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NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Why Round 1 QBs matter to Redskins, Ravens

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NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Why Round 1 QBs matter to Redskins, Ravens

Most if not every single one of you Burgundy and Gold fans have probably heard the rumor. One way or another, Kirk Cousins is something of a mortal lock for at least one more season with the Washington Redskins.

As for the Baltimore Ravens, even though Joe Flacco a season-ending knee injury crushed his 2015 season, the former Super Bowl MVP will be the one taking snaps under center in 2016. 

Despite these quarterback scenarios essentially locked up, fans of the Redskins and Ravens should indeed care about the high profile passers likely flying off the board in round one. 

No, general managers Scot McCloughan and Ozzie Newsome are not likely to shock the world with a surprise pick. It's what their direct or league-wide competition might pull off that's worth tracking.

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Based on current projections from various public draft boards, at least three quarterbacks are likely gone in round one: North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, California's Jared Goff and Memphis product Paxton Lynch. It appears unlikely any of the three fall below 15.

In the case of the Redskins, Washington owns the 21st pick in the first round. McCloughan, speaking recently at the Senior Bowl, stated he doesn't forecast the Redskins trading up.  Outside of moving down, that means wondering what those teams picking 1-20 are thinking. That means gauging how many of those prospects you like lots will be available when you're on the clock. 

This is why when it comes to the quarterbacks, the hope should be that there are plenty of love connections. The more picked before 21, chances rise that Alabama's hard-hitting inside linebacker Reggie Ragland drops. Same for impact defensive linemen (Jarran Reed?), ball-hawking cornerbacks (Mackenzie Alexander?), big receivers (Michael Thomas?) or really just any talented players. This is a good thing.

Cleveland (2), San Francisco (7), Philadelphia (13) and Los Angeles (15) are teams in need of quarterbacks. Dallas (4) should consider pulling the the trigger after how its 2015 season imploded with poor QB play and with injury-plagued Tony Romo turning 36 in April. Buffalo (19) and the New York Jets (20) made strides at QB, but could still be looking. Drew Brees might have only one season left in New Orleans (12).

This doesn't count teams needing a QB picking below Washington, namely Houston (22), Denver (31) and maybe Kansas City (28)

For the Redskins, it's not just that some of these teams might end up with a shiny new QB. It's that two of them are in the division.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR FULL MOCK DRAFT 4.0

Even if the Cowboys go that way, Romo still likely starts in 2016. However, the Eagles don't currently have a clear starter, meaning a rookie likely gets thrust into the lineup, which means Philadelphia likely receives plenty of last place projections in the NFC East race. All of a sudden a four-team horse race might have only three contenders.

The Ravens, owners of the sixth pick, wouldn't mind two teams picking ahead of them going QB. Just means better odds that a truly helpful player like Florida State safety Jalen Ramsey, UCLA linebacker Miles Jack or Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley remain available. Based on Cleveland's track record drafting quarterbacks, Baltimore shouldn't fear one working out.

The scenario of quarterbacks going early puts the possibility of trade in the mix for teams like Baltimore depending on just how hot and heavy the love runs for teams with the passers.

If others decide they must have a QB and start talking themselves into Michigan State's Connor Cook or another prospect, McCloughan might receive a call or two. If Cook or others go before the Redskins pick at 21 or the Ravens' second round selection, that also works.

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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.

MORE RAVENS: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT RAVENS ROUNDUP 3.0

“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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