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NFL Mock Draft 9.0: The final countdown

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NFL Mock Draft 9.0: The final countdown

By midnight Wednesday it will be officially time for all mock drafters that participate in the main industry contest to put down their pens and submit their final versions. Round one of the NFL Draft takes place Thursday night in Chicago. If half the trade rumors prove true and the draft mirrors the start of this year's free agency, expect a wild, wild night.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL 2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT

At this point seemingly every angle with the draft has been examined and pondered, especially with the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens on CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com. Since this is my last chance for final thoughts...

  • Redskins GM Scot McCloughan stating this week that he wanted 10 or so picks shouldn't have come as a shock. Perfect world, he finds a way to trade down from the No. 5 overall selection. That shouldn't be a problem if Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams are available. Don't hold your breath for Mariota, but Williams remains in play if the Jaguars take Florida pass rusher Dante Fowler and the Raiders follow most projections by selecting a wide receiver fourth overall.
  • As for potential trade down partners, the Falcons (8th) make plenty of sense because the drop isn't much and still puts the Redskins ahead of the Giants and Rams, two teams that are thought to be in the market for offensive linemen. Based on McCloughan's talk of wanting "Big, tough nasty strong guys," decent chance that's the direction he goes should the Redskins make a deal first.
  • If the Ravens are truly in the receiver or corner mindset that most projections suggest, the best player available from those two spots is likely a pass defender rather than a pass catcher. There could be four wide outs selected in the first 12-16 picks, but the second corner probably doesn't go off the board until the second half of the draft.
  • We all know better than to believe anything anybody says about the draft this week, but I'm buying into the idea of the Browns trying to move up. Between Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon, not to mention most off the last four decades, the impressions of the organization is hardly ideal. Making a splashy move won't 100 percent change that, but the Browns certainly need to change the narrative, not to mention find a quarterback. Cleveland might want the fifth pick if Alabama wide receiver Amari Copper is available.
  • Trickiest teams to project and therefore the ones who could truly shake up the first round: New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints.
  • Trickiest players to project: Randy Gregory, La'el Collins, Shane Ray, Andrus Peat, Dorial Green-Beckham, Jaelen Strong

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL 2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT

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  • The extreme, trade-heavy mock. This was a fun exercise looking at a scenario where all the trades plus prospect risers and fallers happen at once, but within reason.

MORE NFL DRAFT: Redskins pre-draft depth chart, offense

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

With training camp just six days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens have placed Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson and two others on the reserve/NFI list. He later added that Brown is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery but is "progressing well" and Ferguson is dealing with a "minor hamstring" injury.

2. The entire Baltimore Ravens class is officially under contract after the signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

3. Michael Vick joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning and when asked which young quarterbacks in the NFL most emulate his style, he answered: "Lamar Jackson" along with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

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