Quick Links

Five draft prospects in the Alabama-Clemson game who fit Ravens needs

Five draft prospects in the Alabama-Clemson game who fit Ravens needs

Here are five draft prospects in the Alabama-Clemson national championship game who could fit the Ravens’ draft needs:

O. J. Howard, TE, Alabama

The Ravens have drafted three tight ends over the past two seasons. But Crockett Gillmore has been injury prone. Maxx Williams is coming off leg surgery. Ben Watson is coming off Achilles surgery/ Darren Waller is still raw. Dennis Pitta could be a salary cap casualty if he doesn’t agree to a pay reduction. Howard is a 6-foot-6 playmaker, and the Ravens need playmakers. If they feel Howard the best playmaker on the board at No. 16, the Ravens would have to think hard about taking him.

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

Lack of depth at cornerback is one of the Ravens’ most glaring weaknesses, especially since top corner Jimmy Smith has been injury plagued. At 6-foot-1, Humphrey has the size and athleticism to help the Ravens deal with the AFC North’s top two receivers – Antonio Brown of the Steelers and A. J. Green of the Bengals.  Humphrey is only a redshirt sophomore, so he must decide whether to declare himself eligible for the draft.  If he does leave Alabama, Humphrey could be a top-10 pick, and the Ravens don’t pick until No. 16. However, trading up to get a talent like Humphrey could be worth it.

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

Tankersly entered the national championship game with three interceptions in his previous two games. Scouts notice playmakers who step up in big-game situations. Tankersley may not be a first-round prospect, but he’s also a 6-foot-1 corner, who could be a nice pickup for the Ravens on the second day of the draft.

Mike Williams, WR Clemson

The knock on Williams is that he doesn’t have speed. However, the Ravens already have two speed receivers in Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. At 6-foot-3, Williams has the size to give quarterback Joe Flacco a reliable possession receiver to help fill the void left by Steve Smith Sr.’s retirement.

Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

With eight sacks this season, Williams is rated as one of the country’s top edge rushers. With Terrell Suggs turning 34 in October, and Elvis Dumervil a potential cap casualty, the Ravens must do whatever it takes to improve their pass rush, and Williams could still be on the board at No. 16.

MORE RAVENS: Austin getting a head coaching shot?

Quick Links

Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

USA Today Sports Images

Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver 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 Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on 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 wide receiver 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.

Quick Links

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

USA TODAY Sports Images

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?