Baltimore Ravens 2016 NFL Draft Retrospective

Baltimore Ravens, NFL Draft Retrospective


Ozzie Newsom was known for his excellent drafts, but his 2016 draft class will be remembered for its missed opportunities.

The Baltimore Ravens entered the 2016 NFL Draft coming off a porous 2015 season that saw many key contributors on both sides of the ball get injured. The list was large, but the biggest names included: QB Joe Flacco, RB Justin Forsett, WR Steve Smith Sr., WR Breshad Perriman, TE Dennis Pitta, OT Eugene Monroe, EDGE Terrell Suggs.

With all of these injuries, as well as an influx of youth needed, the 2016 NFL Draft was a pivotal one for the Ravens. Baltimore is notorious for moving up-and-down in the order, and 2016 proved no different as the team moved down twice in the second round.

Original Grade

Sports Illustrated: B+

FanSided: A-

Draft Class

Round 1 (Pick 6)

Ronnie Stanley

OT, Notre Dame

Current Team: Baltimore Ravens

Stanley was treated as both a left and right tackle prospect out of Notre Dame. A technically sound blocker with fantastic upside to be an elite bookend tackle Ravens needed offensive line depth, especially with Eugene Monroe’s injury, cap hit, and age in mind The next pick after Stanley was DeForrest Buckner (7th overall to San Francisco), who just earned his first Pro Bowl nod after a 12.0 sack campaign Jack Conklin (8th overall to Tennessee) was the other tackle taken in the top ten.

Conklin earned a First-Team All-Pro nod as a rookie right tackle, but has dealt with injuries since (ACL tear, Concussions)

Round 2 (Pick 42)

Kamalei Correa

LB, Boise State

Current Team: Tennessee Titans

Viewed as a better fit in a 4-3 scheme than a 3-4 scheme Correa was as shocked as everyone else was when he was selected by the Ravens Ravens planned to line him up as an inside linebacker Baltimore traded down twice and passed on future star linebacker Myles Jack (36th to Jacksonville) and cornerback Xavien Howard (38th to Miami).

Correa was traded to the Tennessee Titans prior to the 2018 NFL season after a successful 2018 preseason. He never recorded a sack with the Ravens.

Round 3 (Pick 70)

Bronson Kaufusi

DL, BYU

Current Team: New York Jets

An older prospect out of BYU (Kaufusi was 25-years-old when drafted, which is insane), he had the size Baltimore preferred out of their defensive linemen. Kaufusi broke his ankle as a rookie; placed on IR before 2016 season began and was placed into a back-up role in 2017 before being released in 2018

Adding to the sting, Baltimore passed on RB Kenyan Drake (73rd overall to Miami) which would have filled a big position of need at the time.

Round 4 (Pick 104)

Tavon Young

CB, Temple

Current Team: Baltimore Ravens

Young had a pretty successful rookie season as Baltimore’s No.2 corner opposite Jimmy Smith. Missed all of 2017 with an ACL tear, however, but had a comeback season in 2018. Young was a staple on the league’s top defense and earned himself a three-year $25.8 million extension, which was the largest ever for a nickel-cornerback.

Not bad for a guy the Ravens took in the triple digit picks.

Round 4 (Pick 107)

Chris Moore

WR, Cincinnati

Current Team: Baltimore Ravens

Considered a “sleeper” WR prospect coming out of Cincinnati, Moore’s solid size and good speed gave him some fan-hype entering rookie season.

As Ravens fans hoped, he turned into a crafty playmaker for the team, although with no distinctive role yet established. Despite his pluckiness, Moore has posted just seven total touchdowns in three seasons as a pro. Yet, he remains one of the few established receivers on the team’s depth chart and has an easy path to earning a starting spot in 2019.

