The second and third round of the 2021 NFL draft concluded on Friday night. While the Ravens had no second round pick, trading their original selection to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Orlando Brown Jr. trade. The Ravens did have two selections in the third round which they would use to select University of Georgia guard, Ben Cleveland. As well as SMU corner Brandon Stephens.
The Ravens took Ben Cleveland with the 94th pick. The Georgia product nicknamed “Big Country” stands at a towering 6’6″ and weighs 343 pounds. Cleveland is an NFL ready guard who thrives as a run blocker able to drive defenders off the ball with his power and length.
In 2020 Cleveland was selected as second-team All-American to go along with his All-SEC first-team selection. Cleveland started in all nine regular season games for the Bulldogs all at right guard.
Guard was a position of need for the Ravens as the Ravens did not draft one of the top centers, showing that Bradley Bozeman will likely move from guard to center for week one. Giving Cleveland the opportunity to come in and compete right away for a starting spot.
Cleveland will have some adjusting to do at the NFL level as he deals with quicker defensive lineman and will need to improve his ability to reach the second level, but should be a key piece in this years Ravens offensive line.
With the Ravens second selection in the third round the Ravens selected cornerback Brandon Stephens out of SMU. The 6’0″, 213 pound corner originally was recruited to play running back at UCLA, before transferring to SMU in 2019 where he was eventually moved to corner.
In 10 games for SMU in 2020 Stephens 43 total tackles, one tackle for loss, one interception and 11 pass deflections.
Projected as a fifth round pick, Stephens is seen as a below average corner as the Ravens will look to use him early on special teams as he continues to learn the position.
Stephens is big, strong, and athletic which could prove useful for the Ravens as he begins to see more playing time on the defensive side of the ball in a nickel corner, safety type of role.
Stephens is a work in progress player that will have a big learning curve in the NFL. However, his athletic ability and his willingness to be a team player will make him a strong special teams player early on a quick way to get on the good side of Head Coach John Harbaugh.
The NFL draft wraps up on Saturday with rounds four through seven. The Ravens have five selections through the final four rounds with two coming in the fourth round, picks No. 131 and 136. Two in the fifth round No. 171 and 184. Concluding with their last scheduled pick in the sixth round No. 210.
Baltimore will continue to look for pieces for the offensive line. But tight end is also something to keep an eye on as several pass catching tight ends are still on the board for the Ravens to look at.
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