The Baltimore Ravens completed yet another NFL Draft last week and added plenty of talent. Just before the draft, the news that quarterback Lamar Jackson was signing a five-year, $260 million contract. That set the tone for what would become an awesome three days of player acquisition.
“I would say that every single guy on this list has played starter-level football and we think can be a starter in the NFL,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. “The mindset for me this year was just, ‘Try not to worry as much about the needs, and just draft the best guy that’s there at every single pick,’ and I think we did it.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Ravens a B+ for their draft.
“Getting my top-ranked wideout Zay Flowers (22) a few hours later had to have made Jackson even more happy,” Kiper said. “Baltimore traded away its second-round pick in this draft to land off-ball linebacker Roquan Smith, and it took my top-ranked off-ball ‘backer in this class in Round 3. Trenton Simpson (86) could be a steal — I had him ranked No. 35 on my board. He can play on third downs and stick to tight ends in coverage. …DeCosta didn’t do his usual wheeling and dealing with trades this weekend, but he landed a nice class, headlined by my guy Flowers.”
The 2023 Ravens draft class only consisted of five players. But sometimes it’s quality over quantity. As DeCosta said, there are multiple likely starters from this group. That’s essential for a team like the Ravens that is looking to improve upon their recent playoff appearances and win a Super Bowl.
Here is a list of the five Ravens draft picks with individual analysis from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
1st Round No. 22 overall
Zay Flowers | WR | Boston College
Slot target who plays with unbridled energy and immense confidence. Flowers is slightly built but can side-step press and fly into action with above-average acceleration and an attacking demeanor. Flowers has a tendency to rush his routes, but his ability to play with speed and move with athleticism makes him hard to read for defenders. His ball skills will shine brightly at times, but frustrating drops come with the package. Flowers has the skill set to become a valuable playmaker as a pro.
3rd Round No. 86 overall
Trenton Simpson | LB | Clemson
Chiseled weakside linebacker with rare speed for the position to run down the action in all directions. Simpson played inside in 2022 but displayed average play recognition and a lack of patience that saw him get caught in traffic near the line. He can play run-and-hit football with his speed when playing outside. He needs to cut back the arm tackles and pursue with better angles to the ball. He’s a premium athlete capable of squeezing routes from zone and attacking the pocket as a blitzer. Simpson isn’t quite game-ready yet, but players with his traits and range eventually find the field.
4th Round No. 124 overall
Tavius Robinson | EDGE | Mississippi
Ascending, even-front defensive end prospect with outstanding traits and projectable upside. Robinson plays with good aggression and heavy hands as both a run defender and pass rusher. He has the agility and foot quickness to beat blockers whether chasing the run or rushing the passer. Robinson attacks the pocket with a game plan and a variety of moves at his disposal. He needs to grow into his frame to improve against the run, but Robinson should become a rotational defender and has future-starter potential.
5th Round No. 157 overall
Kyu Blu-Kelly | CB | Standord
Defender with good size, length and NFL bloodlines, but a concerning lack of recovery speed and coverage stickiness against quality route runners. When in position, Kelly possesses the ball skills and competitiveness to contest catches. He’s patient and efficient from press, but he could struggle to stay in phase with vertical route threats in man-to-man coverage. Kelly might be best suited for a backup role in a zone scheme, but the aggression will need to be cranked up in run support.
6th Round No. 199 overall
Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu | OT | Oregon
Powerful lineman whose lack of instincts and technique could make him a candidate for the practice squad as the jump-off point for his career. Aumavae-Laulu has the physical traits teams look for but lacks consistency with his hands and body composure getting into blocks. His odds of roster success will be much higher at the guard position, where he has enough athletic ability and power to potentially fit a wide variety of run schemes while creating better matchups for him in protection.
7th Round No. 229 overall
Andrew Voorhees | OL | USC
Guard prospect with five years of starting experience that shows itself with consistency and football IQ. Vorhees is a technically sound run blocker with a repeatable process. His range laterally and to the second level will be a little limited, but he’s an even-paced drive blocker, using excellent positioning, leveraged hands and churning legs. He needs to get quicker with inside hands in pass protection and guard against trying to protect his edges with his hands rather than a foot slide. The injury he suffered during his NFL Scouting Combine workout could cause him to fall in the draft, but he has the potential to become a starter when he’s fully healthy.