Round 4 (Pick 130)

Alex Lewis

OL, Nebraska

Current Team: Baltimore Ravens

Lewis was a prime offensive tackle prospect out of Nebraska, but the Ravens intended to start him at either right tackle or left guard. Since being drafted, he’s shown talent when on the field, but finding the field is difficult thanks to injuries and various other factors. Lewis has missed more games due to injury (28 missed games to 20 played games) than has played (48 possible games)

In picking Lewis with this selection, the Ravens passed on linebacker Blake Martinez (131st overall to Green Bay) who is one of the league’s up-incoming stars at the position.

Round 4 (Pick 132)

Willie Henry

DL, Michigan

Current Team: Baltimore Ravens

Henry was the type of big, heavy-set defensive linemen Ravens gravitate to. That being said, he was placed on IR as a rookie without taking a single snap. Henry recorded 3.5 sacks in a part-time role in 13 games in 2017 . He’s showed a lot of promise in what little action the Ravens gave him, but injuries have kept Henry from developing into anything more than a backup.

Round 4 (Pick 134)

Kenneth Dixon

RB, Louisiana Tech

Current Team: Baltimore Ravens

Considered the second-best running back prospect behind Ezekiel Elliott, Baltimore looked at Dixon as a three-down runner with build to be a lead-back and hands to be a receiving threat. He was ultra-productive at Louisiana Tech, with a career many believe could land him in the College Football Hall of Fame one day. Dixon has had an injury maligned career, though, and a PED suspension didn’t help matters.

A theme of the 2016 class, Baltimore took Dixon and in doing so whiffed on another potential franchise-altering prospect. Instead of taking Dixon, the Ravens could’ve had their franchise quarterback in Dak Prescott (135th overall to Dallas). That aside, Dixon has become one of the biggest busts in Baltimore Ravens history, even as a fourth-round pick, because of expectations and potentially being wasted.

Round 5 (Pick 146)

Matt Judon

EDGE, Grand Valley State

Current Team: Baltimore Ravens

Incredibly productive at Grand Valley State, Judon was a physical specimen who showed up big at 2016 NFL Combine (competed with defensive linemen at 6’3” 275-lbs.). This all culminated in a loud ending to his 2016 season that had fans demanding an encore. Judon followed up a successful rookie season with a show-stopping sophomore season and equally productive 2018 season. Judon has been Baltimore’s most productive edge rusher since 2016 and is a prime candidate for a new contract.

Round 6 (Pick 182)

Keenan Reynolds

WR, Navy

Current Team: Seattle Seahawks

Despite being arguably the greatest Navy college QBs ever next to Roger Staubach,  Keenan Reynolds was unquestionably going to have to make a position change at the next level. His 5’10” 180-lbs. frame and lack of throwing ability left him little options if he wanted to play in the pros.

A move to wide receiver was highly publicized thanks to his career with the Midshipmen, but his selection by the Ravens seemed more sentimental than necessary. Reynolds spent almost his entire rookie season on the team’s practice squad before being cut following 2016. Baltimore passed on cornerback Anthony Brown (189th overall to Dallas), who has become a terrific slot cornerback and could’ve given the Ravens more depth in their secondary.

Reynolds was an awesome drafts story, but Baltimore should’ve known better.

Round 6 (Pick 182)

Maurice Canady

CB, Virginia

Current Team: Baltimore Ravens

Canady presented Baltimore with an opportunity for a late-round steal but has not progressed into what they hoped. Despite that, he has remained a solid backup player and is still on the team’s roster due to special teams use and providing good cornerback depth

Retrospective Grade

While the Baltimore Ravens draft was highly thought of at the time, this draft has not aged overly well considering the number of picks used.

Yes, the Ravens hit a home run with their first-round pick in Ronnie Stanley and a couple of day three guys in Tavon Young and Matt Judon, but missing on their day two picks and taking unnecessary fliers on guys like Keenan Reynolds hurts the team’s grade. Trading back twice in round two only to draft Kamalei Correa over Myles Jack and Xavien Howard is adding insult to injury. Add in the colossal failure of Kenneth Dixon and this draft comes in very underwhelming.

 

When you look back at a draft three years later, finding a couple of starters is a huge success, however, Baltimore could’ve had a much better overall draft if they played their cards better.



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