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Five unanswered questions for Ravens after draft


Five unanswered questions for Ravens after draft

In the opinion of most, including myself, the Ravens had an excellent draft. However, here are five questions left unanswered for them 

1. Is cornerback depth still an issue?

The Ravens only took one corner, fourth-rounder Tray Walker from Texas Southern. Unless Walker develops quickly, the Ravens could still be in trouble at corner if starters Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb don’t stay healthy.

2. Do the Ravens’ draft moves mean they don’t expect Dennis Pitta to return?

Jumping to that conclusion isn’t difficult. The Ravens drafted two tight ends – Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle, after drafting Crockett Gillmore last season. Everyone wishes Pitta the best, as he tries to recover from his second major hip injury. However, it’s clear the Ravens are not counting on a Pitta comeback, as they await his decision sometime before training camp.

3. Can the Ravens still get enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks?

Fourth-round pick Za’Darius Smith had 10½ sacks over his final two seasons at Kentucky. However, it’s asking a lot for Smith to be as good last season as Pernell McPhee, who had 7½ sacks before leaving in free agency for the Bears. If Smith is not an impact rookie, Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs are going to need help from others to make the pass rush as good as last season’s 

4. How does new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman plan to use the playmakers?

Drafting six offensive players, including Williams and wide receiver Breshad Perriman, gave Trestman reason to smile. Trestman ran an impressive offense when he was the Bears’ head coach. He got prolific production from wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, running back Matt Forte, and tight end Martellus Bennett, despite Jay Cutler’s inconsistency at quarterback. We will get a better idea of what Trestman has planned once training camp and the preseason are underway. However, quarterback Joe Flacco and Trestman certainly have more to work with than they did last week.

5. Did the Ravens gain ground in the AFC North?

The Steelers and Bengals also had strong drafts on paper. Who’s the favorite to win the division after the draft? You could make a solid argument for the Ravens, Steelers or Bengals. Looks like another wild season in the AFC North.

RELATED: [Draft will lead to more competition at WR]

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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."