What to expect from each of Ravens' nine 2015 draft picks

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The picks are in for the 2015 draft, so what should we now expect from each of the Ravens’ nine selections?
Below is an early look at how each rookie fits:
WR Breshad Perriman
Drafted: First round (26th overall) from Central Florida
2015 projected role: The Ravens hope the 6-foot-2 wideout with blinding speed can immediately come in and pick up where Torrey Smith left off as a starter and deep threat opposite veteran Steve Smith.
Long-term view: Arguably more physically gifted than any receiver the Ravens have ever had, Perriman could become the authentic No. 1 receiver Joe Flacco has never enjoyed in his career. However, he’ll need to refine his route-running ability and improve his concentration level with his hands in order to do it.

TE Maxx Williams
Drafted: Second round (55th overall) from Minnesota
2015 projected role: General manager Ozzie Newsome moved up three spots in the second round to take Williams with every expectation of him being ready to start with Dennis Pitta’s future so uncertain.
Long-term view: The Ravens hope the talented 6-foot-4 Williams is the next in a line of impact tight ends that includes Shannon Sharpe, Todd Heap, and Pitta. It’s difficult not to be excited about his upside after he entered the draft following his redshirt sophomore season.
DT Carl Davis
Drafted: Third round (90th overall) from Iowa
2015 projected role: Davis will give the Ravens another run-stopping option who can ease the load on Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan on a rotational basis.
Long-term view: At 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, Davis could play his way into a starting role, so it will be interesting to see where he best fits at the NFL level. He has a chip on his shoulder after sliding to the third round and expressed confidence that he was one of the best defensive linemen in the draft.

OLB Za’Darius Smith
Drafted: Fourth (122nd overall) from Kentucky
2015 projected role: With Pernell McPhee now in Chicago, the Ravens expect Smith to back up Terrell Suggs at the rush linebacker spot and to rush the passer on a situational basis.
Long-term view: Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are under contract for a few more years, but both are on the wrong side of 30, meaning Smith could have an opportunity to step into a starting role eventually. Courtney Upshaw is also a free agent after 2015, so the Ravens need this pick to work out.

RB Javorius “Buck” Allen
Drafted: Fourth round (125th overall) from USC
2015 projected role: Allen will compete with 2014 fourth-round pick Lorenzo Taliaferro for touches behind starter Justin Forsett in the running game.
Long-term view: His one-cut running style and ability as a receiver would appear to put him in line to eventually become the starting tailback over the more straight-ahead running Taliaferro. There are concerns that Allen runs too high, but there’s plenty to like about the former Trojans rusher.

CB Tray Walker
Drafted: Fourth round (136th overall) from Texas Southern
2015 projected role: He will enter training camp competing with the likes of Asa Jackson and Rashaan Melvin for the No. 3 cornerback spot behind Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb.
Long-term view: His 6-foot-2 frame is a plus, but it’s just too difficult to know how Walker will project after facing less-than-stellar college competition. Webb was a success, but the Ravens have completely whiffed on other FCS-level players such as David Pittman and Christian Thompson in the secondary.

TE Nick Boyle
Drafted: Fifth round (171st overall) from Delaware
2015 projected role: Boyle will likely settle in as the No. 3 tight end behind Williams and Crockett Gillmore on the depth chart.
Long-term view: At 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, Boyle is most appealing as a blocker, but he showed decent hands with the Blue Hens to keep him in mind for goal-line and short-yardage situations. The Ravens would be happy if he could eventually settle in as a reliable No. 2 tight end.

G Robert Myers
Drafted: Fifth round (176th overall) from Tennessee State
2015 projected role: With the Ravens loaded at the guard position, Myers will be used as depth and will probably be inactive on many game days if the offensive line is healthy.
Long-term view: After the Ravens tabbed Rick Wagner and John Urschel in recent fifth rounds, you should take notice of this pick. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo loves Myers and Kelechi Osemle and Marshal Yanda are both free agents next offseason, which could lead to a bigger role as soon as 2016.

WR Darren Waller
Drafted: Sixth round (204th overall) from Georgia Tech
2015 projected role: Waller will compete for a roster spot as a rookie and the Ravens could use his 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame inside the red zone, but he has a lot to prove as a developmental player.
Long-term view: The Ravens would love to see Waller become another Marlon Brown — or better — but he’s probably more likely to be the next Tommy Streeter or Aaron Mellette. Unlike other receivers his size who are drafted late, Waller is credited for having solid hands, but his route-running needs major work.

1 COMMENT

  1. Luke:
    I heard someone describe Perriman as a clone of Darrius Heyward-Bey, and we know how he turned out. Fair comparison from what you know about him?
    (L.J. — Sure, but we also heard many people use that same comparison with Torrey Smith, who turned out to be a much better pro than Heyward-Bey. As I wrote last week, it’s a swing for the fences kind of pick, which is what you have to do if you want to find a No. 1 receiver and you’re not picking in the top five year after year. Realistically speaking, if he turns out to be comparable to Torrey Smith, they still view it as a solid pick because he’ll make a fraction of the money that Smith got from San Francisco.)

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