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Ravens receive high remarks from analyst for 2018 NFL Draft grade

Ravens receive high remarks from analyst for 2018 NFL Draft grade

With each NFL draft class brings a fresh batch of hope for organizations and fans that one, if not several, of their picks will be franchise-changing players.

Over the weekend, the Ravens drafted 12 players with hopes that many of them will be that change.

From quarterback, to safety, to defensive end and even a center, Ozzie Newsome made sure he left no stone unturned in his final draft

Not all of them will make the 53-man roster, but several of them will have a real opportunity to make an impact.

So how are analysis grading the Ravens' 2018 draft? We've rounded up their report cards and you may like what's being said. 

CBS Sports: A

Analysis: "The Ravens had two trade downs to pick up a bunch of extra picks, which really helped make their draft. They took tight end Hayden Hurst with their first-round pick, and he will be an immediate impact player. They then traded back into the first round to take quarterback Lamar Jackson. He will be their quarterback of the future. I liked the pick of Orlando Brown in the third round, but I am not as sold on tight end Mark Andrews, their other third-round pick, as others. Keep an eye on fourth-round receiver Jaleel Scott. He should contribute as a rookie. Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta had another good draft."

SBNation: A

Analysis: "The Ravens got one of the steals of the third round with left tackle Orlando Brown at No. 83. If the draft happened immediately after the college football season, Brown would have been a top 50 pick. But a bad showing at the NFL Scouting Combine torpedoed his draft stock. But in Brown the Ravens get a player who can start at right tackle and keep the pocket clean. The Ravens got a good pass catching tight end in Mark Andrews at No. 86 overall. He was my top tight end in the draft. He’s not a great blocker, but working out wide, Andrews can create mismatches thanks to his size and pass catching ability. The only issue is that the Ravens already took Hayden Hurst in the first round."

Sporting News: A-

Analysis: "Ozzie Newsome's swan song saw the Ravens draft the Hall of Famer's former position twice, first Hurst and then Andrews. Their Jackson action for the near future put a stamp on everything, and the Brown pick is more than a feel-good story — he has a chance to start immediately at right tackle. Not surprisingly, there was a Crimson Tide, Sooner and Bruin tinge to the class, too. Scott and Lasley add to the extreme offense makeover at wide receiver. Versatility and volume will be the legacy of Newsome's draft history." 

ESPN"s Mel Kiper: B+

Analysis: “There's no question the Ravens have disappointed lately. They haven't made the playoffs the past three seasons. The offense and Joe Flacco have taken a step back. So GM Ozzie Newsome, in his last draft in charge, is shaking things up, putting the 33-year-old Flacco on notice. Baltimore traded up into the last pick of the first round -- at a big price, surrendering next year's second-round pick, plus picks Nos. 52 and 125 -- to get Lamar Jackson. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner is the rawest of the top quarterbacks in this class, but he's an electric talent. And with Flacco there and under contract for the short term, Jackson doesn't need to play right away. He can learn the game and keep developing until he's ready. It's a good spot for Jackson.”

YAHOO! Sports: C

Analysis: "Tight end Hayden Hurst was a need pick, and not an inspiring one. It made less sense when the Ravens doubled down with tight end Mark Andrews in the third. If Orlando Brown plays like he did in college he’s a good value acquisition in the third, but his lack of athleticism (he had a historically bad combine) is concerning. Cornerback Anthony Averett was a solid find in the fourth. But the most interesting piece of the draft class is clearly quarterback Lamar Jackson. If he’s used right, Ozzie Newsome’s last first-round pick as GM will be a huge part of his Ravens legacy."

USA TODAY Sports: B+

Analysis: "This draft feels befitting of outgoing GM Ozzie Newsome's Lombardi-plated legacy. Yes, major gamble taking QB Lamar Jackson, but it could pay off in spades — and may as well get that fifth-year option with a roll of the dice like this after Newsome deftly worked back into the end of Round 1. Hayden Hurst, a former minor league pitcher who may be more accurate right now than Jackson (57% completion rate at Louisville), and Mark Andrews form a nifty tight end duo that should pay immediate dividends to Joe Flacco and to Jackson eventually. Third-round T Orlando Brown and fifth-round WR Jordan Lasley are classic risk-reward types. And nice to see Newsome get two more players from his alma mater, fourth-round Alabama CB Anthony Averett and sixth-round C Bradley Bozeman."

Bleacher Report: B-

Analysis: "Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome's draft class is a confusing one. As terrific as it was for the Ravens to invest in Lamar Jackson as the successor to the declined Joe Flacco, they surrounded him with a rookie class that doesn't seem to fit him well. Jackson has superstar talent and will benefit from a stable organization. The Hurst pick was a confounding reach, as the 24-year-old had just four touchdowns in college. Former Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown has much to prove as well after a historically bad combine, and pairing Jackson with him is a questionable strategy. At least Day 3 additions Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley offer some depth and size at the receiver position for the Ravens to develop. The Ravens almost always do well on Day 3, collecting quality players who they'll be able to develop into role players in future years. Defensive picks Anthony Averett, Kenny Young and DeShon Elliott were savvy pickups as depth pieces. Watch out for Alabama center Bradley Bozeman to potentially start early in his career as well."

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    Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

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    Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

    With training camp just six days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

    1. Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens have placed Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson and two others on the reserve/NFI list. He later added that Brown is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery but is "progressing well" and Ferguson is dealing with a "minor hamstring" injury.

    2. The entire Baltimore Ravens class is officially under contract after the signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

    3. Michael Vick joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning and when asked which young quarterbacks in the NFL most emulate his style, he answered: "Lamar Jackson" along with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton.

    Looking Ahead:

    July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

    The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

    Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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    A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

    A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

    The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

    If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

    For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

    Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

    Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

    “I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

    Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

    Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

    “Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

    “I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

    The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

    “Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

    He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

    “I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

    When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

    “Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

    Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

    “Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

    The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

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