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Will Ravens draft another WR again in first round?


Will Ravens draft another WR again in first round?

Should the Ravens consider drafting a wide receiver in the first round for the second straight year?

If they do, the early money would be on Mississippi wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. He is generally considered the top wide receiver in the draft, and could be available for the Ravens, who hold the No. 6 pick.

However, the Ravens also need a pass rusher and help in the secondary, and have uncertainty at left tackle. The Ravens have never taken a wide receiver with their first pick in back-to-back years. Would taking Treadwell in the first round, after drafting wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the first round last year, be the best way to utilize the No. 6 pick?

In his latest mock draft, CSN’s Ben Standig has the Ravens taking Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson at No. 6, with Treadwell going No. 7 to the 49ers.

That scenario makes sense. The Ravens need to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and the Ravens have two veteran pass rushers to mentor Lawson – Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, who is recovering from Achilles surgery.

However, wide receiver is definitely a need for the Ravens. Steve Smith Sr. will be 37 years old next season, coming off knee surgery. Perriman missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. Kamar Aiken, the team’s most productive receiver last year, is a restricted free agent.

What happens in free agency will definitely influence the Ravens’ draft decisions. If they sign a veteran wide receiver in March, the chances of the Ravens’ drafting Treadwell are slim. However, if the Ravens don’t sign a veteran receiver, and Treadwell is still on the board at No. 6, he’ll be tempting. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper likens Treadwell’s skill set to Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

“He has tremendous hands, huge hands, great size, but the comparisons to Alshon Jeffery are accurate,” Kiper said during a conference call. “But Alshon Jeffery was a second-round pick. We’re talking about a top-10 pick here. So he’s got to run well enough (at the combine or pro day) to warrant being that high a pick.”

Imagine a Ravens’ offense next season with Perriman healthy and playing up to expectations, Treadwell playing like Jeffery, and Smith Sr. back at 100 percent. Can’t you see Joe Flacco smiling?

However, taking Treadwell at No. 6 could burn the Ravens if he doesn’t live up to expectations. That’s one of many things for the Ravens to consider, as they prepare for a crucial draft.

[RELATED: Today's Q & A: Is Browns' Benjamin a Ravens target?]



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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?