There is one big question mark surrounding the Baltimore Ravens, and that is what they do with Lamar Jackson. That will change the outcome of their draft drastically depending on this outcome. With that in mind, this mock draft is done with the thought in place that Jackson ends up staying in Baltimore. If so, the Ravens have the chance to truly compete and make it back to the playoffs, and these are the players that would help them in 2023.
*Simulated using the PFF Mock Draft Simulator, no trades
Round One- Jordan Addison, Wide Receiver, USC
The top need for the Ravens is wide receiver, and they address that here with a playmaker in Jordan Addison. Addison established himself as one of the top receivers in the nation with his ability to excel in multiple areas of the field. He has the speed and separation ability to be a deep threat, or across the middle of the field with his ability to cut on a dime. His elite change-of-direction ability stands out consistently. During his 2022 season at USC he had 875 yards, 414 yards after the catch, and eight touchdowns over 59 receptions. He was also targeted 79 times and only had two drops. Addison is a reliable receiver who would truly elevate this receiving room.
Round Three- Clark Phillips III, Cornerback, Utah
Now let’s talk about the cornerback room. The pass defense wasn’t fantastic as they allowed 3,947 pass yards, the seventh most on the season, and 20 touchdowns. In addition, Marcus Peters didn’t have a great season and is also a free agent along with Kyle Fuller, and Kevon Seymour. They need another starting caliber cornerback, and Phillips would provide that. Phillips is an extremely aggressive cornerback, and always in the area to make a play due to his recognition ability. Over his career he notched nine interceptions in which he returned four of them for touchdowns. With his aggressive mindset, he isn’t afraid to help in run support and that showed with him making 39 run stops. Phillips has room to grow still, but would be able to start for the Ravens.
Round Four- DJ Turner, Cornerback, Michigan
As previously mentioned, cornerback depth needs to be addressed. Adding to that further is DJ Turner, who reunites with his college defensive coordinator in Mike Macdonald. In the 2021 season that Turner played under Macdonald, he only allowed 26 receptions on 59 targets for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Turner was targeted more heavily this season with 71 times, and while he did allow 408 yards, he still only allowed 33 receptions for only two touchdowns. Turner is great in coverage due to his fluidity that allows him to flip his hips quickly and mirror receivers downfield. He is another high ceiling cornerback that can truly develop into a quality starter at the NFL level over time.
Round Five- Kenny McIntosh, Running Back, Georgia
J.K. Dobbins will remain the starting running back, but outside of him Kenyan Drake is a free agent, and Gus Edwards is good but doesn’t provide much in the receiving game. Kenny McIntosh would provide the Ravens with a running back that is a smooth runner and offers pass catching ability. When running, McIntosh has great footwork, as he is able to plant and cut on a dime when he sees a lane opening or to avoid defenders at the second level. This past season he had his first 100 attempt season after sitting behind James Cook, and he turned that into 824 yards, with 467 yards after contact, 10 touchdowns, and 45 forced missed tackles. As a receiver, he had 42 receptions on 49 targets for 509 yards and two touchdowns. As the second running back with his versatility, he could truly help add to the run game.
Round Six- Puka Nacua, Wide Receiver, BYU
To finish off the draft is with wide receiver depth. Rashod Bateman is going to be coming off the foot injury he suffered, and Demarcus Robinson is a free agent. Adding depth to the receiver room that needs it is Puka Nacua. At 6’1, 205 pounds, he has great size that he pairs with his physicality to win downfield as he uses his frame to shield away defenders. His ability to also haul in off-target passes frequently is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. His route running isn’t superior, which leads to him lacking separation ability. That is something he will need to continue to work on, but as a depth receiver for the team, he provides what the Ravens need.