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2021 NFL Mock Draft: Baltimore Ravens add a wide receiver

With the 31st overall pick in the 2021 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Baltimore Ravens GM Leo Bideo selects ...

LSU v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

When I was first awarded the opportunity to make the 31st pick for Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, I did what I usually do for this kind of exercise. With plenty of time till my pick write-up was due, I did my due diligence – studying needs, player fits, scouting reports, all that kind of stuff. In the end, I landed on a player that was not my favorite guy in the draft but was the best value and the best fit for what they needed. He was certainly rated much higher than just your standard cromulent* player. I did my write-up and even submitted it a few days early.

Of course, as SOON as I did, a wrench got thrown into the works. The Chiefs traded the pick to Baltimore, and I had to go through my process again only this time at light speed. Last one I had 3 weeks to do. This time I had 2 days max! So I hope you’ll go easy on me, at least a little.

Recent History:

Baltimore went into last season with high hopes, and a Super Bowl trip seemed almost expected. But things didn’t go exactly according to plans. The Ravens started out strong, and by week 9 were 6-2. But then they went flat, losing 4 of their next 5 before winning their last 5 to finish 11-5. After sneaking by the Titans in the Wild Card game, they were ousted from the playoffs pretty handily by Buffalo in the Divisional Round, a game in which they scored only three points. The 2020 season, which would have been considered a good one by many teams, was considered a disappointment by the Ravens’ ownership, players, and fans, and it shone a light on a few deficiencies:

Ravens’ Needs:

  1. Right Tackle – With Orlando Brown traded, they need a new starting right tackle. Currently, they have penciled in the 34-year-old, oft-injured Andre Smith (formerly of the Bengals). They’re going to have to do better than Smith.
  2. Linebacker – It seems weird to say that the Ravens need a linebacker or two. For as long as they’ve been a team it seems like they’ve always had a stable of badass linebackers. But not now. Patrick Queen was a great pick last year. But after Queen the rest of their linebackers are a collection of JAGs, including a declining Pernell McPhee and a handful of high-round draft misses and UDFAs. Patrick Queen is good, but he needs help. They need another alpha dog linebacker.
  3. Edge – In this offseason, the Ravens have lost Edge rushers Yannick Ngakoue and Matthew Judon. That’s a loss of roughly 16 sacks on average. Currently, they are being replaced by Derrick Wolfe and 35-year old Calais Campbell, who combined to collect 5 sacks last year. An upgrade is definitely needed.
  4. Wide Receiver – Hollywood Brown and Miles Boykin are currently the starting outside receivers. In order to take the next step, the Ravens need to give Lamar Jackson much better weapons at the position, including a true #1 WR if possible. Brown is good as a periodic big-play threat, but he’s not a stud that will regularly eat up catches and take over a game. Baltimore has not had a lot of success drafting receivers, and in fact, have only drafted a receiver in the first round twice in franchise history (Brett Perriman - 2015, Mark Clayton - 2005). Neither player played to their draft spot. It’s time to try again.

Thought Process:

The Ravens have a good team. They will continue to win 9 -11 games per season, have an exciting quarterback and a tough defense. But unless they upgrade some of the key positions outlined above, they won’t get themselves to the next level. The level that is required to compete for the Superbowl. This pick should be the BPA at a position of need. Someone that can step in, contribute pretty early, and improve the performance of the team

So based on that approach, here were my final thoughts on the primary needs and what lead me to where I wound up:

1. Right Tackle – A LOT of offensive tackles were scooped up before my pick, and although there is a small group of OTs available that I have rated just a little bit later than 31, they’re not close enough for my comfort level. So they feel like a reach. I think the Ravens can get a decent offensive tackle in round 3 or so, and if not, with an extra 3rd, 4th, and 5th round pick this year they certainly have the ammo to trade up into the 2nd round to get one if they need to.

2. Linebacker – I don’t see the Ravens drafting a linebacker in the first round two years in a row, although they did it in their first two drafts ever, taking Ray Lewis in 1996 and Peter Boulware in 1997. There are plenty of good linebackers spread throughout the rounds of this draft, and it seems almost frivolous to take one in the first again. Other positions will see a better return for pick 31.

