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Ozzie: Day Three holds the key


Ozzie: Day Three holds the key

All the flashy picks have been made, the NFL Draft green room is empty and the experts are weighing in with their early evaluations of the NFL Draft.

Not so fast, says Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.

The draft still has one day to go, with rounds 4 through 7 beginning Saturday at noon. And Newsome says thats where the key to a successful draft lies.

For the second tine in three years, the Ravens ended up without a first-round pick, dealing it to Minnesota for picks in the second and fourth rounds.

Before that had happened, the Ravens watched their division rivals make major improvements. Cleveland traded up to take Alabama running back Trent Richardson at No. 3. Pittsburgh grabbed Stanfords David DeCastro, considered the best guard in the draft, at No. 24. Cincinnati upgraded with a pair of first-round picks in cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and guard Kevin Zeitler.

And thats just in the AFC North.

The Patriots, meanwhile, shored up their defense by trading up twice in the first round to grab Syracuses Chandler Jones brother of Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones -- and Alabama linebacker Donta Hightower, who was frequently rumored to be a trade-up target of the Ravens.

So on Internet board and radio talk shows, there was a strong sense that their opposition had made great strides in this years draft while the Ravens had not.

Newsome, though, meeting with reporters after the second round, wasnt conceding anything.

Newsome said it would be hard to properly evaluate until after this thing finishes. Then I can walk over and I can look at what Pittsburgh has done with all their picks, what Cincinnati has done with theirs and Cleveland.

I think everybody has done a good job thus far, he said, but I think how you do on Day Three really determines how (good) your draft is.

The Ravens have a long history of late-round draft success. That Ravens have made several picks in the fourth round or later which is what comprises the current Day Three who have gone on to become major contributors. They include Jarret Johnson (fourth round), Dawan Landry (fifth round), Adalius Thomas (sixth round) and, most recently, Pernell McPhee, a fifth-round pick last season.

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

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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.


“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

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.