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Ravens hold ground in national power rankings


Ravens hold ground in national power rankings

The Ravens remain something of an enigma to the national media (and many Ravens fans), an 8-2 team that has scored few style points. In the end, though, that doesn't matter a bit. The Ravens won at Heinz Field to move to 8-2, but perhaps because the Steelers were missing Ben Roethlisberger, the Ravens' third straight regular-season win at Heinz Field didn't move the needle much in the national power rankings.

 Here are the latest NFL power rankings from some of the national media:

CBS Sports.com: No. 6, up one spot: "The defense looked like the defense of old against the Steelers. Bit of advice, though: Watch out in San Diego."

ESPN: No. 5, unchanged: "The Ravens have won 12 straight games in the division, tying the Colts (2004-06) for longest such streak since the 2002 realignment."

Fox Sports (rankings done by former Ravens coach Brian Billick): No. 7, unchanged: "The Ravens defense may be struggling against the run, but it is good when and where it counts. The Ravens have a top-10 scoring defense and lead the league in red-zone defense. Not too shabby for a defense without its leader in Ray Lewis and best corner in Lardarius Webb."

NFL.com: No. 5, unchanged: Joe Flacco at home: 66.5 completion percentage, 322.4 yards per game, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Joe Flacco on the road: 54.2 completion percentage, 176.6 yards per game, three touchdowns and four interceptions. If you can explain that trend, Baltimore Ravens fans, I'd love to hear it."

National Football Post: No. 6, up one spot: "Even with eight wins on the season, it feels like the Ravens are under the radar."

Pro Football Talk: No. 5, down two spots: "So should the Ravens feel good or bad about beating the hapless, Ben-less Steelers by three points?."

Pro Football Weekly: No. 6, up one spot: "Jacoby Jones making a run at pick-up of the year: three return TDs."

Peter King, SI.com: No. 7, up one spot: "Three wins in a row in the game's fiercest rivalry, by 28, 3 and 3 points. Loved the hitting and instincts I saw out of cornerback Corey Graham Sunday night in Pittsburgh."

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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."