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Ozzie: Day Three holds the key

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Ozzie: Day Three holds the key

All the flashy picks have been made, the NFL Draft green room is empty and the experts are weighing in with their early evaluations of the NFL Draft.

Not so fast, says Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.

The draft still has one day to go, with rounds 4 through 7 beginning Saturday at noon. And Newsome says thats where the key to a successful draft lies.

For the second tine in three years, the Ravens ended up without a first-round pick, dealing it to Minnesota for picks in the second and fourth rounds.

Before that had happened, the Ravens watched their division rivals make major improvements. Cleveland traded up to take Alabama running back Trent Richardson at No. 3. Pittsburgh grabbed Stanfords David DeCastro, considered the best guard in the draft, at No. 24. Cincinnati upgraded with a pair of first-round picks in cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and guard Kevin Zeitler.

And thats just in the AFC North.

The Patriots, meanwhile, shored up their defense by trading up twice in the first round to grab Syracuses Chandler Jones brother of Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones -- and Alabama linebacker Donta Hightower, who was frequently rumored to be a trade-up target of the Ravens.

So on Internet board and radio talk shows, there was a strong sense that their opposition had made great strides in this years draft while the Ravens had not.

Newsome, though, meeting with reporters after the second round, wasnt conceding anything.

Newsome said it would be hard to properly evaluate until after this thing finishes. Then I can walk over and I can look at what Pittsburgh has done with all their picks, what Cincinnati has done with theirs and Cleveland.

I think everybody has done a good job thus far, he said, but I think how you do on Day Three really determines how (good) your draft is.

The Ravens have a long history of late-round draft success. That Ravens have made several picks in the fourth round or later which is what comprises the current Day Three who have gone on to become major contributors. They include Jarret Johnson (fourth round), Dawan Landry (fifth round), Adalius Thomas (sixth round) and, most recently, Pernell McPhee, a fifth-round pick last season.

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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AP Images

Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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