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Ravens fill needs with first picks

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Ravens fill needs with first picks

The Ravens gambled a bit by trading back into the second round, but they still got their man.
In fact, they were able to go after and try and fill a few of their needs with their first few picks in the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft on Friday. Their first pick was Courtney Upshaw from Alabama, a player theyd had their eyes on and one whod been linked to them for awhile.
Many pegged Upshaw as a first-round pick, but the Ravens got a break when he slipped through the first round. That appears to be why the team felt comfortable trading their late first-round pick to the Vikings. The Ravens got the third pick of the second round, and appeared to feel good that Upshaw would still be there.
In shoppers terms, they got what they wanted at a cheaper price.

Upshaw should be a big help for the Ravens at linebacker, probably going against Paul Kruger while they battle to fill Jarret Johnsons shoes. He's good at setting the edge, something Johnson was great at, which will help the Ravens in a number of ways.
They also picked Kelechi Osemele of Iowa State in the second round, a player who can go at both guard and tackle. The Ravens talked after the pick about how they can put him at guard or tackle and move people to different spots in different ways. It creates competition, something that coach John Harbaugh and the team love to have.
In the third round, the Ravens traded up and then picked Temple running Bernard Pierce. Hell likely battle Anthony Allen for the back-up spot behind Ray Rice the role Ricky Williams had last year.
The Ravens traded their picks in the third and fifth rounds to Atlanta to move up in that third round. Going up from 91 to 84 let them get Pierce and get more competition in the backfield.
Now, it will be interesting to see if they swing a few more deals like that in Saturdays final four rounds. They'll be looking for that depth they love and to fill holes. They did a little of both on Friday.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

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."

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