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Draft question No. 3: Have Ravens soured on Ray?


Draft question No. 3: Have Ravens soured on Ray?

Leading up to the draft, I’m examining 10 important questions for the Ravens. Here’s question No. 3.


The Ravens need a pass rusher, but they don’t need anymore off-the-field issues. After being cited for possession of marijuana Monday night, Ray has hurt his stock less than 72 hours before the start of Thursday night’s draft. Teams were already concerned about Ray’s lingering toe injury, leading to speculation that Ray might need surgery.

Now it’s more likely the Missouri pass rusher will be available at No. 26 for the Ravens. But if the SEC Defensive Player of the Year is still on the board, will the Ravens bite?

The Ravens like Ray’s skill set, and owner Steve Bisciotti has said the team covets a pass rusher. Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs are both beyond 30 years old, and the Ravens lost Pernell McPhee, who had 7½ sacks last year, to the Bears during free agency.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh raved about Ray earlier this month. 

“This guy has an unbelievable motor,” Harbaugh said. “He’s going to get plenty of NFL sacks just because he keeps coming relentlessly. And then he’s a leverage rusher with subtle speed to work the edges. He can work the edge of an offensive tackle like few other guys. So he’s an interesting guy.” 

However, Ray may have become a little too interesting for the Ravens’ taste. If he’s still on the board at No. 26 on Thursday night, they’ll will be left with an interesting decision.

RELATED: [Ravens have plenty of WR's to choose from in draft]

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 


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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."