PHILADELPHIA, PA – After three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Ravens have made four selections. All of them are defensive players.
After the Ravens drafted Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey in the first round, and Houston outside linebacker Tyus Bowser in the second round, Baltimore had two picks in the third round, #74 and #78.
Pick #74 – Chris Wormley – DT – Michigan
The first name called for the Ravens in the third round was Michigan defensive tackle Chris Wormley. I wrote a quick scouting report on Wormley in a post on Ebony Bird, but Wormley will be a nice addition to a defensive line that lost both Lawrence Guy and Timmy Jernigan this offseason.
In four seasons with the Wolverines, Wormley made 119 tackles (62 solo), 17.5 sacks (5.5 in 2016), and a forced fumble.
With Jim Harbaugh being the head coach of Michigan, you have to think that Wormley was high on the Ravens’ radar. Even with losing Jernigan and Guy, the Ravens still have a ton of depth along the defensive line. Players like Brent Urban, Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Davis, and Willie Henry will all compete with Wormley for playing time. Not to mention that in the middle of it all stands nose tackle Brandon Williams, who the Ravens resigned to a long-term deal earlier this offseason.
Pick #78 – Tim Williams – OLB – Alabama
Just four picks after the Ravens took Wormley, Baltimore drafted Alabama outside linebacker Tim Williams. The selection of Williams makes the first four Baltimore draft picks all defensive players, and the second to be taken from Alabama, which is of course Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome’s Alma-Mater.
Williams was a two-year starter in his time with the Crimson Tide. In 14 games last season, he racked up 31 tackles, nine sacks, two passes defensed, and two forced fumbles (one fumble recovery). In four seasons, he totaled 57 tackles (38 solo), and 20 sacks.
Ever since the infamous Ray Rice debacle, the Ravens have shied away from taking chances on players that have off-the-field issues. Well, there is some baggage with Williams. Nothing major, but there are some concerns.
At the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year, Williams admitted that he failed multiple drug tests during his time at Alabama. He was never suspended, but he sat out a half of one game for being arrested on a misdemeanor gun charge.
From a unit standpoint, Williams will be joining a group that is led by 14-year veteran Terrell Suggs. Second-year man Matt Judon and third-year man Za’Darius Smith are the young players that have some experience in Baltimore’s system. Pass rusher was a big need for the Ravens entering the draft, and they have addressed it by drafting both Bowser and Williams.
Jake’s Take: From a defensive standpoint, I am very excited to watch this defense. The Ravens have tons of depth all over the defense, and it is shaping up to be a lights-out unit.
However, I am very concerned about the offense. I feel like I am beating a dead horse here, but at the State of the Ravens press conference a few months ago, the Ravens emphasized how much they need to built around Joe Flacco. Aside from the addition of running back Danny Woodhead, the Ravens have not helped Flacco out at all, and that is concerning. Yes, Flacco needs to step up his play next season, but you have to help him out.
The Ravens enter day 3 of the draft tomorrow without picking a single offensive player. That needs to change tomorrow. The Ravens have three picks left, and several positions need to be filled, including wide receiver and offensive line/center.
When the draft is over, I fully expect Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens’ brass to say that “they are not done adding players yet.” Okay, but realistically, how much is going to be left out on the market for them to add?
Final Say: As I said before, the defense looks to be great next year, and I think it will be. However, the offense was in serious need of several positions before the draft started, and nothing has been done to address those needs.