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Ravens accomplish draft goals


Ravens accomplish draft goals

Well, its over.

All the mock drafts, speculation and rumor are out the window now. The Ravens have been on the clock, theyve wheeled, dealed and made their picks, adding eight players for now, at least to their roster.

So how did they do? Well look at the various draft grades later (and contemplate the value of them at all), but for now, lets address what general manager Ozzie Newsome considered to be the teams biggest needs entering the offseason.

At the Ravens pre-draft news conference, Newsome was asked about the teams priorities heading into the draft.

We need to add some players on the offensive line, Newsome said. We can add another receiver. We still feel that we can add some depth at the pass-rush position or at SAM 'backer."

So did they address those needs?

Lets go through them one by one:

We need to add some players on the offensive line.

CHECK. The Ravens grabbed Iowa State lineman Kelechi Osemele with their second pick of the second round, and also picked up interior lineman Gino Gradkowski from Delaware in the fourth round. Osemele played left tackle with the Cyclones, but coach John Harbaugh said Osemele would also be a candidate at right tackle and left guard for the Ravens. Gradkowski , who spent two years at West Virginia before transferring to Delaware, can play both guard and center. The versatility of both players wasnt lost on Newsome.

Guys that have the flexibility on the offensive line are really, really valuable, he said.

We can add another receiver.

CHECK. Its unclear whether the Ravens narrowly lost out on other receivers Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers was taken by Cincinnati one pick before the Ravens picked in the third round but the Ravens did land Miami receiver Tommy Streeter in the sixth round. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound prospect from Miami had just six catches in his first two seasons at Miami but then had 46 catches for 811 yards last season.

Tommy was the best player on our board, director of player personnel Eric DeCastro said. If you have a chance to get a guy like that and you are in the right position in the draft, its probably a good thing, and he was the guy. We hadnt addressed the position. There were some other guys that we liked at the receiver position that got taken, and he was clearly the best guy at the time for us to take.

We still feel that we can add some depth at the pass-rush position or at SAM 'backer.
CHECK. The Ravens clearly did this when they picked Alabamas Courtney Upshaw in the second round. Upshaw, viewed by many to be a first-round talent, was still available to the Ravens after they traded out of the first round. This led ESPNs Jamison Hensley to call the Upshaw pick among the biggest steals of the draft.

For now, it appears tro be mission accomplished for the Ravens. Of course, the real answer won't be known until the games begin in September.

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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."