Does the signing of Odell Beckham Jr. signal a return to Baltimore for Lamar Jackson? The latest 7-round mock draft works under this assumption, with the Ravens stacking the roster for a run in 2023.
The Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson have dominated the headlines over this entire offseason, as the team placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on the former MVP after failing to reach a long-term agreement. With speculation that Jackson could be traded to several different teams, the Ravens have seemingly doubled down on their hopes to retain the former 32nd overall pick by signing veteran star receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
If Beckham’s arrival is a sign that the Ravens will be retaining Jackson, at least through 2023, the organization’s focus can re-shift back to surrounding the quarterback with as much talent as possible, while fielding a talented defense to compete in an offensively stacked AFC. Fortunately, the Ravens should be able to find several players in this year’s draft that can help either of those goals, even if the team has a somewhat limited amount of draft capital.
Ravens 7-Round Mock Draft: Baltimore Bolsters Roster Around Lamar Jackson
After trading a second and fifth-round pick to the Chicago Bears in exchange for linebacker Roquan Smith at the midseason point, the Ravens have only five selections in this mock draft and only one in the first two rounds. While adding a great amount of elite talent may be difficult, Baltimore should be able to find starters and depth pieces in the draft.
Round 1, No. 22: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
With their first-round selection of the mock draft, the Ravens don’t have to look far to find an extremely talented prospect in Maryland’s Deonte Banks. A Baltimore native from birth, Banks elected to stay local for his collegiate career and enjoyed a great amount of success as a leader for the Terrapin’s defense. Starting as a freshman, Banks has been a consistent member of Maryland’s defensive backfield, outside of the 2021 season where he missed all but two games due to injury.
As a prospect, Banks falls just below the elite tier of cornerbacks like Devon Witherspoon and Christian Gonzalez, but he should still translate extremely well to the NFL. At 6′ 0″ and 200 pounds, Banks has the size to compete at the boundary cornerback position, and with a 4.35 40-yard dash, a 42″ vertical jump, and a 11′ 4″ broad jump, there is certainly a lot of athleticism to be impressed with.
Banks is an explosive and fluid athlete at the cornerback position, but will certainly need a bit of coaching to reach his full potential. With cornerback being a need currently in Baltimore, Banks could start opposite of and learn a lot from a veteran player like Marlon Humphrey. Banks has proven to be effective in both man and zone schemes, and would instantly make an impact in Baltimore’s secondary.