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The 2012 Ravens draft class has all flown the nest


The 2012 Ravens draft class has all flown the nest

The news that former Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw had agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons formally closed the book on the Ravens 2012 draft class -- not a single player from that eight-member class remains with the team five seasons later.

In one sense, this is the typical rhythm for the Ravens -- they draft and develop players, who then move on and sign as free agents elsewhere, which translates into compensatory draft picks, which the Ravens use to restock their roster and begin the cycle all over again.

Since 2011, Pernell McPhee, Rick Wagner, Kyle Juszczyk and Crockett Gillmore are among Ravens drafted with compensatory picks.

The 2012 draft class certainly won't go down as the best in Ravens history, but it wasn't the worst, either. But it was short-lived; for the first time since 1998, no players in the draft class stayed with the Ravens longer than four years.

The Ravens would have liked to retain Kelechi Osemele -- their second pick that year -- but were outbid for Osemele's services by the Oakland Raiders. Upshaw was the only other 2012 draftee still with the team at the end of the 2015 season, and the Ravens did not make re-signing him a priority.

There actually is one player left from that 2012 rookie class: Kicker Justin Tucker, who was signed as an undrafted rookie out of the University of Texas.

The Ravens entered the 2012 draft with the No. 29 overall pick and proceeded to trade out of the first round altogether. Upshaw became the team's top draft pick, at No. 35 overall. Incidentally, that is the third-lowest first pick they've ever had. (Dwan Edwards went first at No. 51 in 2004, Sergio Kindle at No. 43 in 2010. If you want to start talking about disappointing Ravens draft classes, those are two to start with.)

The 2012 class had its moments, producing two long-term starters in Upshaw and Kelechi Osemele. They also got contributions from several other players as rookies during the 2012 Super Bowl run. And as is often the case, they found some late-round bargains and others that never panned out.

Here's a look back at how each of the Ravens in the 2012 draft class fared:

LB Courtney Upshaw -- 2nd round, No. 35 overall

Upshaw never missed a game in four seasons with the Ravens. He never developed into an elite pass rusher, with five sacks in four seasons, but he was a force against the run. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons after playing out his Ravens contract.

OG Kelechi Osemele -- 2nd round, No. 60 overall

The pick of the draft as far as the Ravens were concerned, Osemele started as a rookie at tackle, then moved over and became a starting guard and ended his Ravens career as a starter at left tackle. He was considered one of the gems of this free agent class and was signed to a five-year deal by the Oakland Raiders when he became a free agent.

RB Bernard Pierce -- 3rd round, No. 84 overall

Originally groomed as Ray Rice's backup, Pierce had his chance to secure the starting job after Rice was cut after the infamous elevator video surfaced. Pierce, though, ultimately lost out on the starting job because of fumbles and the emergence of Justin Forsett, and a St. Patrick's Day drunken-driving arrest in 2015 ended his career with the Ravens after three seasons. He played sparingly this past season for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

C Gino Gradkowski -- 4th round, 98th overall

Gradkowski was the Ravens starting center in 2013, but a trade for Jeremy Zuttah the next spring ended Gradkowski's run as a starter. He ultimately was dealt to the Denver Broncos last April, was cut and landed in Atlanta for one season. He was signed by the Carolina Panthers earlier this month. Gradkowski, incidentally, was the No. 98 pick the Ravens got by trading out of the first round.

S Christian Thompson - 4th round, 130th overall

Thompson played on special teams in seven games as a rookie before ending the season on injured reserve. His career essentially ended with a four-game suspension before the 2013 season began; the Ravens released him that October before he ever played again.

DB Asa Jackson -- 5th round, 169th overall

Jackson's Ravens career was derailed by two suspensions for violations of the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, but the team stuck by the cornerback and kick returner through both suspensions. He was cut, then brought back after briefly joining the New York Giants, and ultimately made his mark on special teams as a kick blocker. But a series of foolish penalties ultimately did him in, and he was cut in November. He spent time on the Bengals practice squad and was signed in January by the Arizona Cardinals.

