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If Jack tumbles in draft, he can use Lewis saga as motivation

If Jack tumbles in draft, he can use Lewis saga as motivation

If UCLA linebacker Myles Jack tumbles down the draft board, he should remember that the games are more important than the draft.

Many great players were not top-10 picks, including a former Ravens linebacker who did pretty well as the 26th pick in the 1996 draft.

Ray Lewis was not expected to be the great player he became, considered too small by some scouts to become a dominant player. Those scouts were wrong, as Lewis won two Super Bowls during a legendary Hall of Fame career.

RELATED: Five burning Ravens' draft day questions

You can’t blame the Ravens if they decide to pass on Jack with the No. 6 pick, due to concerns about his surgically-repaired knee. They can’t afford to miss, especially coming off a 5-11 season.

Imagine the criticism the Ravens would hear if Jack missed a significant part of next season, after wide receiver Breshad Perriman missed all of last season with knee problems. At least Perriman didn’t enter the draft as potentially damaged goods.

Everyone is familiar with Jack’s medical history.

If Jack’s knee doesn’t hold up, the team that drafts him will be disappointed, but not shocked.

Still, watching Jack sit in the green room will be one of the most compelling aspects of Thursday night’s draft coverage. Cameras will be on him, and Jack will be nervous. The longer he waits, the more he will be determined to silence doubters.

“When I show everybody I’m fine, I want those people to eat their words,” said Jack, via the Los Angeles Times.

Those people could include the Ravens, who are now expected to bypass Jack and choose another talented player.

Taking Lewis in 1996 was the right move for the Ravens. Unfortunately for Jack, passing on him in 2016 is the safe move.


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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?