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Ravens trade up for RB Pierce

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Ravens trade up for RB Pierce

The Ravens traded up in the third round Friday night to select Bernard Pierce, a running back from Temple, with the 84th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

They gave the Atlanta Falcons the 164th overall selection, a fifth-round pick, to move up seven slots in the third round and grab the 6-foot, 215-pound Pierce, who will likely inherit Ricky Williams job as the backup to Ray Rice.

Im happy to be a Raven, said Pierce, who left Temple a year early after rushing for 3,570 yards and 53 touchdowns in three seasons there. You want me to get that short yardage, that fourth-and-one, third-and-short Im a big back. Im not going to go down very easily. Im going to fight for those extra yards.

Pierce enjoyed his greatest college game against the University of Maryland at Byrd Stadium last fall, rushing for 147 yards and five touchdowns as Temple destroyed the Terps, 38-7.

Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said late Friday that Pierce would compete with Anthony Allen, the team's 2011 seventh-round pick, and practice squadder Damien Berry for the No. 2 running back job behind Rice.

But seeing as the Ravens traded up to get Pierce, expect him to get the job.

"We looked at our board and most of the players we wanted were bring picked," Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said. "We had the additional (fifth-round) pick and thought the value of going up to get Bernard was worth it.

"He's a one-cut runner with some size. That's the style of runner we're using right now."

Eric DeCosta, the Ravens' director of player personnel, acknowledge that the team didn't know much about Pierce as recently as January, but began to catch up on him once he declared he was turning pro.

"He's impressive," DeCosta said. "What we like about him is (he has) a burst. That's what good runners have."

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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