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Five prospects who could be nervous when Ravens are on the clock

Five prospects who could be nervous when Ravens are on the clock

With Round 1 of the draft set for Thursday, the Ravens’ choice with the No. 6 pick remains highly unpredictable.

Here are five potential Ravens draft picks that will be nervous if they are still on the board at No. 6:

1. Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner

Why he will be nervous: Buckner is talented and versatile, but some scouts wonder if he can produce double-digit sacks at the NFL level. If the Ravens pass on Buckner, he could fall out of the top 10.

2. Ohio St. running back Ezekiel Elliott

Why he will be nervous: Only three teams holding a top-10 pick have been widely linked to Elliott – the Cowboys (No. 4), the Ravens (No. 6), and the Browns (No. 8). If the Ravens take Elliott at No. 6, it only makes sense if they believe he will be an instant 1,000-yard back. But if the Cowboys and Ravens both pass on Elliott, he is in danger of falling out of the top 10 unless the Browns show him some love.

3. UCLA inside linebacker Myles Jack

Why he will be nervous: Rumors persist that teams are wary about the condition of Jack’s surgically-repaired knee. If Jack falls out of the top 10, those rumors are true. But if Jack is available at No. 6, the Ravens will have to think hard about taking a player who could fit perfectly into their scheme as a three-down linebacker.

4. Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley

Why he will be nervous: The Ravens taking Stanley at No. 6 is probably the best-case scenario for him. If he gets past the Ravens, Stanley may not fall far, but he will spend more anxious moments in the green room.

5. Mississippi St. left tackle Laremy Tunsil

Why he will be nervous: After the combine, Tunsil was the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick. There is no way that will happen now. In fact, some scouts prefer Stanley over Tunsil. If both left tackles are available at No. 6, the Ravens will have to decide between the two, or maybe they will pass on both. Either way, the decision by the Rams and Eagles to trade up for quarterbacks has hurt Tunsil. Instead of being the first player selected, Tunsil may not even be the first offensive lineman taken.

RELATED: DRAFTING QB IN LATER ROUNDS POSSIBLE FOR RAVENS

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Who to root for in Week 11 if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan

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Who to root for in Week 11 if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan

The Baltimore Ravens are reeling, having lost three straight games as they head into today’s pivotal AFC North matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. At 4-5, the Ravens find themselves on the outside looking in in the current AFC Playoff Picture. A win at home today would not only end the team’s losing streak, but it would put them in prime position to make a postseason push in the final six games of the season. 

If you're a Ravens fan, you’ll be locked in to see how rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson does in his first start. At the same time, you’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the scoreboard to see how the rest of the AFC teams vying for the playoffs are faring. 

The Ravens have lost 8 of the last 10 games to the Bengals, including 3 of the past 4 at M&T Bank Stadium. And while it’s a daunting task to ask Jackson to make a successful first start against a division foe in the middle of a playoff race, it just may be the spark the Ravens need to get back on track. 

As the Ravens look to get back to .500, below is a breakdown of the key matchups for fans to watch and who you should be rooting for. 

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts 
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m

This is a tough one. The Ravens find themselves sandwiched between the Titans and the Colts in the current playoff picture. The Titans continued to show their improvement as team under head coach Mike Vrabel in last week’s win over the New England Patriots. Having won two in a row, the Titans are in a race of their own in the AFC South with the Houston Texans. After a slow start, the Colts are trending upward also, winners of three straight. But the Ravens still hold the tiebreaker over the Colts, and with a tough schedule and uncertainty at quarterback, would unlikely be able to overcome two games to catch and pass Tennessee. Root for the Colts. 


Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m

This a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions. The Steelers have found their groove in the last five games, while the Jaguars have dropped five in a row. Mathematically the Ravens are still in the hunt to catch Pittsburgh atop the division. That and the chance to see your rival go down makes this an easy choice. Root for the Jaguars. 

Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4:05 p.m.

The AFC’s worst team record-wise takes on a two-win Cardinals team. Root for the Cardinals.  

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Lamar Jackson earns first NFL start for Ravens as Joe Flacco's sidelined with injury

Lamar Jackson earns first NFL start for Ravens as Joe Flacco's sidelined with injury

It's the moment Lamar Jackson has been waiting for since the Baltimore Ravens drafted him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft; his first NFL start.

The team announced that Jackson will be starting under center against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in Week 11 after Joe Flacco sustained a hip injury in the Ravens' Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Jackson is 7-of-12 for 87 passing yards and one touchdown adding 139 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in the Ravens' first nine games.

But how and when the team utilized him has lacked consistency, which has people concerned with the possibility of the rookie starting. On top of that, the Sunday matchup against Cincinnati is the Ravens' biggest game of the season and puts even more pressure on Jackson.

Sitting at 4-5 and third in the AFC North, a fourth-straight loss would all but eliminate Baltimore from playoff contention.

Jackson's teammates and coaches, however, have nothing but confidence in their quarterback.

“The young man certainly has progressed," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said about Jackson Thursday. "Smart, talented, tough – he has some great, great qualities, and [quarterbacks coach] James Urban and he have really worked hard in his progression. And, he’s done a lot of things for us up to this date.”

"He certainly has inner confidence, Mornhinweg added. "There’s no question about that, yet, very humble. So, it’s a good mix there."

Jackson missed Thursday's practice with an illness, but told the media Wednesday he has been preparing for his possible Week 11 start as if it was any other week.

When asked how he would feel if he did get the nod Sunday, Jackson said he would have butterflies at first but that once the ball was snapped, "it's on."

The faster style of NFL play compared to that of college football was something the quarterback admittedly struggled with in the preseason. But with nine games behind him, Jackson feels he's made progress.

"Calling the plays," Jackson said on the area he's made the biggest strides in. "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."

Robert Griffin III, who was also in talks of starting vs. the Bengals, has taken pride in mentoring his fellow Heisman Trophy winner.

“Lamar is like a sponge." Griffin III said Wednesday. "He’s soaking up everything he possibly can, information-wise, from myself, Joe [Flacco], the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach – coach [James] Urban. He’s been doing a great job."

The 21-year-old is the only first-round quarterback out of the 2018 NFL Draft that has yet to start this season. A strong showing and this could be the start of the Jackson era in Baltimore. 

Prior to Sunday, Flacco had missed just six games in 11 years, starting the last 41.

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