Former NFL player Jamal Lewis announces that the Baltimore Ravens selects Boise State’s Kamalei Correa as the 42nd pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Friday, April 29, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
The Baltimore Ravens used their first-round pick on an elite left tackle prospect to protect their quarterback, but they used nearly half of their remaining draft picks to get after opponents’ quarterbacks.
Four of Baltimore’s 10 picks in the second round through seventh round were used to select players known for harassing quarterbacks on the collegiate level. Boise State outside linebacker Kamalei Correa was taken in the second round, BYU defensive end Bronson Kaufusi was picked in the third round and Grand Valley State outside linebacker Matt Judon was snatched in the fifth round. Even fourth-round pick Willie Henry had a reputation for getting pressure on the QB. He had 6.5 sacks for Michigan last year, despite being listed as a run-stuffing defensive tackle.
Ravens owner Steve Biscotti told the media months ago that he wanted a pass rusher in this year’s draft. Instead, he got four of them as general manager Ozzie Newsome used pick after pick on the position. The new, young depth should ease the concerns of Baltimore’s aging pass rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, who are both in their 30s.
Baltimore also addressed the cornerback position, another major area of concern for the team. Tavon Young of Temple University was drafted with one of the Ravens’ NFL-record five picks in the fourth round. (Ozzie Newsome made some trades in the second round to acquire a couple extra fourth-round picks to add to the extra fourth-round picks they were already given by the league as compensatory picks.) Young may not have been listed as one of the elite corners available in this draft, but his game tape shows a true playmaker in the secondary. He’s small but quick and agile; he’ll compete for a role as a nickel back, where he will be expected to cover the shifty slot receivers of the NFL.
The Ravens did give a little attention to the offense in the later rounds of the draft. A fourth round pick was devoted to Chris Moore, a receiver out of Cincinnati. Moore showed good ability to make plays down the field and catch the deep ball. Nebraska left tackle Alex Lewis was also picked up in the fourth round, adding depth to the offensive line.
But perhaps the most intriguing offensive picks were fourth rounder Kendall Dixon, a running back from Louisiana Tech, and sixth round pick Keenan Reynolds, quarterback at Navy. Both Reynolds and Dixon made college football history this season, ranking No. 1 and No. 2 respectively on the all-time NCAA career touchdown list. Dixon scored 87 touchdowns in his career and Reynolds scored 88. They’re both dangerous players in open field, and should find spots in the Ravens’ offense.