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NFL Mock Draft 9.0: The final countdown

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NFL Mock Draft 9.0: The final countdown

By midnight Wednesday it will be officially time for all mock drafters that participate in the main industry contest to put down their pens and submit their final versions. Round one of the NFL Draft takes place Thursday night in Chicago. If half the trade rumors prove true and the draft mirrors the start of this year's free agency, expect a wild, wild night.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL 2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT

At this point seemingly every angle with the draft has been examined and pondered, especially with the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens on CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com. Since this is my last chance for final thoughts...

  • Redskins GM Scot McCloughan stating this week that he wanted 10 or so picks shouldn't have come as a shock. Perfect world, he finds a way to trade down from the No. 5 overall selection. That shouldn't be a problem if Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams are available. Don't hold your breath for Mariota, but Williams remains in play if the Jaguars take Florida pass rusher Dante Fowler and the Raiders follow most projections by selecting a wide receiver fourth overall.
  • As for potential trade down partners, the Falcons (8th) make plenty of sense because the drop isn't much and still puts the Redskins ahead of the Giants and Rams, two teams that are thought to be in the market for offensive linemen. Based on McCloughan's talk of wanting "Big, tough nasty strong guys," decent chance that's the direction he goes should the Redskins make a deal first.
  • If the Ravens are truly in the receiver or corner mindset that most projections suggest, the best player available from those two spots is likely a pass defender rather than a pass catcher. There could be four wide outs selected in the first 12-16 picks, but the second corner probably doesn't go off the board until the second half of the draft.
  • We all know better than to believe anything anybody says about the draft this week, but I'm buying into the idea of the Browns trying to move up. Between Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon, not to mention most off the last four decades, the impressions of the organization is hardly ideal. Making a splashy move won't 100 percent change that, but the Browns certainly need to change the narrative, not to mention find a quarterback. Cleveland might want the fifth pick if Alabama wide receiver Amari Copper is available.
  • Trickiest teams to project and therefore the ones who could truly shake up the first round: New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints.
  • Trickiest players to project: Randy Gregory, La'el Collins, Shane Ray, Andrus Peat, Dorial Green-Beckham, Jaelen Strong

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL 2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT

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  • The extreme, trade-heavy mock. This was a fun exercise looking at a scenario where all the trades plus prospect risers and fallers happen at once, but within reason.

MORE NFL DRAFT: Redskins pre-draft depth chart, offense

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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.


PRESEASON 

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

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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. 

RELATED: BEST QUOTES FROM RAVENS PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE

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. 

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER