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Five reasons Ravens moved up to draft Minnesota tight end

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Five reasons Ravens moved up to draft Minnesota tight end

Trading up to get the tight end they coveted, the Ravens took Maxx Williams with the 55th pick in the draft Friday night.

To get Williams, the Ravens traded up three spots from No. 58 to 55 in a deal with the Cardinals. In exchange for the 55th pick, the Ravens sent a second-rounder (No. 58) and a fifth-rounder (No. 158) to the Cardinals.

Here are five reasons why the Ravens made this aggressive move to get Williams:

1. This draft is thin at tight end, and Williams was generally considered the best. 

Once Williams got within range, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome figured he had to make a move to get ahead of the Steelers, who held the 56th pick, and who may have taken Williams.

2.  Williams addresses a position of need.

Owen Daniels left the Ravens in free agency and signed with the Broncos. The future of Dennis Pitta, recovering from his second major hip surgery, is still uncertain. Williams has a chance to play a lot next season, perhaps even start.

3.  With the Ravens, Williams can play to his strength, which is pass-catching.

The Ravens already have a good blocking tight end in Crockett Gillmore. However, Williams is a better pass-catcher. If his blocking improves, that’s a bonus. But if it doesn’t, he can remain on the field in two tight-end sets.

4.  Joe Flacco has shown he builds chemistry with tight ends quickly.

From Todd Heap, to Dennis Pitta, to Owen Daniels, Flacco has utilized pass-catching tight ends well. Now Flacco has another one.

5.  Acquiring a tight end they really wanted after the draft would have been difficult.

Perhaps the Ravens would have traded for a veteran tight end, or signed a veteran. But getting Williams was how they really wanted to solve this issue. Mission accomplished. 

MORE RAVENS: Ravens trade up in 2nd round to take TE Williams

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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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