomore and junior seasons with Texas A&M, Mack underachieved. He struggled with his stamina and it showed on the field. He recorded just 10 tackles in each of those seasons. If Mack is able to get in playing shape, he has the potential to add some much-needed depth to the Ravens defensive front.
Trace McSorley, Quarterback, Penn State: Grade, B-
Last, but certainly not least, McSorley. Very, very interesting pick. The Ravens have committed to Lamar Jackson as their guy and signed Robert Griffin III to a one-year extension. It looks as though it could be another year that the Ravens carry three quarterbacks on their roster. McSorley struggled with throwing the ball accurately at Penn State. He completed just 59 percent of his passes over four years. On the flip side, he threw 77 touchdowns and just 25 interceptions. You have to wonder, if Jackson struggles throughout the mid-way point of the season, will the Ravens let him suffer through some growing pains or turn to Griffin III or even McSorley? This pick just makes you wonder how committed the Ravens are to Jackson at quarterback.