These Alabama, Ohio State stars could fit nicely with the Ravens originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Ravens exorcised some of their playoff demons on Sunday, defeating the Titans to advance to the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL postseason. Their focus is on playing well this January, as well it should be.
But fans are able to spend their energy thinking about the future, as well. One way to do that is to prepare for the NFL Draft, which is the best chance each franchise has to add talent.
This year, like most years, the draft is going to be full of Alabama and Ohio State players. Luckily for fans hoping to do some draft scouting, those two programs are facing off in Monday's CFP championship game.
Here are a few players Ravens fans, in particular, should be keeping an eye on.
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR
How many years in a row has it been that Ravens fans have been hopeful to draft a wide receiver? It's the one position at which they have never drafted an All-Pro player, and it feels like the missing piece to take the Lamar Jackson-led offense from great to unstoppable.
You could basically list any Alabama wide receiver here, including DeVonta Smith, who just won the Heisman Trophy. But Waddle, coming off a season-ending injury but set to return for the title game, has a better chance of falling to the range in which the Ravens will be picking.
He could stick go too early, but if teams are scared off by the injury, Waddle would be another game-breaking outside receiver for a team that loves field-stretchers. Paired with Marquise Brown, no defense would ever be able to load the box against the rushing attack for fear of getting beat over the top.
Chris Olave, Ohio State WR
Olave is the Ohio State receiver who seems most likely to go high, but not so high that the Ravens won't have a chance at him. Olave isn't built like a prototypical number one receiver, which could scare off teams. But he excels in one key area that translates from college to the NFL better than any other: route running.
The Ravens have fallen into the trap of players' physical traits ahead of their technique in the past, especially when it comes to receivers - Breshaud Perriman, anybody?
If they instead choose to look for a route runner who can gain separation, something none of their current receivers can do, then Olave could be an ideal match.
Josh Myers, Ohio State C
Myers didn't win the Rimington Trophy for the nation's best center, which went to Landon Dickerson of Alabama. But Dickerson is out for the playoff, meaning Myers is the best center in this game.
The Ravens could use a strong center to anchor the interior of their offensive line. Baltimore's bookend tackles are perhaps the NFL's best, but they have struggled to run the ball between the tackles in 2020. Myers has a reputation as an absolute mauler in the run game and has been a great leader for the Buckeyes.
If he decides to enter his name for the 2021 draft, he could be a great answer for the Ravens on the inside.
Wyatt Davis, Ohio State G
Outside of Waddle, Davis is the name on this list most likely to be off the board when the Ravens pick. He is a top-15 player in the class according to some evaluators, though interior offensive lineman are among the positions most likely to fall thanks to their perceived relative value.
If Davis is there, though, he could be too enticing to pass up for the Ravens. Their offensive line has come on in recent weeks, but the interior has been a major problem throughout the year as the franchise never properly replaced future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda.
Davis looks like a plug and play right guard as a rookie and could help stabilize the Ravens' offensive line. He looks like a particularly good fit for the Ravens' running schemes, plus he already knows how to block well for rising star JK Dobbins. Davis should be very, very high on the wishlist for Ravens fans.
Luke Farrell, Ohio State TE
Farrell isn't a rising star at the position, and he certainly won't be among the first picked in the 2021 draft, but he has a reputation as a strong blocker at tight end, which is a necessity for the Ravens' offensive scheme. The loss of Hayden Hurst in the offseason - as well as Nick Boyle to injury during the year - has highlighted the need for the Ravens to have multiple quality tight ends.
Part of the secret to their record-setting 2019 offense was often using three tight ends on the field at one point, creating maximum versatility and confusion to opposing defenses.
Farrell isn't built to be a No. 1 receiving option at tight end, but the Ravens already have Mark Andrews for that. He could be an ideal fit as a number two or three tight end, depending on the health of Boyle, for a Ravens attack that relies on that type of player more than any other offense in the NFL.