CLEVELAND – Last year, the NFL Draft went virtual due to the pandemic, with the league conducting the annual selection process at their homes.
This past weekend, the draft returned to a live setting in downtown Cleveland, with players meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell for a ceremonial hug after being selected.
For the Washington Football Team and Baltimore Ravens, the draft was an opportunity to pick up players at well-needed positions, and in the end, both teams made some solid additions.
Washington used the No. 19 overall pick on Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis, filling up a critical void after Thomas Davis and Reuben Foster becoming free agents.
During his junior year, Davis recorded 102 tackles, 1.5 sacks and three interceptions. He was the FBS player last season to record 100 tackles and three interceptions.
In the second round, Washington used the 51st pick on Texas offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi, who will fit perfectly at left tackle while Morgan Moses lines up at right tackle.
With two picks in the third round, the Burgundy and Gold first selected Benjamin St-Juste, a cornerback out of Minnesota. The Canada-born defender adds depth in the secondary after Washington signed William Jackson III during free agency.
Washington ended the third round selecting North Carolina wide receiver Dyami Brown No. 82 pick. At 6-foot-1 and 182 pounds, Brown is a speedy and talented receiver added to compliment Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries.
Other notable picks for Washington include Boise State tight end John Bates, Cincinnati safety Darrick Forrest, Michigan long snapper Camaron Cheeseman, Baylor defensive end William Bradley-King and Penn State defender Shaka Toney.
Washington ended the weekend picking up Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson. The St. Vincent Pallotti alum led the nation in rushing average (178.7 yards per game) and was named the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Meanwhile, the Ravens had two first-round picks; they used the No. 27 pick on Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman and picked up Penn State linebacker Odafe Oweh with the No. 31 selection.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson needed some new targets for the 2021 season, so Baltimore drafted Bateman, who proved to be the best college wide receiver in the 2019 season, averaging 20.3 yards per reception.
Oweh is an electric outside linebacker, who recorded the best 40-yard dash time (4.37 seconds), longest broad jump (11 feet, two inches), and fastest 3-cone drill (6.9 seconds) of any edge rusher, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
In the second round, Baltimore selected Georgia offensive guard Ben Cleveland with the No. 94 overall selection. Nicknamed “Big Country,” Cleveland is an effective pass blocker at 6-foot-6 and 343 pounds and can help create holes for the running backs.
Other players drafted by the Ravens include SMU cornerback Brandon Stephens, Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace, Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade, Notre Dame defensive end Daelin Hayes and Michigan tight end Ben Mason.