3. Edge – This was taken care of with pick 27 where Brendanekstrom wisely selected Azeez Ojulari, DE, Georgia.

This takes us to:

4. Wide Receiver – This is the position where a rookie can come in and immediately make a difference for the offense. Just ask the Vikings. It needs to be a big, strong, consistent guy who is able to up and dominate a game. Add that player to Lamar Jackson, JK Dobbins, Mark Andrews, and Hollywood Brown and you have a great selection of exciting skill players spread throughout the offense, and the likelihood of laying a 3-pt egg in the playoffs goes way down. Wide receiver it is! Besides, I don’t have any OT or linebackers graded high enough to warrant taking them here/

The Pick

At pick 31, I had my choice of wide receivers Terrace Marshall Jr., Kadarious Toney, Rondale Moore, and Dyami Brown. No contest. I don’t trust Toney’s upside (he’s only had one big year at Miami), Moore is an injury waiting to happen, and Brown is a nice player but he’s not a #31.

“With the 31st pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Terrace Marshall Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU.”

Specifications

Height: 6’ 3”

Weight: 200 lbs.

Arms: 32 3/4

Hands: 9 1/2

40-Yard Dash: 4.38

Vertical Jump: 39

Broad Jump: 125

Games: 28

Catches: 106

Yards: 1594

TD: 23

Resume

  • Marshall Jr. scored 13 touchdowns in 2019 playing BEHIND J’Mar Chase and Justin Jefferson.
  • In 2020 as the top dog for LSU he had 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns before opting out after only 7 games.
  • Accumulated almost all of his stats in two years (2019 and 2020)
  • He is the great-nephew of the late Joe Delaney, a talented NFL running back who drowned in 1983 trying to rescue three children at the bottom of a pond.

Marshall was the top receiver prospect in the country despite suffering a dislocated ankle and fractured leg during his senior year at Parkway High School in Bossier City, Louisiana. He earned the Shreveport Times Male Athlete of the Year award as a junior, scoring 15 touchdowns. His home-state Tigers put him to work right away, even starting Marshall once as a true freshman (12 receptions, 192 yards, 16.0 average in 13 games). Despite missing three games with a fractured toe, he was a major factor for the national champs as a sophomore, catching 46 passes for 671 yards (14.6 per) and 13 scores. Marshall, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson each caught more than 10 TDs for LSU in 2019. He started the first seven games of the 2020 season, leading the team in receiving during that time (48 receptions, 731 yards, 15.2 average, 10 TDs), before opting out for the remainder of the campaign.

What they’re saying:

Joe Marino (TDN):

In 2019, LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. was “the other guy” in a historic Tigers offense that featured dynamic talents at receiver in Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. With neither Chase nor Jefferson in the mix in 2020, it was Marshall’s chance to shine and he took full advantage. In seven games in 2020, Marshall averaged more than 100 receiving yards per game and hauled in double-digit touchdown receptions for the second consecutive season. Marshall is a versatile receiver that has proven himself both from the slot and out wide while attacking all levels of the field with consistency. He offers terrific size, physicality, hands, ball skills, run after catch ability, route-running skills, and overall technical refinement. Marshall did miss three games in 2019 with a foot injury, had some minor drop issues creep up in 2020, and has some inconsistent moments as a blocker, but there isn’t much in the way of notable concerns as he enters the next level. Marshall has the potential to become a productive piece of an NFL offense that can produce in a variety of ways.

Ian Cummings (PFN):

Which teams are especially good matches for Marshall?

In the modern NFL, you can never have enough dynamic weaponry in your arsenal, and that’s exactly what LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. will provide, potentially for a discounted price. Marshall Jr. has a rare size-speed combination, which inherently provides him a sort of upside that many teams should be in the market for.

Marshall’s limited run-after-catch production will, to this point, keep him off of certain teams’ draft boards, but his ability to make a quarterback’s job easier with his size and speed by elongating catch windows will inevitably be in high demand. Teams like the Buffalo Bills, Washington Football Team, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, and Los Angeles Chargers can especially benefit.

Kevin Oestreicher, (RavensWire)

Marshall has great hands, good body control, and is an excellent route runner. He also can play both on the outside or in the slot, something that the Ravens would value. While the team is most likely looking for more of an outside threat, his positional versatility would give Baltimore plenty of ways to move their skill-position players all over the field.

There’s no guarantee that Marshall is on the board when the Ravens pick at No. 27. His size, speed, and athleticism have cemented him as at least an early Day 2 pick in the draft, and it’s likely that a team will snatch him up in the first round. It seems unlikely that Baltimore would trade up for him, but if he’s available, the 27th pick could have Marshall’s name written all over it.

