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Boyle suspension adds to woes of 2015 draft class


Boyle suspension adds to woes of 2015 draft class

Ravens rookie tight end Nick Boyle's misstep adds to what has been a miserable year for the Ravens 2015 draft class.

Boyle on Monday was suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.  With just four games remaining, Boyle's rookie season is over. At least he played, which is more than can be said about the Ravens top draft pick, receiver Breshad Perriman.

How bad has this draft class been? When the Ravens played Miami on Sunday, not one of the Ravens top three draft picks this spring saw the field. The Ravens surely see talent in this group, and it's too early to label the class a bust, but for much of this group, like the Ravens overall, 2015 represents a lost year.

And this is troubling, coming off an underwhelming 2013 draft class that featured Matt Elam, little-used Arthur Brown and the long-departed John Simon among the Ravens first four picks. (Brandon Williams, their third pick in that draft, has been outstanding.)

Here is a brief rundown of each member of the Ravens 2015 draft class:

1st round - Breshad Perriman (WR, Central Florida)

Perriman hurt his knee the first day of training camp, and a 'day-to-day' injury ultimately sidelined him all season. He was working to return to the field when he tweaked his knee again during a pregame workout, and he ultimately landed on injured reserve. The Ravens still don't quite know what they have with their first-round pick, but they have sorely missed the speed and size he was expected to bring to the wide receiver position.

2nd round - Maxx Williams (TE, Minnesota)

Williams started slowly and began the season as the No. 2 tight end, well behind Crockett Gillmore. Williams missed last week with a concussion and has started to come on of late, but it's been a fairly quiet rookie year for the player considered the top tight end in the draft. Williams has 19 catches for 168 yards and a touchdown.

3rd round - Carl Davis (DT, Iowa)

Davis was impressive early and started three of the first five games. But he has been a healthy scratch in each of the past two games. Brent Urban's return from IR has crowded the defensive line picture, but it's clear Davis has fallen down the depth chart since his strong early start.

4th round - Za'Darius Smith (OLB, Kentucky)

Smith has seen limited time on defense this season, though the opportunity has been there after Terrell Suggs' Achilles injury. Smith has made 17 tackles and two sacks, which came on back-to-back plays at Pittsburgh. Smith still could become one of those late-bloomers; Pernell McPhee, the player most often compared to Smith, was a fifth-round pick.

4th round - Buck Allen (RB, USC)

At this point, Allen appears to be the gem of the class. He has seized the moment and run with it after injuries to Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro. Allen had 63 yards rushing and 107 yards receiving at Miami and has shown he will be the Ravens No. 1 back for the rest of the season. Admittedly he has faced two terrible run defenses the past two weeks, but Allen's elusiveness and ability as a receiver bode very well.

4th round - Tray Walker (CB, Texas Southern)

Even as the Ravens secondary was struggling terribly early in the season, Walker hardly saw the field on defense, suggesting he is at least a year away and it might have been a reach to take him in the fourth round. The Ravens like his size (6-2, 199) as a corner, but he has been inactive in four of the past five games.

5th round - Nick Boyle (TE, Delaware)

Before his suspension and Allen's emergence, Boyle was probably the most pleasant surprise of the Ravens draft class. Expected to be the No. 3 tight end whose calling card was blocking, Boyle showed good hands and athleticism as a receiver, and Joe Flacco had no hesitation throwing to his fellow Delaware Blue Hen. Boyle's suspension-shortened season ends with 18 catches for 153 yards.

5th round - Robert Myers (G, Tennessee State)

Myers was a rarity for the Ravens -- a draft pick who was cut in the same season. But Myers, who briefly joined the Indianapolis Colts, is back with the Ravens practice squad.

6th round - Darren Waller (WR, Georgia Tech)

Viewed as a project with good size (6-6, 245) coming out of Tech's triple option offense, Waller played in six games before ending his season on injured reserve (hamstring). He made two catches for 18 yards.

MORE RAVENS: Harbaugh makes decision on Schaub after rough Sunday

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?