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National media predictions for Ravens-Browns

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National media predictions for Ravens-Browns

The Ravens have not lost to Cleveland since John Harbaugh became head coach, and most  -- but not all -- national media expect that streak to reach 10 straight wins on Sunday in Cleveland. But everyone seems to agree that the improving Browns will give the Ravens, who have yet to look good on the road this season, all they can handle .

Here is how some of the national media see the game:

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Ravens 20, Browns 14

"Cleveland’s old team returns to town, nearly 17 years to the day after Cleveland’s old team declared its intention to leave.  The Browns will make it interesting, but the Ravens know they need to step it up now in order to hold off the Steelers, who are making their move and who face the Ravens twice in three weeks, starting later this month."

Elliott Harrison, NFL.com: Ravens 22, Browns 13

"Joe Flacco has not played well on the road. Expect Cam Cameron and John Harbaugh to not put the game on his shoulders, and instead place it on No. 27. Ray Rice has run his arse off in Cleveland, as evidenced by his career average of 134.8 rushing yards per game there. In fact, the Baltimore Ravens have never lost there in Rice's career. On the other sideline, the Cleveland Browns' offense must accomplish more than it did in a one-point win over the Bolts. For the season, Cleveland is the worst team at converting third downs in the red zone and is 31st in yards per play inside the 20. Kicker Phil Dawson is a Hall of Very Gooder, but he can't carry this outfit."

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Ravens 26, Browns 17

"The Ravens need to be careful with their injury-riddled defense after a bye, as the young Browns are confident after winning two of three. Though Cleveland will try to make this game about Trent Richardson, Baltimore needs to unleash Ray Rice ‑- who rushed for 204 yards at the Dawg Pound last season --to take care of business."

Peter King, SI.com: Ravens 23, Browns 20

"Why is this closer than you think? Because I don't know which Joe Flacco is going to show up. And because of Brandon Weeden and Josh Gordon ... and the Baltimore secondary. The rookie Gordon's average catch is impressive -- 22.3 yards."

Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com:  Browns 21, Ravens 20

"This is a be-careful game for the Ravens. They are coming off a bye, so they should be rested. But that defense has really struggled. The Browns are getting better and they have improved on defense. I look for the Browns to pull off the upset against a Ravens team that is struggling."

Mark Schlereth, ESPN: Ravens (no score given)

"I really look for (the Ravens) offensively to get the flow going again. Ray Rice is pivotal. You can't take him out of the game plan... They really have to incorporate him and do a better job of using Ray Rice. I love what I saw of Suggs when he came back."

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk: Ravens 23, Browns 21

" I’m tempted to pick the upset here, as the Ravens have struggled to put teams away while the Browns have played competitive football even in defeat. But while the Browns will keep this one close, the Ravens will manage to hold them off.."

 

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

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."

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