Ravens have 27th overall pick in 2021 NFL Draft
Following their 17-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday and the rest of the Divisional Round action concluding on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens’ position in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft is solidified.
The Ravens have the 27th overall selection on the first night of this year’s three-day event where every NFL franchise replenishes their rosters with promising young talent and make the dreams of a select few draft-eligible prospects come true.
This marks the first time that the Ravens have been assigned the 27th pick heading into the draft in franchise history. They selected cornerback Jimmy Smith 27th overall in 2011 after the time had expired on their original selection at 26.
It ended up working out in their favor considering Smith has spent his entire 10-year career with the team and will be sticking around for his 11th season after signing an extension last month, plays at an elite level when healthy, and made the final in the famous goal-line stand to help the team win Superbowl 47.
Last year the Ravens picked former LSU standout linebacker Patrick Queen 28th overall after the Seattle Seahawks selected Jordyn Brooks out of Texas Tech at the same position at 27th overall.
Due to their rich history of consistent and sustained success, the Ravens are accustomed to picking in the early to late 20s just about every year with the rare pick in the teens and even rarer top 10 pick as occasional outliers once or twice a decade.
While the back half of the first round can sometimes be equivalent to drafting in the early to mid-second, the 27th overall pick has produced a handful of Pro Bowl players in recent memory that include All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans, 2013), cornerback Byron Jones (Dallas Cowboys, 2015), defensive tackle Kenny Clark (Green Bay Packers, 2016) and All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White (Buffalo Bills, 2017).
The Ravens’ 2020 draft class yielded several impactful rookies and General Manager Eric DeCosta is going to need another strong crop if the team is going to reach their ultimate goal in 2021.
Some of the team’s top needs on the roster include outside linebacker where they have four pending unrestricted free agents, the defensive line where three of their starters are over 30 and Derek Wolfe is a pending free agent, at center where they had issues with snaps and inconsistent for most of the season and especially in their playoff loss to the Bills, and at wide receiver where they could use another playmaker to start opposite of Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown.
Quality and starting-caliber players can be found throughout the draft and signed as undrafted free agents, an area the Ravens have historically been the best at.
However, even though they will likely address some if not all of their needs in free agency, the Ravens need to use this pick to get a difference-maker on either side of the ball.