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Ravens draft question No. 1: Trends to watch?


Ravens draft question No. 1: Trends to watch?

Draft day is finally here. As you watch things unfold tonight, here’s question No. 1 for the Ravens.


The Ravens have need for a wide receiver, a cornerback, a pass rusher, and a tight end. Here are five things for Ravens fans to watch.

* An early run on cornerbacks could hurt the Ravens.

I believe Washington cornerback Marcus Peters is the Ravens’ most likely choice with the 26th pick. The Ravens covet a cornerback, but so do many teams. What if Peters, Trae Waynes of Michigan St., Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest, Jalen Collins of LSU, and Byron Jones of Connecticut are all gone before the Ravens pick at No. 26? If that happens, I don’t think the Ravens will take a corner at No. 26, and they may have trouble getting a good one later.

* Does running back Melvin Gordon tumble out of the top 20?

I don’t think Gordon falls that far, but this draft gets more interesting for the Ravens if he does. Gordon is a physical runner who smells the end zone, but he can also bounce outside effectively. Justin Forsett and Gordon could be a dynamic one-two punch, but taking Gordon wouldn’t address the Ravens’ need for a corner or a wide receiver.

* Which wide receivers are still available after the 15th pick?

Amari Cooper of Alabama, Kevin White of West Virginia, and Devante Parker of Louisville should be gone before the 15th pick. But that still leaves other top wide receivers like Phillip Dorsett of Miami (Fla.), Breshad Perriman of Central Florida, Jaelen Strong of Arizona St., Devin Smith of Ohio St, and Nelson Agholor of USC?

Which ones will be left at No. 26? And which one do the Ravens view as the best fit?

* Are either Shane Ray or Randy Gregory worth the risk if available?

Both could help the Ravens, and owner Steve Bisciotti says the team needs a pass rusher. However, Ray and Gregory have both had off-the-field issues. Should the Ravens pass on both, or take a chance on either?

*  Will enough good players fall to make general manager Ozzie Newsome trade down?

It could happen. The Ravens already have 10 picks, but this is a deep and the Ravens like extra picks. If some of the top players on the Ravens’ draft board fall, Newsome may deal back.

Get ready for an interesting night.

[RELATED: Who will Ravens take in first round?]

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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."