OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens satisfied several areas of need in the 2021 NFL draft.
Baltimore added eight playmakers primed to start or will add valuable depth to their respective positions.
Here's a look at the 2021 draft class
Round 1: No. 27 – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Analysis: Bateman, who ran a 4.3, is a good fit in Baltimore, giving quarterback Lamar Jackson a sure-handed target that can separate on time. While the target volume may never be great in this situation, the Minnesota product will be a reliable stick mover and immediate impact player.
Projection: Bateman will compete for a starting job opposite Marquise Brown.
Round 1: No 31 – Odafe Oweh, LB, Penn State
Analysis: Oweh is an explosive player that can fly to the ball. He made seven starts. Oweh ecame the first Penn State defensive lineman with 10 or more tackles in a game since Yetur Gross-Matos against Indiana in 2018 (10 tackles). .Oweh had 38 tackles through the first seven games of the season, the most by a Penn State defensive lineman since Daquan Jones in 2013 and Austin Johnson in 2015 (40).
Projection: Oweh will get the opportunity to make an immediate impact in Baltimore, which lost three of its top pass rushers — Matt Judon Yannick Ngakoue and Jihad Ward — to free agency.
Round 3: No. 94 – Ben Cleveland, G, Georgia
Analysis: Cleveland is n nicknamed “Big Country” for his impressive 6-foot-6 and 343-pound frame. Despite his size, Cleveland had an impressive pro day, running a 4.85 in the 40-yard dash. However, he suffered a fractured fibula that forced him to miss six weeks during the 2018 season.
Projection: Cleveland will get the chance to start at left guard if Bradley Bozeman moves to center or he will be a key backup.
Round 3: No. 104 – Brandon Stephens, CB, SMU
Analysis: Stephens began his collegiate career as a running back at UCLA. He transferred to SMU in 2019 and made the transition to cornerback. Last season, he started all 10 games for SMU, finishing with 43 tackles (36 solo), including one for loss. He also led the conference with 10 pass breakups and had one interception, one fumble recovery and a quarterback hit.
Projection: Stephens will make an impact on special teams and provide depth behind starters Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters.
Round 4: No. 131 – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Analysis: Wallace earned second-team All-America honors from both the AFCA and Walter Camp teams. A semifinalist for several national awards, including the Biletnikoff Award, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, and Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Projection: With the addition of Wallace, the Ravens have at least seven wide receivers who could make the roster at this point. This means there will be fierce competition at training camp if the team decides to carry only six wideouts.
Round 5: No. 160 (from Arizona) – Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Analysis: Wade, who was voted a team captain last fall, struggled with a lingering turf toe injury. He still managed to record 35 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown in a seven-point win over Indiana. Wade was named a consensus All-American and the Buckeyes’ first-ever Big Ten defensive back of the year as a result.
Projection: Wade will compete for playing time in the rotation at cornerback and can make an impact on special teams.
Round 5: No. 171 – Daelin Hayes, DE, Notre Dame
Analysis: In his five seasons with the Fighting Irish, Hayes recorded 97 tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, one interception, four passes defended, and four forced fumbles. He was named team captain in 2020 and is heralded for all the work he does in the community. He was a Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year finalist in 2020
Projection: Hayes is versatile and can play his way into the rotation at defensive end.
Round 5: No. 184 – Ben Mason, FB, Michigan
Analysis: Mason appeared in 45 games for Michigan, including one start on the defensive line. He was voted team captain for the 2020 season. Fullbacks matter and maybe none more so than Mason, who was one of the top fullbacks in the draft class and a Senior Bowl participant in 2021. Mason excels in the uglier areas of the game. He is a fantastic blocker and people mover generating power from his strong lower body effectively. He uses his natural leverage to move bigger guys at an extremely high rate.
Projection: A darkhorse player that can set the tone with his aggressiveness. His versatility will get him on the field.