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Ravens stay true to Ozzie's board once again

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Ravens stay true to Ozzie's board once again

Another NFL Draft is in the books, and most pundits have given the Ravens high marks for their nine-player haul. Of course, as is always the case, a draft grade will be much more complete in two or three years once it's determined whether these players live up to potential.

Still, in the short term the Ravens draft has to be considered a success, just based on this fact: With each of their first three picks -- the ones who can be assumed to have the greatest impact --  the Ravens were able to get a player they had rated much higher than where they were picking.

Consider:

* Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens had wide receiver Breshad Perriman ranked in their top 15 overall, and they got him at No. 26.

* Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said they had tight end Maxx Williams rated in the top 40, and they got him at No. 55 after trading up three spots. (They obviously didn’t want to push their luck and wait until they were picking at No. 58.) "Maxx Williams was way ahead of anybody that we had on the board when we picked him," general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

* Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis was viewed by many as a late first-round or second-round talent, and the Ravens had a second-round grade on him. Yet they got him late in the third round, at No. 90 overall.

The Davis selection, as much as anything, has all the earmarks of the classic Ozzie Newsome mantra of “best available player regardless of need.” It can be argued that cornerback represented a larger need than defensive line. But Newsome and Co. must have taken one look at their board, seen a second-round talent in Davis still sitting atop the board and pounced.

"Could we have taken a corner in the first round? We probably could have," Newsome said. "In the second round? We probably could have. But at the point when we were picking, it wasn’t the best player."

As always, the Ravens stayed true to their board.

It’s been Newsome’s way ever since his very first Ravens draft pick, when he took tackle Jonathan Ogden instead of running back Lawrence Phillips, despite the Ravens need at running back.

Granted, none of these new draft picks has even played an NFL down yet. But consistently getting higher ranked players at lower-ranked slots, and staying true to a system that has worked for 20 years, is how you win the draft.

[RELATED Grading the Ravens' 2015 draft class

 

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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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