Summary

The Ravens are a good team that just needs to improve a few spots to go from good to great. Acquiring a big stud wide receiver is the first step in doing so. Terrace Marshall Jr. is the highest-rated player at a position of need that is still left on my board. Baltimore can take him at 31 and feel good that they got a really good player that is going to make the offense better.

*your standard cromulent player = Hat-tip to BLG

Poll

Do you approve of this pick?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Yes
    (162 votes)
  • 23%
    No
    (49 votes)
211 votes total Vote Now

2021 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Jaguars (Phoenix X Minimus): QB Trevor Lawrence
2) Jets (eagles.north.of.the.border): QB Zach Wilson
3) 49ers (I Need a Username): QB Trey Lance
4) Falcons (chewy wellington): OT Penei Sewell
5) Bengals (Dr_Horrible): WR Ja’Marr Chase
6) Dolphins (20Safety_Hazard): TE Kyle Pitts
7) Lions (drc242): WR DeVonta Smith
8) Panthers (wildcatlh): QB Justin Fields
9) Broncos (ItownBallers22): CB Patrick Surtain II
10) Cowboys (Kephas): OT Rashawn Slater
11) Giants (Billmington): WR Jaylen Waddle
12) Eagles (ablesser88): CB Jaycee Horn
13) Chargers (Georgia_eagle): LB Micah Parsons
14) Vikings (Philliesandthebees): OT Alijah Vera-Tucker
15) Patriots (SakPrescott): QB Mac Jones
16) Cardinals (Carson Wentzs ACL): CB Greg Newsome II
17) Raiders (dshelton5): LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
18) Dolphins (J. Wil): DE Kwity Paye
19) Football Team (Negadelphia Norm): LB Nick Bolton
20) Bears (Happy24): CB Caleb Farley
21) Colts (Fly Like An Eagle): OT Christian Darrisaw
22) Titans (Friendly Neighborhood Philly Fan): LB Zaven Collins
23) Jets (Asap Stocky): OT Teven Jenkins
24) Steelers (Gregnado): OT Samuel Cosmi
25) Jaguars (“Snax”): DE Jaelen Phillips
26) Browns (gerouxman1956): LB Jamin Davis
27) Ravens (Brendanekstrom): DE Azeez Ojulari
28) Saints (grantspectations): S Trevon Moehrig
29) Packers (Philly_Philly): CB Asante Samuel Jr.
30) Bills (doublefry): DT Christian Barmore
31) Ravens (Leo Bedio): WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
32) Buccaneers (phuckdallas):


Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think should be selected in the 2021 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.

Poll

Who should the Baltimore Ravens draft at No. 31? (Keep in mind you had them take Rashod Bateman at No. 27)

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
    (48 votes)
  • 2%
    WR Elijah Moore
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    WR Rondale Moore
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    OT Liam Eichenberg
    (12 votes)
  • 2%
    OT Jalen Mayfield
    (6 votes)
  • 9%
    OT Alex Leatherwood
    (20 votes)
  • 1%
    C Landon Dickerson
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    C Creed Humphrey
    (3 votes)
  • 13%
    DE Jaelan Phillips
    (27 votes)
  • 11%
    DE Gregory Rousseau
    (24 votes)
  • 20%
    DE Azeez Ojulari
    (43 votes)
  • 6%
    DE Jayson Oweh
    (13 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now

1) Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence
2) Jets: QB Zach Wilson:
3) 49ers: QB Justin Fields
4) Falcons: OT Penei Sewell
5) Bengals: WR Ja’Marr Chase
6) Dolphins: TE Kyle Pitts
7) Lions: WR DeVonta Smith
8) Panthers: OT Rashawn Slater
9) Broncos: QB Trey Lance
10) Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II
11) Giants: LB Micah Parsons
12) Eagles: WR Jaylen Waddle
13) Chargers: CB Jaycee Horn
14) Vikings: OT Alijah Vera-Tucker
15) Patriots: QB Mac Jones
16) Cardinals: CB Caleb Farley
17) Raiders: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
18) Dolphins: RB Najee Harris
19) Football Team: OT Christian Darrisaw
20) Bears: OT Teven Jenkins
21) Colts: DE Kwity Paye
22) Titans: CB Greg Newsome II
23) Jets: OT Samuel Cosmi
24) Steelers: RB Travis Etienne
25) Jaguars: DT Christian Barmore
26) Browns: LB Jamin Davis
27) Ravens: WR Rashod Bateman
28) Saints: S Trevon Moehrig
29) Packers: WR Kadarius Toney
30) Bills: CB Asante Samuel Jr.
31) Ravens: