Ravens

Quick Links

Who will Ravens take in the first round?

ap75252409931.jpg

Who will Ravens take in the first round?

Leading up to the draft, I’m examining 10 important questions for the Ravens. Here’s question No. 2, the next-to-last in the series.

WHO WILL BE THE RAVENS’ TOP PICK ON THURSDAY?

My colleague Ben Standig has put together his strongest possibilities for the Ravens’ first-round pick.

[MORE RAVENS: NFL Mock Draft 8.0: Move up, move down, or stay at 5 for Redskins?]

I agree with Ben. I think cornerback Marcus Peters of Washington is the favorite to be the Ravens’ first pick. Why? Having too many corners in the NFL is like having too much money. It’s not really a problem. The Ravens were ravaged by injuries at cornerback last season, and even with Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb returning, they don’t want to get caught short again. They’ll deal with concerns about Peters’ attitude because the Ravens have as strong locker room, and his talent is too good to pass him.

Peters could go before the Ravens have a chance to pick him, perhaps at No. 22 to the Steelers. If Peters is gone, here are my next four likeliest picks for the Ravens.

Second favorite: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (Fla.)

His speed and the Ravens’ need for a playmaker make him too good to pass up.

Third favorite: Devin Smith, WR, Ohio St.

Some might say this is a reach, but again, his ability to make game-changing plays is crucial for an offense that lost Torrey Smith to the 49ers during free agency.

Fourth favorite: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

If they don’t take Peters, Johnson is a nice Plan B.

Fifth favorite: Nelson Agholor, WR. USC

In addition to looking NFL ready, Agholor is a threat as a returner.

Those are my top five favorites to be the Ravens’ first-round pick. At least we don’t have to wait much longer to find out.

Quick Links

Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

steelers-locker-room.png
Twitter

Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

Le'Veon Bell decided not to return to the Steelers this season, and his former teammates have apparently decided they can have his belongings. 

The All-Pro running back didn't sign his $14.5 million franchise tag by Tuesday's deadline, and thus is ineligible to play this season.

Steelers player were seen plundering his locker Wednesday in front of reporters. Defensive end Bud Dupree went right for Bell's cleats, thanking him for the Jordan brand shoes and saying he wishes Bell success.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters he sent Bell his well-wishes, but got no response from his former backfield mate. 

It's unclear what Bell plans to do next, but it's crystal clear the Steelers have moved on, with his shoes in tow. 

MORE AFC NORTH NEWS:

Quick Links

Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

lamar-ap.png
USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has had his fair share of life changing moments. 

Winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016, being drafted by the Ravens in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and come Sunday, possibly his first NFL start.

With Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9, the 21-year-old could be leading the Ravens for a full 60 minutes against division rival Cincinnati Bengals in what could be a defining moment of their season.

"I'm just going into it like any other week," Jackson said Wednesday. "Just preparing for whatever."

While Jackson has appeared in all nine games going 7-for-12 for 87 passing yards and one touchdown, he is the only first-round quarterback out of the 2018 draft that has yet to start this season. 

When asked how he would feel if his name is called Sunday, Jackson said he would have butterflies at first but added once the ball is snapped, "it's on."

Through the Ravens' first half of the season, how and when Jackson is utilized at either quarterback or receiver, has lacked consistency. Add in the lack of highlight reel passes from him and many are concerned he's not ready for an NFL start. 

The fast style of NFL play compared to that of college football was something Jackson admittedly struggled with throughout the preseason. But with nine regular season games under his belt, Jackson feels that is the area where he's taken the biggest strides. 

"Calling the plays," Jackson said. "Before I'd have to ask coach a hundred times, 'say it again, say it again,' but now he says it one time to me. Don't get me wrong, sometimes if [the call] is long or whatever I have to ask [coach to] say it again, but other than that I'm getting better with that."

Head coach John Harbaugh offered no insight on who would be their starting quarterback on Sunday and it can be expected he'll keep hush up until the last moment. Flacco was not on the practice field during media availability Wednesday, either. 

But let's not forget the other veteran quarterback on their roster; Robert Griffin III

For the first time since 2009, the Ravens decided to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for this very reason.

After sitting out of football for a year, RGIII was given a second chance in Baltimore, but has been a gameday inactive since the start of the season. If the week progresses and neither Flacco or Jackson seem ready, it could be the comeback of the once Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

"That's my job. That's why they brought me here," Griffin III said Wednesday on if he feels prepared to possibly start. "They brought me here to be a pro. They brought me here to help this team if need be. I try to help the defense every week on scout team and then do those [reps], and if my number's called I'll be able to go out there and lead this team."

Both RGIII and Jackson said that it would be "awesome" if they were named the starting QB on Sunday, but that no matter who it ends up being they're all here for one another.

"I'm going to continue to help [Lamar] just like I have all season because we're about the Ravens here," Griffin III said. "It's not about individuals. We've got a pretty daunting task ahead with this Bengals team and then just with the rest of our schedule, so we've got to make sure we make the most of every opportunity."

MORE RAVENS NEWS: