2023 NFL Draft Grades: Baltimore Ravens
The 2023 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror, and we have compiled a consensus ranking using NFL draft grades from a variety of sites.
What draft grades have the media given to the Baltimore Ravens? What are they saying about the Ravens' 2023 draft haul?
MORE: 2023 NFL Strength of Schedule
NFL.com - Grade: A
The Ravens found a tough and quick receiver in Flowers to complement Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman. Even after wisely trading their 2023 second-round pick for linebacker Roquan Smith last season, Simpson's closing speed and ability to play outside or inside made him a home run pick in Round 3.
Robinson adds needed depth off the edge. Kelly can lose his target in man but will attack plays in zone. He was a good find for Baltimore in the fifth round. Aumavae-Laulu is massive, like some of his predecessors at tackle for the Ravens, but he has better short-area quickness than you'd expect. Vorhees is working his way back from an ACL tear he suffered at the NFL Scouting Combine. He could end up being a tremendous Round 7 value after he returns.
ESPN - Grade: B+
Baltimore's best move on Thursday? Signing Lamar Jackson to a long-term deal, of course. Everything else was overshadowed by the news that the quarterback would be back. And still, getting my top-ranked wideout, Zay Flowers (22), a few hours later had to have made Jackson even more happy. Ravens receivers caught just seven touchdown passes all of last season, and general manager Eric DeCosta has now added Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. to the depth chart. Flowers will make plays out of the slot, but he can line up outside too. He can break tackles or run by defensive backs. This is an awesome addition.
Baltimore traded away its second-round pick in this draft to land off-ball linebacker Roquan Smith, and it took my top-ranked off-ball 'backer in this class in Round 3. Trenton Simpson (86) could be a steal; I had him ranked No. 35 on my board. He can play on third downs and stick to tight ends in coverage. This pick might be an admission that Patrick Queen hasn't quite worked out since being taken in the first round in 2020.
Cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly (157) was a value on my board, and I like the stash pick of guard Andrew Vorhees (229), who likely will sit out all of 2023 after a recent knee injury. He would have been a second- or third-rounder without the injury.
DeCosta didn't do his usual wheeling and dealing with trades this weekend, but he landed a nice class, headlined by my guy Flowers.
SI - Grade: B+
The Ravens had another good draft. What else is new? Baltimore signed quarterback Lamar Jackson to a five-year extension before the draft began, and then gave him a new weapon in Flowers. A four-year contributor with Boston College, Flowers should step in and form a nice trio with veterans Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman. Baltimore also did a nice job to land Simpson in the second round, who should provide a nice rotational piece alongside Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen at the second level. Kelly is also a sleeper in the fourth, a Senior Bowl standout who could eventually replace Marcus Peters, who is currently a free agent.
PFF - Grade: B
Day 1: Flowers is shifty, knows how to separate and complements what the Ravens have at the position well. He can replace the production they lost from Hollywood Brown after trading him away last year, as Flowers racked up 500 receiving yards on throws 20-plus yards downfield.
Day 2: Baltimore gets good value here in Clemson off-ball linebacker Trenton Simpson, a former five-star recruit in the 2020 class. Simpson's numbers did dip a bit from 2021 to 2022 as he moved from an overhang role to playing more in between the tackles, but the Ravens will surely take advantage of the physically gifted linebacker's versatility.
Day 3: Robinson has all the tools at 6-foot-6 and 257 pounds. He is a project, though, and while he has the length and power to play in the NFL, he needs to widen his pass-rush arsenal. Baltimore won't ask him to play a ton early, and they'll have to decide if he is a 3-4 end or an outside linebacker in their defense.
Kelly has a ton of football experience as the son of a former NFL corner and a four-year starter at Stanford, which ran a man-heavy scheme in his time there. Nonetheless, Kelly may be a better fit in a zone scheme due to his length and vision.
Vorhees made news at the combine after putting up 38 bench press reps (98th percentile) after tearing his ACL in the drills. That speaks to the kind of power that he brings to the interior. Vorhees earned 80.0-plus PFF grades in each of the past two seasons as a starter for USC and is an intriguing "redshirt" selection here for Baltimore in the seventh round.
Fox Sports - Grade: B+
You closed a quarter-billion-dollar deal to keep Lamar Jackson hours before the draft, so you could draft nearly anyone and it's still a good weekend. Leading with Zay Flowers (after landing Odell Beckham) makes life easier for Jackson and new OC Todd Monken, and linebacker Trenton Simpson is solid for a third-rounder. Stealing USC lineman Andrew Voorhees in the seventh round, knowing he's lost for the year to a torn ACL, feels like a bargain start to their 2024 draft.
USA Today - Grade: B+
It may not technically count as part of the draft, but finally striking an extension with QB Lamar Jackson set a nice tone Thursday and allowed GM Eric DeCosta to focus on player procurement without distraction. And he wasted little time getting Jackson another nifty weapon in explosive first-round slot WR Zay Flowers. DeCosta traded his second-round pick last year to get LB Roquan Smith (well-spent capital) and got rangy Trenton Simpson, who might be Smith's running mate in the long term, in Round 3.
The Ringer - Grade: B
The Ravens had a relatively quiet draft and picked just twice in the first three rounds (they gave their second-rounder to Chicago last year in the trade for linebacker Roquan Smith), but I liked what they did with limited capital. Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers, Baltimore's first-round pick, is a twitchy, dynamic playmaker, who brings some downfield juice and yards-after-the-catch talent to give Lamar Jackson a much-needed boost in the passing game. Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson is an exceptional athlete with sideline-to-sideline speed and a knack for slicing through the line on blitzes. I also liked their Day 3 pick of Stanford cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly, a speedy corner with good size and some playmaking instincts.
Sporting News - Grade: A
The Ravens delivered the best possible outcome with limited volume after re-signing Lamar Jackson to a lucrative extension right before the draft. Flowers is a key extra weapon for the new, more wide-open offense of Todd Monken, while Simpson gives them the NFL's best linebacker corps. The key is Kelly turning into an absolute gem to replace a big need at corner minus Marcus Peters.
Touchdown Wire - Grade: A-
Flowers was my top-rated receiver in this class — not only because of all the ridiculous things he did on tape, but also because he did it with a quarterback situation that was borderline unwatchable. He might be the most talented receiver on the Ravens' roster outside of a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., and I can't wait to see what he does with Lamar Jackson throwing him footballs. Simpson is like other recent high-profile Clemson linebackers — he can do just about everything on the field, some of it very well, and we'll see about the rest. The Ravens would be wise to keep him in the middle and let him shoot out to the slot once in a while.
Tavius Robinson wasn't a big name in this draft, but he grabbed eight sacks and 40 total pressures last season at 6-foot-6 and 257 pounds, and Baltimore needs edge guys who can also win inside. Kyu Blu Kelly and Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu are athletic, developmental prospects who might need a year of finishing work each, but the payoff might be worth it in both cases. And Andrew Vorhees would have been a mid-round pick were it not for injury.
The Ravens addressed their primary needs in this draft to a greater or lesser degree, and Flowers is an absolute grand slam of a pick.
More: 2023 NFL Draft Grade Roundups
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