*Note: This was all written before I’ve taken at look at each prospect’s film. I will have articles on each prospect’s film later down the line.*
After taking a look at the needs the Ravens need to address in free agency, there are still a bundle of needs that should be addressed in this year’s NFL Draft. Since I have the Ravens taking care of the need for another pass rusher, as well as a wide receiver, that means they would still need to address interior offensive line, linebacker, and defensive back depth. Of course, these are just predictions, but I feel if it’s best to address the positions this way, as it could give them the best chance at the best players who would fit their roster. In this article, we will start by looking at 4 linebackers that could fulfill their need in the NFL Draft. .
Option 1: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Murray is coming off a great season, where he helped the Oklahoma Sooners get into the College Football Playoff. Throughout his 3 year career at Oklahoma, he totaled 325 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 36.5 tackles for a loss. In those 3 years, Murray showed his ability to be a reliable tackler in the open field and also the ability to make a big play. The biggest worry, however, is Murray’s health. This past season, it seemed as if he always had some lingering injury. However, being that this is a huge need, it’s a chance the Ravens need to take.
Option 2: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
Troy Dye is considered by many to be the 2nd best linebacker in his class. Like Kenneth Murray, he was the leader of his defense, making tackles, getting pressure, but also getting interceptions. In his 4 seasons at Oregon, he totaled 391 tackles, 41.5 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, as well as 5 interceptions. This is great choice in the 2nd or 3rd round, if Kenneth Murray is not there at pick 28.
Option 3: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Just recently, Patrick Queen’s draft stock rose. After a big National Championship game, he turned many scout’s heads. Queen busted out onto the scene this past season. After an underwhelming first 2 years, he made a big impact in his Junior season. He was able to total 85 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, as well as 1 interception. In the College Football Playoffs alone, he totaled 16 tackles and half a sack. He has clearly shown improvement and is competing with Troy Dye for the #2 linebacker in this upcoming class. With the improvement he has shown, I would have no problem with the Ravens taking him with a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
Option 4: Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami
My 4th and final option is Shaquille Quarterman. Throughout his entire career at Miami, Quarterman has made a huge impact. It seems that he is all over the field during all games. Throughout his 4 year career at Miami, he totaled 356 tackles, 46.5 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, and 1 interception. While according to some scouts, his draft stock has regressed a bit, Quarterman could still make an immediately impact with any team that drafts him. If the Ravens give him a shot by taking him in the mid to late rounds, I’m sure he will not disappoint.
Looking over all these options, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. I would want Kenneth Murray the most because of the impact he made on a historically bad Oklahoma defense, however, I wouldn’t be mad if the Ravens went with someone else. This linebacker class is talented, and I believe they can all have solid NFL careers.