This next part will focus on the Ravens. As you guys continue to read through this series you will see the connect with RAS and teams drafting strategies are not as easy as saying all teams want to get bigger, faster, stronger. While yes that’s true in a way, but its not that simple.
See my previous parts:
Teams have different things they are looking for athletically. The Ravens as you will see are kind of different.
Since Eric DeCosta took over for Ozzie Newsome he has drafted one quarterback. Trace McSorley in 2019. McSorley did it all and came away with a pretty good score of 8.29. But with such limited information there is not much to go off. Ozzie Newsome did draft Lamar Jackson the year before Decosta took over. So you might want to keep an eye on athletic quarterbacks, but I don’t see it as a definitive.
In DeCosta’s three draft classes he has drafted two running backs and one fullback. They drafted Justice Hill in 2019 and J.K. Dobbins in 2020. The lone fullback they drafted is Ben Mason in 2021. In regards to the running backs Hill did put up a score of 9.33. He did not do any agility testing. His speed and explosion numbers were elite. in Dobbins case he did no testing except for height and weight. Interestingly enough both are about 5’9 1/2, although I don’t think that means anything in particular. They both also had over 20 reps on the bench. Again I don’t know if it means much with a small sample size, but interesting none the less.
With Mason he is almost tight end size at 6’3 246. He had great explosion numbers and just ok to average speed and agility numbers. Since he is the only fullback drafted again we can’t take too much from it.
DeCosta has not drafted a single tight end in his three years, so nothing to go off on here.
In three short years DeCosta has drafted six receivers. He has drafted two receivers in each of the last three drafts. Marques Brown and Miles Boykins in 2019, Devin Duvernay and James Proche in 2020 and Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace in 2021. The six of them have an average ras score of 6.93. Wallace and Proche both scored on the low end, both below 5. Three of the other four scored 7.87 or higher. Marques Brown did not do any testing. One thing I can find in common with all the receivers is they scored very fast 10 yard splits. So that looks to be something that the Ravens find important with their receivers.
Pure speed also seems to be of importance to DeCosta. Four of the receivers drafted ran 4.5 or better. Three of those four ran 4.43 or faster. There is no 40 yard dash time on James Proche. Another thing is they do not seem to like exceptionally tall receivers. Outside of Boykins none of the receivers DeCosta has drafted were over 6’0. Four of them were 5’11 or shorter. The agility numbers are all over the place so it seems like the Ravens have no preference there. As for explosive drills they seem to like guys who are at least average or above. Wallace was the only one that tested poorly in those drills.
The weight of the players also stands out. Outside of Marques Brown every receiver weights 190+. Even Brown now is listed at 180. One final thing that stands out about the receivers drafted is arm length. Outside of Proche they all have 30″ arms or longer, and even Proche was close at 29 3/4. Bateman and Boykins both have 33″ arms. It could be said that they do not like receivers with arms that are short at least relatively to their bodies.
This position is also of interest in regards to the type of players DeCosta has drafted. He has drafted four offensive linemen in his three drafts, and all four are guards. He drafted Ben Powers in 2019, Tyre Phillips and Ben Bredeson in 2020, and finally Ben Cleveland in 2021. Average out their ras scores and you get a very average 5.95. That is mostly due to Cleveland who brings a score of 9.63, Powers and Phillips both scored under 5, Bredeson did not do any testing. Even if you go back to some of Newsome’s recent drafts the offensive linemen did not score high. Guys like Orlando Brown for example.
DeCosta seems to like big strong guys. All four of his drafted guys were 6’4+ and all are above 307. Cleveland and Phillips are 330+. Explosion and agility scores are not important at all for DeCosta and the Ravens. Bredeson did no testing at all. All three that tested were either average or below average. On the agility tests all three tested poorly. Phillips and Cleveland were the only ones who ran the 40 and both were on opposite ends. Bench Press does not seem important either; two of the three could only did 20 and 21 reps respectively.
In his three drafts DeCosta has drafted three defensive linemen. Daylon Mack in 2019 and Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington in 2020. Washington did no testing outside of the bench press. Mack scored a 4.16 RAS and Madubuike had a 9.32. It does seem the Ravens prefer shorter/squattier defensive linemen. All three are between 6’1-6’2. Also both Mack and Madubuike had great 10 yard splits, identical 1.73’s. Both also did well on the bench with over 30 reps. Although it is a small sample size we can say they like their defensive linemen on the shorter size and quick fast 10 yard splits.
The Ravens have drafted three edge defenders/defensive ends in DeCosta’s reign; Jaylon Ferguson in 2019, Odafe Owah and Daelin Hayes in 2021. The three’s average ras score comes out to a 7.77 which is pretty solid. Ferguson is on the bigger size at 270 where both Owah and Hayes are in the 250’s. All three also have good arm length between 33-34″.
As for RAS Ferguson had the lowest score with a 5.46, Owah was a freak with a 9.92, and Hayes with a solid 7.93. Ferguson had average scores across the board except for agility which were poor. Owah was elite on all testing while Hayes was above average on everything. The number are all over the place, so there is not enough information to get a good idea on what the Ravens look for at the position out side of decent arm length and that they do not emphasize agility drills and they like guys who have at least decent speed.
DeCosta has drafted only two linebackers in his three drafts. He has drafted both Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison both in 2020. Queen had a RAS of 7.99, which was mostly brought down by his height and weight. Harrison scored a 9.42. Both of them had great scores in explosion. Both of them had broad jumps of 10’2″ or higher. Harrison had the slower 40 but still ran a solid 4.66. Queen did not do agility drills but Harrison did and put up an elite 3 cone time of 6.83 with an average short shuttle of 4.32. Also their 10 yard splits where a 1.64 and 1.58, those are above average to elite.
In regards to linebackers it seems size isn’t important to them, but explosiveness, 10 yard dash, and 40 time as well seem important to them.
Eric DeCosta has drafted 4 defensive backs since he became GM in 2019. He has drafted three corners and one Marauder (safety). The average of their four RAS scores is 6.95, which is a little surprising you would think it would have been higher. DeCosta drafted Iman Marshall in 2019, Geno Stone in 2020, and Shaun Wade and Brandon Stephens in 2021. All three corners are 6’1 or just under and all are 192 pounds plus, and 2 out of the three are over 200.
So it can be said that the Ravens front office likes larger corner. Again a theme that seems to play out with all their draft picks is that agility scores are not important to them. Marshall and Stephens had average to poor scores. Shaun Wade did not participate in agility drills. Explosion also seems to be a test they do not find important, of the three corners none have similar scores. Their scores run the gamut from poor to great and in-between. This is one position where the 10-yard splits may not be important. Brandon Stephens had a poor 10-yard split of 1.62. All of their 40 times are 4.53 or faster. So it can be said they like their corners to have at least decent speed.
To Stone the only marauder of the group, his overall speed is decent, and he has decent size at 5’10 207, but had poor explosion grades. This falls in line with the rest of the defensive backs, in that DeCosta does not seem to care about these tests.
The Ravens are very peculiar in regards to their draft picks and athletic testing. It does not seem like they put a huge emphasis on it outside of certain tests. They seem to find 10-yard splits important almost across the board. They like freaky athletic linebackers, big physical corners, Shorter defensive linemen, Big strong offensive linemen, and DeCosta also seems to prefer solid built, but not overly tall wide receivers with good speed.