N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
I’ll get straight to the point and not bury the lead, as this is going to be a controversial pick – but it shouldn’t be. This is going to be who the Ravens choose on draft day, and for good reason. “Ravens Football” is a real thing. It’s a culture that centers around toughness, grit, physicality, and passion. It typically takes the form of a hard-nosed, punishing defense and a relentless run game. This has been and will likely always be the culture of Baltimore Ravens Football. Even with new GM, Eric DeCosta, this will still be the identity of this football team. When DeCosta makes his 1st pick in his new position, I believe he is going to select a player that not only fills a need for the team but embodies these characteristics that the organization values so highly. Enter N’Keal Harry…
Harry’s strengths (from NFL.com’s draft profile) include:
- Highly competitive at everything he does
- Fearless play demeanor with alpha swagger
- Junkyard dog who is willing to scrap as a blocker
He’s being compared to both Allen Robinson and Alshon Jeffery, receivers who won’t wow you with speed or quickness, but will manhandle corners in space and consistently win contested jump balls. He will bring reliable hands, a huge catch radius, and sensational blocking to a team that desperately needs it. Let’s pause for a second and think a little bit about some of the raven’s needs…
The 2019 Baltimore Ravens have a lot of them. Let’s start on offense. They have a sophomore QB who, in his rookie season, had almost as many rushing attempts as he did passing attempts. They probably have 4 TEs that could be starting on almost any team in the NFL, and have recently chosen to employ Mark Ingram at RB. Their #1 WR coming into this year is Willie Snead (yes you read that right). While they do have some need for depth at interior OL, they have several solid pieces in place already.
On defense, this past offseason was not kind to them. Losing both C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs is a huge blow to both the talent level on defense as well as the culture and leadership. Za’Darius Smith will be made out as a significant loss, but he was more of a role player on that defense. Make no mistake, the Ravens have a dire need for talent on the defensive line. The team is high on Michael Pierce and Chris Wormley, so I don’t see DT as a huge need. The team is also high on Matthew Judon, but they also have some need for depth in the LB core. They will remain pretty solid on the back end, headlined by budding star Marlon Humphrey and newly acquired Earl Thomas.
So to recap, I have their major needs as WR, IOL, DE/OLB, and LB.
At pick 22, it was always going to be tough for the Ravens to get a blue-chip level player at any of their positions of need. I’ll commend my fellow BGN drafters, as this has been one of the most solid and realistic mock drafts I’ve seen, maybe ever. All of my favorite players who I thought would drop have already been taken, and I’m left with questionable choices at most positions. I ultimately whittled down my choices to N’Keal Harry, AJ Brown, Jaylon Ferguson, and Dexter Lawrence.
You could make a case for any of those as each will have red flags. I think this is a little too high to take Ferguson, despite his upside, and Lawrence. I personally have AJ Brown as a higher rated WR than N’Keal due to a more complete skill set, but I believe that the Ravens will choose the player who will fit their culture like a glove. Harry is obviously not without flaws. He has been criticized for not being “explosive” enough in both speed or quickness. While that is a valid concern, he alleviated that to some extent by running a 4.53 at the combine.
For some reference, in the Raven’s 25 year existence, they have drafted a WR 5 times above the 4th round. Let that sink in. This led me to putting more weight in some recent comments of GM Eric DeCosta, as he talked about the team needing to take more shots at the receiver position. He said:
“One of the biggest things we have to do is just take some at-bats and swing. It’s hard to be a .400 hitter if you’re only at bat twice. We’ve got to take some chances. We’ve got to find some guys that we like and try to appreciate the really good football players, the guys that make plays.”
I truly believe that the Ravens will select N’Keal Harry. I think he fits the mold of what they will look to do on offense and offers a skill set that many other WRs in this draft do not – specifically a mean streak when it comes to run blocking and a catch radius that has the potential to be elite. As an anecdote, I also do not consider Lamar Jackson to be a “precision passer” by any means, and would benefit most from a receiver that has such a large catch radius and an ability to consistently win contested passes.
DeCosta also said “Receivers come in all different shapes and sizes. Some guys are big and physical. Some guys are fast and run good routes. Other guys catch the ball really well. Other guys drop three or four balls but catch six or seven touchdowns. It really comes down to finding the guys that fit who we are, that we like, who can help us win football games.” This statement, in my opinion, embodies what N’Keal Harry offers as a WR.
Do you approve of this pick?
This poll is closed
2019 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Cardinals (Philliesandthebees): Kyler Murray
2) 49ers (SakPrescott): Nick Bosa
3) Jets (thealien2696): Quinnen Williams
4) Raiders (SisyphusNoMore): Josh Allen
5) Buccaneers (EAGLESBSU): Montez Sweat
6) Giants (ablesser88): Dwayne Haskins
7) Jaguars (20Safety_Hazards): Jawaan Taylor
8) Lions (89Tremaine): Ed Oliver
9) Bills (drc242): Jonah Williams
10) Broncos (ItownBallers22): Devin White
11) Bengals (Phoenix X Maximus): Cody Ford
12) Packers (Palaniappan K M): Brian Burns
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh): Andre Dillard
14) Falcons (Happy24): Rashan Gary
15) Washington (roberticus01): D.K. Metcalf
16) Panthers (JALupowitz): Clelin Ferrell
17) Giants (KevinDont): Devin Bush
19) Titans (Big Schmoopie): Christian Wilkins
20) Steelers (J. Wil): T.J. Hockenson
21) Seahawks (NickfoleonDynamite): Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
22) Ravens (GMinTraining): N’Keal Harry
23) Texans (EaglesRock94)
24) Raiders (SummersInVA):
25) Eagles (I Need a Username):
26) Colts (Nolo0oo):
27) Raiders (SLC Eagle):
28) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!):
29) Chiefs (Boxer Madness):
30) Packers (Kephas):
31) Rams (Matthieuck):
32) Patriots (Zett_66):
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Ravens should pick in the 2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.
Who should the Ravens select at No. 22 overall?
This poll is closed
2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft
1) Cardinals: Kyler Murray
2) 49ers: Nick Bosa
3) Jets: Quinnen Williams
4) Raiders: Josh Allen
5) Buccaneers: Montez Sweat
6) Giants: Dwayne Haskins
7) Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor
8) Lions: Ed Oliver
9) Bills: Jonah Williams
10) Broncos: Devin White
11) Bengals: Devin Bush
12) Packers: T.J. Hockenson
13) Dolphins: Andre Dillard
14) Falcons: Rashan Gary
15) Washington: Drew Lock
16) Panthers: Clelin Ferrell
17) Giants: Brian Burns
18) Vikings: Noah Fant
19) Titans: Christian Wilkins
20) Steelers: D.K. Metcalf
21) Seahawks: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson