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DeCosta: Pressure is on for 2nd-round pick

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DeCosta: Pressure is on for 2nd-round pick

Barring any trades, the Ravens are lined up for their highest draft pick (No. 6) since 2000. Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta has often said that teams picking high in the draft can't afford to "miss on the pick," so is there any added pressure on the Ravens this year, with such an uncharacteristically high pick?

"We feel the pressure, honestly, regardless if we’re picking 6 or 32," DeCosta said at the team's pre-draft news conference on Tuesday. "We’ve picked both. I think the players are better, but we still feel the same pressure. We felt pressure last year when we picked 26th."

In fact, DeCosta said, this year, "I'm actually feeling probably more pressure at pick 36 than I am at 6. I feel like if you’re picking sixth, you really only have to look at four or five players," and it's almost certain that they will land one of those elite players. (Not since drafting Jamal Lewis No. 5 overall in 2000 have the Ravens picked higher than they are slated to this year.)

But by early in the second round, at No. 36 overall, "there’s a lot more volatility," DeCosta said. "There’s a lot more different players you’re going to be looking at, a lot more combinations. So, I’ve been spending a lot more time thinking about 36 actually in the last couple of weeks, because there could be a lot of different players.

"We have to look at these guys and study these guys and scrutinize these guys on the field, off the field, the intangible work ethic, durability, football intelligence, ability, all of these different things to make sure we nail that pick.”

Incidentally, in two of the past five years the No. 36 overall pick has been a quarterback -- Derek Carr to the Raiders in 2014 and Colin Kaepernick to the 49ers in 2011. Other recent No. 36 overall picks include running back T.J. Yeldon to Jacksonville last year, cornerback Darrius Slay to the Lions in 2013 and defensive tackle Derek Wolfe to Denver in 2012.

If the Ravens don't land a cornerback such as Jalen Ramsey or Vernon Hargreaves in the first round, picking one at No. 36 sounds like a possibility.

"I think you're going to see a run on corners probably between (picks) 20 and 45, right in there, where you might see five guys get picked," DeCosta said.

MORE RAVENS: Newsome hard on himself, focused on having superb draft

 

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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