NFL draft 2021: Ravens’ biggest needs, full list of picks

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NBC Sports Washington Staff
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NFL draft 2021: Ravens’ biggest needs, full list of picks originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

When the 2021 NFL Draft kicks off in Cleveland in two weeks, 32 teams will have an opportunity to change the future of their franchise. 

With this year’s class featuring some of the most talented quarterback prospects in recent memory and a deep pool of wide receivers, the next Patrick Mahomes or DeAndre Hopkins could be sitting in the green room on April 29. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock and expected to draft Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall. Here is everything else you need to know ahead of the draft:

When is the 2021 NFL Draft?

The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 29, when all 32 selections in Round 1 will be made. Rounds 2 and 3 take place on Friday, April 30, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, and Rounds 4 through 7 will be on Saturday, May 1, beginning at 12 p.m. ET.

What is the 2021 NFL Draft order?

After the 2021 NFL Draft order was finalized in mid-March, the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 overall pick. The Miami Dolphins then traded the No. 12 pick they got from San Francisco to the Philadelphia Eagles for the sixth overall pick. More trades could shake up the order before the draft begins, but here’s how it stands as of now:

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Will this year’s draft be in person or virtual?

After the NFL held a virtual draft in 2020 due to COVID-19, this year’s draft will be held in person in Cleveland. Some of the top prospects will be there to take the stage when they’re selected, while others will appear from their homes. Lawrence declined an invitation to Cleveland and will watch the draft at Clemson.

Can fans attend the 2021 NFL draft?

Yes, fans are allowed to attend this year. A select group of fans who are vaccinated will be chosen by each of the 32 NFL teams and will be seated in the "inner circle" near the main stage. The league’s main website has more information on NFL Draft tickets and events.

How can I watch the 2021 NFL Draft?

The draft will be broadcast live on the NFL Network, ESPN and ABC on all three days.

 How many draft picks do the Ravens have in 2021?

The Baltimore Ravens hold seven picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. Baltimore picked up two compensatory selections in this year’s draft, which helped replace the third-round pick it sent to the Minnesota Vikings for Yannick Ngakoue last season.

Baltimore received a third-round compensatory pick (No. 104) after the Houston Texans hired David Culley as their head coach and a fifth-round compensatory pick (No. 184) since Michael Pierce signed with the Minnesota Vikings last offseason.

Here is a list of all the Ravens’ 2021 draft picks:

  • Round 1: No. 27 (own pick)

  • Round 2: No. 58 (own pick)

  • Round 3: No. 104 (compensatory pick)

  • Round 4: No. 131 (own pick)

  • Round 5: No. 171 (own pick)

  • Round 5: No. 184 (compensatory pick)

  • Round 6: No. 210 (own pick)

What are the Ravens' biggest needs?

The Ravens enter the 2021 NFL Draft with some glaring needs on their roster. 

Baltimore’s pass rush was ravaged in free agency, as Matthew Judon signed with the New England Patriots and Yannick Ngakoue left for the Las Vegas Raiders. 

With Lamar Jackson needing a contract extension, the Ravens were forced to make value moves in free agency, as they re-signed edge rusher Tyus Bowser to help fill the void left by Judon and Ngakoue. 

However, Baltimore may have even more needs on the offensive side of the ball. After signing star left tackle Ronnie Stanley to a massive extension, the Ravens seemed to have two of the best tackles in football with Stanley and Orlando Brown. 

But things can change very quickly in the NFL. Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury, and while Brown replaced him on the left side, he reportedly wants a trade to a team that will allow him to play left tackle.

The Ravens don’t have to trade Brown, but if they do they will certainly need insurance at tackle with Stanley coming off a major injury. 

If Baltimore wants to fulfill its potential with Jackson, it will need to make sure it can protect him, especially since his greatest asset may be his ability to improvise and use his legs. 

Speaking of maximizing Jackson’s talent, Baltimore also has a need at receiver entering the draft. The Ravens signed Sammy Watkins to help improve the position, but they still lack a true No. 1 wideout. 

The Ravens haven’t had a wide receiver finish with over 1,000 receiving yards since Mike Wallace (1,017 yards) in 2016. Tight end Mark Andrews’ 852 receiving yards are the most by a Ravens player since Jackson became the starting quarterback, so it should be a priority to surround him with more weapons in the passing game in this draft.

Ravens’ draft needs: WR, OT, EDGE, LB