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On the clock: Five questions Ravens fans should ask before the NFL Draft

On the clock: Five questions Ravens fans should ask before the NFL Draft

With the sixth pick in the NFL draft, the Ravens select?

The day has finally come to answer that question. As you get ready for tonight’s draft, here are five things Ravens fans should be asking:

1: What will the Chargers do at No. 3?

That’s when the suspense begins, because we know quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz will be the first two players selected. The Chargers could go at least four different ways - Mississippi left tackle Laremy Tunsil, Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley, Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner, or Florida defensive back Jalen Ramsey. All of those players are on the Ravens’ radar, and the Chargers’ decision starts the domino effect that will trickle down to No. 6.

2. Will the Ravens trade down, and if so, how far?

The odds are against the Ravens trading down, but it could happen. The No. 6 pick has plenty of value, and the Ravens could get phone calls from teams looking to trade up for Stanley, Tunsil, Ohio St. running back Ezekiel Elliott, Michigan St. left tackle Jack Conklin, or Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.  If the Ravens do trade down, don’t expect them to fall back farther than No. 15. The Titans hold that pick, and could offer a bundle to get Stanley or Tunsil.

3. If the Cowboys don’t take Elliott at No. 4, will the Ravens?

It would be a daring move for the Ravens to take a running back at No. 6, when they are deep at that position, and have so many other needs. But for weeks, we’ve heard some scouts and draft experts say Elliott will be an elite NFL back who runs effectively inside and outside, and catches passes. What if the Ravens believe Elliott will be as good, or better, than Ray Rice was in his prime? If they believe that, the Ravens taking Elliott could really shake up this draft.

4. Would taking a chance on UCLA inside linebacker Myles Jack be worth it for the Ravens?

Speculation is heavy that Jack will fall out of the top 10 due to concern about his surgically-repaired knee. But for argument’s sake, what if Jack is one of the league’s best inside linebackers for at least five seasons before needing more major knee surgery? Having Jack and C. J. Mosley would give the Ravens perhaps the league’s premier inside linebacker combo. If doctors have not advised the Ravens to take Jack off their board, they have to consider Jack if he is there at No. 6.

5. Will either Ramsey or Ohio St. defensive end Joey Bosa fall to No. 6?

I think both will be gone, especially Ramsey. But I’m pretty sure the Ravens would gladly take either. Getting a versatile defensive back like Ramsey, or possibly the best pass rusher in the draft in Bosa, is a likely best-case scenario for Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. Until somebody drafts Ramsey or Bosa, that dream could become reality.

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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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USA TODAY Sports

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