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Who are Ravens targeting?


Who are Ravens targeting?

When Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome met briefly with reporters to explain why he traded out of the first round late Thursday night, he made it sound as if he had one player in mind for what is now the teams top pick the third pick in the second round, which is 35th overall.

We have some guys that if we were stuck at 29, we could have picked. And one of those guys is still available for us and could be available at that 35th pick, he said.

Who is that guy?

My guess is it is Courtney Upshaw, the Alabama linebacker who piled up sacks for college footballs national championship team in 2011. He was one of the five premier Crimson Tide prospects expected to go in the first round, but the only one who didnt.

The St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts are selecting before the Ravens when the second round begins Friday night, and if neither takes Upshaw, it wouldnt be a surprise if the Ravens grabbed him an elite player who could possibly be plugged into the starting lineup right away.

But the Ravens might also have a choice among offensive lineman who were projected to be first round picks, but didnt get selected. Baltimores biggest immediate is finding a replacement for guard Ben Grubbs. Offensive lineman still on the board after the first round include Wisconsin center Peter Konz, Georgia guard-tackle Cordy Glenn, Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin and Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams.

The selection of Konz -- a player linked to the Ravens in many mock drafts -- would surprise few, as he could potentially replace Grubbs in 2012 and eventually replace Matt Birk in the middle. The availability of Glenn, another highly-regarded prospect, could impact their thinking.

They also will almost surely have the option of taking a big-name wide receiver if thats the position they decide to address. Only two teams are picking ahead of them, and Georgia Techs Stephen Hill and LSUs Rueben Randle are still on the board.

Newsome told the teams official website early Thursday afternoon that the Ravens had nine players targeted as potential picks at 29. After they traded the pick, he declined to divulge how many of his nine were left. But theres at least one, it appears.

Will the Ravens get their man, whoever it may be? The answer will come right away when the draft resumes Friday evening.

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Joe Flacco's status remains uncertain as Ravens head into Week 12


Joe Flacco's status remains uncertain as Ravens head into Week 12

Lamar Jackson's first NFL start has taken over the headlines and airwaves since his historic performance Sunday for the Baltimore Ravens. But what about that guy Joe Flacco?

Sunday marked the first time Flacco wasn't the team's starting quarterback in 41 games as he nursed a hip injury sustained in their Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Ravens were hush all week on Flacco's status against the Cincinnati Bengals, but head coach John Harbaugh told reporters post-victory they knew the Super Bowl XLVII MVP would be unable to start. 

"Finally, it was when he had a doctor’s appointment earlier in the week in New York," Harbaugh said. "One of the final … We had an indication of it the week before – it was going to be tough. But the final word … I can’t remember what day it was. It was Monday or Tuesday.” 

In his 11 years with the Ravens, the only extended time Flacco has missed was six games back in 2015 after tearing his ACL. Prior to Week 11, Flacco was on the injury report only eight times and had missed only three practices during the regular season. 

Flacco sustained the injury on the team's opening drive against the Steelers three weeks ago, but played the full 60 minutes completing 23 of 37 passes for 206 yards. What we've learned about the injury over the last week and a half is that it doesn't appear the quarterback will need surgery, but beyond that, there is little information on a return date. 

"Yes, it will be tough for him this week coming up,” Harbaugh added postgame. 

The timing of this injury is obviously not ideal given that Flacco is playing on the last year of his contract and the quarterback they drafted to replace him had about as good of a start as you can draw up.

"I'm not getting into any of that, Harbaugh said Monday on if Flacco would would have a chance to reclaim his job.

With six games to play and currently in a five-way tie for the last AFC wild card spot, a lot, and we mean a lot, can happen.

And just 24 hours after saying it would be tough for Flacco to play this upcoming week, Harbaugh upgraded Flacco's status.

“He has a chance. It’s just a matter of how fast the healing takes place in there," Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference. "It’s not a surgical thing; it’s just a calming-down type of a thing with the hip, and I’m not a doctor. They have that commercial with the TV doctors. I’m not even a TV doctor, so we’ll see.”


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Peter King awards Lamar Jackson with weekly honor for NFL start vs. Bengals

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Peter King awards Lamar Jackson with weekly honor for NFL start vs. Bengals

The Baltimore Ravens couldn't have drawn up a better NFL start for rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. 

With the weight of keeping his team in playoff contention against a division rival that crushed those hopes less than a year ago firmly on his shoulders, Jackson stepped onto the field at M&T Bank Stadium and not only got the win, but set records along the way.

The 21-year-old's performance caught the attention of local and national pundits, earning him one of two Offensive Players of the Week honors in Peter Kings' Football Morning in America.

In the 24-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the first-round draft pick was 13-of-19 for 150 yards in the air while rushing for 117 yards on 27 attempts.

Those 117 rushing yards were the second-most by a rookie quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger with 46 of them on the Ravens' opening drive alone. Coincidentally, Robert Griffin III holds the record for most rushing yards by a rookie QB with 138 back in October of 2012 with the Redskins.

His speed was an issue all afternoon for the Bengals as well. Jackson is so fast that according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jackson reached 15+ mph on 14 rushing attempts. No other player has hit 15+ mph on more than nine rushing attempts this season. 

"The way he bounced back and his composure," safety Eric Weddle told reporters after the game on what impressed him about Jackson's performance.

"He threw that pick [to start the second half], and what did he do next drive? He went down and scored. And it was like nothing happened and you can't teach that. It's something that you see in him, he's very even-keeled, cool calm and collected...that's what impressed me. His physical ability and the way he plays; we see it everyday so I expect him to play like that. But just to overcome some adversity early on in his first start and to come back and lead a huge drive and make some big plays...I just think his composure."

Now the Heisman Trophy winner will have to maintain that same composure when the Oakland Raiders come to town in what will likely be his second NFL start.