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Rainey, Thompson stand out


Rainey, Thompson stand out

The Ravens have a long history of finding undrafted rookie gems -- Priest Holmes, Bart Scott and Jameel McClain among others. Two more of them running back Bobby Rainey and wide receiver Deonte Thompson -- were keys to the Ravens 31-17 win over Atlanta in the preseason opener.

Rainey, a 5-foot-8, 212-pound running back from Western Kentucky, continues to make himself impossible to ignore.

Rainey finished the game with a team-high 12 carries for 36 yards and also had three receptions for 28 yards, including a nifty 18-yard, catch-and-run touchdown.

Rainey, a Georgia native playing in front of family and friends at the Georgia Dome, also served as the primary punt returner. Jacoby Jones is expected to be the No. 1 returner, but Rainey had six returns last night for an 8.3-yard average in his first extended audition for that job.

Rainey is in the fight for the job to back up Ray Rice, and he looked stronger last night than second-year back Anthony Allen. Allen, who was also enjoying a homecoming of sorts after playing at Georgia Tech, carried five times for 9 yards, and also dropped a pass and missed a key block on a blitz.

Thompson, meanwhile, proved that his speed can be a dangerous weapon. The 6-foot, 203-pound speedster from Florida, had three receptions for 53 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown.

On that same scoring drive, Thompson twice got behind the Falcons defense, with one play leading to a 48-yard pass interference penalty on Falcons defensive back Robert McClain.

Thompson still needs polish, but his speed can make things happen.

There are still three preseason games left, and jobs still need to be won. But Rainey and Thompson, two guys who never heard their names called in the NFL Draft, certainly helped their cause last night.

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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."