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The Baltimore Ravens currently hold the 27th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. After getting an immediate impact playmaker in Patrick Queen last year with the 28th pick in the 2020 draft, there is plenty of optimism that the Ravens could land another quality player in the first round this year. However, should Baltimore look to potentially trade up in hopes of adding a piece that could put them over the top?
In short, the answer is yes. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has always been known to scour around draft weekend in hopes of finding value deals to move up (and down) to select players that he thinks are a good fit for not only for Baltimore’s on-field product, but also for their culture.
There are plenty of trade up targets for the Ravens to consider. The most popular choice is University of Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, who could hear his name called before Baltimore has the chance to draft him at pick No. 27. While some believe that Bateman will last until the 27th selection, it’s hard to see him falling into the Ravens’ laps with wide receiver needy teams such as the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and more slated to pick before Baltimore.
If the Ravens wanted to give themselves a chance to bring Bateman (or any other prospect they value) to Charm City, they could move into the top-20 by packaging No. 27 and No. 58, their first and second round selections in the 2021 draft. According to the NFL Draft Pick Trade Value Chart, trading their first two picks could net Baltimore as high as the No.16 pick, which is currently held by the Arizona Cardinals.
However, that might seem like a steep price to pay to move up only a handful of draft spots, and DeCosta has made it known that it was hard to not have a second round pick in back-to-back years after trading up to select quarterback Lamar Jackson. If the Ravens wanted to hold onto their second round pick while also moving up, they could opt to move more draft picks, but in lesser rounds.
Alternative options for Baltimore when it comes to trading up include packaging a plethora of their 2021 selections. In one situation, the Ravens could move No. 27, No. 104. and No. 131 to move up to 21st selection, which is currently where the Indianapolis Colts are slated to pick. If Baltimore goes through with that scenario, they would have to wait 113 picks in between selections (from No. 58 to No. 171). That might be a bit too long to wait for DeCosta and company, who value mid to late round selections more than most teams.
Right now, the Ravens have a roster that is ready compete for a championship. However, it isn’t fully assembled yet. There are still holes to fill at a few positions, but it’s fair to question if all seven draft picks that Baltimore is currently slated to bring in would be able to make it past cut day.
If a player is high on the Ravens’ draft board but the team feels like he might not be available at No. 27, DeCosta could make an aggressive move, surrendering picks later in the draft that he and others within the organization value so much. If Baltimore gives up a slew of picks to grab one player, that shows how much the organization values him.
Assuming there’s a talented player like Bateman available in reasonable trade up range, there’s no reason why the Ravens shouldn’t at least look into moving around. With a roster that can be catapulted into no-doubt contender category with just a few more great pieces, it might be worth the price to trade up and secure an immediate impact player that can also blossom into a star.