WR Tommy Streeter -- 6th round, 198th overall

The Ravens saw raw potential in the 6-foot-5 Streeter, but it never developed. After a rookie season spent on injured reserve, he never made the team out of training camp in 2013. He has since bounced around on practice squads of the Buccaneers, Dolphins and Jaguars.

DE DeAngelo Tyson -- 7th round, 236th overall

The Ravens got some significant production from their seventh-round pick, with Tyson playing in 34 games (six starts) over three seasons. But he got caught in a numbers game along the Ravens deep defensive line this past season and didn't make the team out of training camp.

[RELATED: Kyle Arrington remembers late teammate Tray Walker]




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Baltimore Ravens' 2018 regular season matchups, dates and times

Baltimore Ravens' 2018 regular season matchups, dates and times

We've known the Ravens' 2018 preseason and regular season opponents for some time now, but the NFL finally released their full schedule with exact dates and times.

As they do every year, the Ravens will be seeing the Bengals, Steelers and Browns twice. 

For the ninth consecutive year, Week 16 and 17 will be divisional games with playoff implications.

The Ravens will also be playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame preseason game against the Chicago Bears in Canton, Ohio, bringing an extra preseason game to their schedule.

In the regular season, the birds will be flocking south to take on the Panthers, Falcons and Titans. They haven't seen the Panthers or Falcons since 2014 - both ending in wins - and came up just short against the Titans in their 23-20 loss last season.

The Ravens will only have to travel to the west coast once when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers, who they last saw in 2015 and earned a 29-26 win.

Not including AFC North rivals, the last time the Ravens saw their remaining five home opponents they came away with wins. Hopefully history will repeat itself.

Prime-time games, which the Ravens have two of, will kick off at earlier times than in the past. Monday Night Football will now start at 8:15 p.m. while Thursday and Sunday Night Football will start at 8:20 p.m.

Ravens 2018 Regular-Season Schedule:

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9 vs. Bills, 1:00 p.m.

Week 2: Thursday, 9/13 @ Bengals, 8:20 p.m.

Week 3: Sunday, 9/23 vs. Broncos. 1:00 p.m.

Week 4: Sunday, 9/30 @ Steelers, 8:20 p.m.

Week 5: Sunday, 10/7 @ Browns, 1:00 p.m.

Week 6: Sunday 10/14 @ Titans, 4:25 p.m.

Week 7: Sunday, 10/21 vs. Saints, 4:05 p.m.

Week 8: Sunday 10/28 @ Panthers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 9: Sunday 11/4 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 10:  BYE week

Week 11: Sunday 11/18 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m.

Week 12: Sunday 11/25 vs. Raiders, 1:00 p.m.

Week 13: Sunday 12/2 @ Falcons, 1:00 p.m.

Week 14: Sunday 12/9 @ Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday 12/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 16: Saturday 12/22 or Sunday 12/23 @ Chargers, TBD

Week 17: Sunday 12/30 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m.


Hall of Fame Game: Thurs., 8/2, vs. Chicago Bears (Canton, OH), 8:00pm (NBC).

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week 2: Mon. 8/20,  at Indianapolis Colts (Monday Night Football, ESPN).

Week 3: at Miami Dolphins*

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30 at Washington Redskins

* - Game date and time not yet determined


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As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report


As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

With 10 days until the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to visit the Ravens this week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner is a projected first-round pick as he has proven to have success in the air and on the ground. 

While at Louisville, Jackson had 9,043 passing yards and 69 touchdowns. He also rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns. His NFL draft profile compares him to Michael Vick. 


The Ravens are in search of Joe Flacco's successor, but spending a first-round pick on a quarterback when there are other glaring needs is up in the air. However, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of drafting a quarterback in the first-round.

At their pre-draft press conference, GM Ozzie Newsome and DeCosta kept reiterating we could be surprised by who they pick at No. 16, if they do at all. 

While Jackson's numbers are impressive, he continues to be considered a late first-round pick as his build isn't up to typical NFL QB standards and scouts are concerned with his accuracy. What he does have in his favor is speed.

While fans are hoping for an offensive weapon, having Jackson learn under Flacco for a year (and maybe RGIII?) could rev up some excitement.