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Three defensive playmakers Ravens could nab at No. 6

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Three defensive playmakers Ravens could nab at No. 6

The Ravens’ inability to force turnovers last season could sway them to go defense with the No. 6 pick.

The Ravens had just 14 takeaways, the fewest of any team in the NFL except the Cowboys (11) and the 49ers (12). The Ravens’ six interceptions were the fewest in the NFL.

Teams at the top in takeaways often find themselves in the playoffs. In 2015, six of the top eight teams in creating turnovers made the postseason, including the two Super Bowl teams – the Panthers who led the NFL in takeaways (39), and the Broncos (27), who were tied for seventh.

Many NFL mock drafts have the Ravens taking Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the No. 6 pick. However, here are three defensive players who could get the nod over Stanley if they are still on the board at No. 6:

Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida St.

Ramsey is versatile enough to play corner or safety, with excellent ball skills. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com sees Ramsey as a perfect fit for the Ravens.

“When I look at Jalen Ramsey, you watch him, to me, that’s the piece that Baltimore needs because they have not had a playmaker back there in the back end,” Jeremiah said on the “Move The Sticks” podcast. “Jimmy Smith got that money, (and) was a little up and down, a lot more down than up this past season. (Lardarius) Webb, maybe you move him to safety. But Ramsey to me gives you that elite playmaker. I think they would play him at safety and let him really wreck havoc back there.”  

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

Buckner had 11 sacks last season, addressing a Ravens’ need. If they put more pressure on quarterbacks next season, the Ravens will create more turnovers. Buckner could help them do that. He’s 6-foot-7 with the wingspan to bat down passes, and he also plays the run well.

Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

Hargreaves had four picks last season, even though some teams rarely threw in his direction. Even when the Ravens’ corners were in position to make plays last season, they often dropped potential interceptions. Hargreaves could change that.

Conclusion: Drafting Stanley might not be a bad move, especially if the Ravens lose offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele in free agency. However, drafting a defensive playmaker at No. 6 could have more of an immediate impact.

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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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