General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta excite Baltimore again with a great 2015 draft class.
Nine new players will be added to the Ravens’ roster this fall, some who will need to immediately fill in big empty spots on the team. With the departures of former big time Ravens such as Torrey Smith, Haloti Nagata, and Pernell McPhee, Newsome focused primarily on rebuilding the team with younger players.
In the first round, the Ravens drafted Breshad Perriman as the 26 pick, a versatile wide receiver with very good size. Coming out of the University of Central Florida, Perriman ended his senior season, according to the Baltimore Sun, with a personal high of 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns. The 6′ 2″, 212-pound rookie will most likely be immediately inserted into Marc Trestman’s offense as a new weapon for Joe Flacco.
Fans have to be excited about the Ravens pick of Maxx Williams, tight end out of The University of Minnesota, who is considered by some NFL experts as the best tight end in the draft. A 6’4″, 250-pound threat will be valuable making plays in the red zone while the question still hangs around of Dennis Pitta’s return from his hip injury. Williams was Minnesota’s leading receiver last season and will most likely play side by side with second-year blocking tight end Crockett Gilmore.
Third round pick Carl Davis will likely be a huge improvement to the defense and a noticeable presence on the defensive line. This two-time, second-team, all BIG-Ten selection recorded 36 tackles his senior season. Coach Harbaugh looks to have Davis set up on the line with Chris Canty, DeAnjelo Tyson, and Brandon Williams.
Outside linebacker, Za’Darius Smith, out of Kentucky, has his eyes set on filling the shoes of Pernell McPhee. With 3.5 sacks his senior season and 24 starts for his college career, Smith will hopefully be a fourth round steal the Ravens find success in. Smith will play the pass rushing position alongside Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, and Courtney Upshaw.
The one surprise and questionable call the Ravens faced in the draft room was their handling of picking a cornerback. The coaching staff decided to wait until the number 136 pick to take cornerback Tray Walker out of Texas Southern. Many experts, from CBS Sports, agreed that the Ravens were in much need of a defensive back and believed that Newsome would find one early in the draft.
The Ravens also picked up a solid running back, a guard, and another tight end and wide receiver later in the draft. These players will have to compete more heavily to be on the 53 man roster come fall.
Baltimore has full confidence in Ozzie. Fans look forward to the impact that these players will have on the roster this year.
All information from this article came from 2015 Draft on nfl.com, Meet the Ravens’ 2015 draft picks on baltimoresun.com, 2015 NFL Draft Grades on cbssports.com, and The Ravens 2015 Draft Tracker on baltimoreravens.com