Grades for every Baltimore Ravens 2021 NFL Draft pick with wide receiver Rashod Bateman and edge rusher Odafe Oweh headlining the class.
The Baltimore Ravens entered the NFL Draft as a team that’s still looking to get over the hump. Despite their overall upside and the emergence of quarterback Lamar Jackson as a superstar, they’ve failed to get to the mountaintop in the AFC when the playoffs have rolled around. Thus, they needed to find ways to rectify that in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Picking at No. 27 and, after the Orlando Brown Jr. trade, 31 in the first round, the Ravens had the opportunity to add help for Jackson and address holes in the trenches for both sides of the ball. They accomplished that — but were they able to do so well?
We’re going pick-by-pick through the Baltimore Ravens 2021 NFL Draft class and handing out a report card for every selection.
Baltimore Ravens draft grades of every pick in their 2021 class
Round 1, Pick 27: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota – Grade: A | Bateman is the absolute best option the Ravens could’ve hoped for at wide receiver to help open up the offense with Jackson. They needed really any weapon who could give their former MVP quarterback a reliable option but the Minnesota product is perfect.
Bateman isn’t the most physically or athletically imposing player in the class but he’s a technician who can work all levels of the field. Baltimore lacked that type of pass-catcher previously but the newcomer’s presence will open up the offense in a massive way.
Round 1, Pick 31: Odafe Oweh, EDGE, Penn State – Grade: A- | Oweh, who said after the draft he wanted to be known by his first name now, is a ball of extremely athletic clay. At Penn State, he showed he doesn’t have a ton of polish to his game as an edge pass rusher but he has more than enough juice. And that makes him an ideal pick at the end of the first round.
The only thing docking this grade slightly is the fact that the Ravens could use an edge rusher who can play right now. But overall, the upside of Oweh at this spot is tremendous.
Round 3, Pick 94: Ben Cleveland, IOL, Georgia – Grade: B- | Barrel-chested and strong as an ox, Cleveland is a great power man on the interior of the offensive line, someone who should fit well in Baltimore. The Ravens had a need for depth there after what they saw last year. Cleveland is a slight reach in the third round but, given his profile, he’ll make a ton of sense within this offense.
Round 3, Pick 104: Brandon Stephens, CB, SMU – Grade: B | Secondary depth wasn’t necessarily the top priority for the Ravens but Stephens should help the defense overall. He’s got some real upside and juice to his game overall. Given how Baltimore has developed defensive backs over the years, the SMU product ultimately fits right in.
Round 4, Pick 131: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State – Grade: A | Most people expected Wallace to be off the board about 50 picks prior to this. So just to get him at all makes this a steal.
What makes it even better, though, is that Wallace continues to diversity the wide receiver room in Baltimore, thus making the offense more versatile and dangerous. At the end of the day, this helps set Jackson up for a monster 2021 season.
Round 5, Pick 160 (via Cardinals): Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State – Grade: A | Entering the 2020 college football season, Wade was considered a possible first-round pick after he returned to the Buckeyes. But after spending most of his previous time in the slot, he struggled on the outside last year, thus causing his big drop down the board. But this is a player who still has high-end talent and getting him in the fifth round is superb value for Baltimore.
Round 5, Pick 171: Daelin Hayes, EDGE, Notre Dame – Grade: B+ | There’s a chance that Hayes is just as ready to contribute in year one as Oweh. He doesn’t have the same upside, obviously, but the Notre Dame product has some real bite off the edge and could easily slide into a rotational role early in his NFL career.
Round 5, Pick 184: Ben Mason, FB, Michigan – Grade: C+ | Look, I would probably fail about 29 NFL teams if they took a fullback in the 2021 NFL Draft. So cut me some slack here because I realize the Ravens with their rushing attack are an anomaly.
Mason can be a strong blocker and possible pass-catcher in this offense. While he doesn’t play a premium position, he could still play a role soon for the Ravens.