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Five draft prospects in the Alabama-Clemson game who fit Ravens needs

Five draft prospects in the Alabama-Clemson game who fit Ravens needs

Here are five draft prospects in the Alabama-Clemson national championship game who could fit the Ravens’ draft needs:

O. J. Howard, TE, Alabama

The Ravens have drafted three tight ends over the past two seasons. But Crockett Gillmore has been injury prone. Maxx Williams is coming off leg surgery. Ben Watson is coming off Achilles surgery/ Darren Waller is still raw. Dennis Pitta could be a salary cap casualty if he doesn’t agree to a pay reduction. Howard is a 6-foot-6 playmaker, and the Ravens need playmakers. If they feel Howard the best playmaker on the board at No. 16, the Ravens would have to think hard about taking him.

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

Lack of depth at cornerback is one of the Ravens’ most glaring weaknesses, especially since top corner Jimmy Smith has been injury plagued. At 6-foot-1, Humphrey has the size and athleticism to help the Ravens deal with the AFC North’s top two receivers – Antonio Brown of the Steelers and A. J. Green of the Bengals.  Humphrey is only a redshirt sophomore, so he must decide whether to declare himself eligible for the draft.  If he does leave Alabama, Humphrey could be a top-10 pick, and the Ravens don’t pick until No. 16. However, trading up to get a talent like Humphrey could be worth it.

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

Tankersly entered the national championship game with three interceptions in his previous two games. Scouts notice playmakers who step up in big-game situations. Tankersley may not be a first-round prospect, but he’s also a 6-foot-1 corner, who could be a nice pickup for the Ravens on the second day of the draft.

Mike Williams, WR Clemson

The knock on Williams is that he doesn’t have speed. However, the Ravens already have two speed receivers in Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. At 6-foot-3, Williams has the size to give quarterback Joe Flacco a reliable possession receiver to help fill the void left by Steve Smith Sr.’s retirement.

Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama

With eight sacks this season, Williams is rated as one of the country’s top edge rushers. With Terrell Suggs turning 34 in October, and Elvis Dumervil a potential cap casualty, the Ravens must do whatever it takes to improve their pass rush, and Williams could still be on the board at No. 16.

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Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

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USA Today Sports

Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

The Baltimore Ravens cancelled Saturday night's free open practice at M&T Bank Stadium due to a forecast that calls for heavy rain and inclement weather.

There is no official word from the team on whether this practice will be resheduled, but it seems like Sunday may be an option, even though there's rain in the forecast then too.

Ravens fans who were looking to see first-round draft pick and potential future starting quarterback Lamar Jackson will have to wait for another day. His presence at training camp, an inevitable competition with the incumbent, Joe Flacco, and potential two-quarterback packages involving both of them are set to be some of the biggest storylines of Ravens camp this summer.

As a Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson was one of the most dynamic players in college football during his time at Louisville. If he can replicate that kind of performance in the NFL, he will be at plenty more training camp sessions for Ravens fans to watch.

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

This time last year, running back Alex Collins wasn't a part of the Baltimore Ravens.

After being released by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2017 preseason, the Ravens placed the 23-year-old on their practice squad, and by Week 2, Collins was already making plays.

As the season progressed, Collins found himself as the Ravens' top running back. He finished 2017 as the team's leading rusher with 973 yards while Javorius "Buck" Allen followed behind him with 591 yards.

If the 2018 NFL season began today, Collins would likely be the Ravens' starter, which is quite ironic considering the fate of his 2017 preseason.

"I always go back to where I started and where I am now, and I use that as my motivation," Collins said after Thursday's training camp practice.

"No matter the day, no matter how tired I am, I think to myself, at this time last year, I didn’t know my position, where I was, where I’d end up. So just having that security behind it is definitely my motivation to keep it this way and keep pushing forward and keep trying to get better instead of being complacent.”

Over the course of 15 games, Collins proved he had the strength and speed to make an impact on the team after Danny Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury on the first drive of the Ravens' Week 1 game and Kenneth Dixon sat out the entire season with a torn meniscus. 

While job security is something we all strive for, Collins isn't getting too comfortable with the hierarchy. 

“I don’t want to say necessarily ‘comfortable,’ because when I use that word, it makes me feel like I’m too relaxed and lackadaisical," Collins said.

"I’m more focused. I don’t want to get comfortable. I don’t want the team or our group to get comfortable, because we just want to get better every day. So, in the position I am, it’s a great feeling, but I’m always pushing myself to be better.”

While Collins has set personal goals for himself – like a 1,000-yard season – he is equally as focused on making the Ravens backfield one of the best groups in the National Football League. 

“I expect that," Collins said on being the Ravens' starter.

"I would hope that all the other running backs expect [to be the starter] as well, and that’s what kind of drives our group – when we all know that we have that capability to be the No. 1 guy, and we’re out competing and push each other and try to be the best. No matter who’s out there during the game, you’ll see a productive play out of that person. So, I have that mindset. I want to be the guy. I have that fire in me, and I hope [that is] as well as the other running backs, as I encouraged them as well.”

Collins noted that he's coming into training camp a bit heavier. He added five pounds to his 200-pound frame "just to see how that feels," but is still maintaining the stamina and strength he's always had. 

Collins – who was one of several veterans released from practice early as the team begins to adjust their way into the extended preseason – finished his media availability with a friendly warning to fantasy football owners: "Draft me now before it’s too late, guys."

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