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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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    Ravens Week 3 Player of the Game: LB Kenny Young

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Ravens Week 3 Player of the Game: LB Kenny Young

    What the Ravens have lost in three-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley due to injury, they've gained in rookie Kenny Young.

    Week 2 against the Bengals, Young stepped in for Mosley and put up five solo tackles and three assists. Then when Week 3 came around and Mosley was still too injured to play, Young got the start and logged 44 snaps. He finished with eight solo tackles, two assists and a critical third-down sack on Broncos quarterback Case Keenum in the second quarter. Young's stingy performance helped fuel a stellar defensive effort in the Ravens' 27-14 victory.

    A fourth-round draft pick out of UCLA, Young has the maturity needed to succeed in this league.

    Obsessed with perfection, as noted in a profile done via the Ravens' website, Young is already impressing his coaches and veteran teammates. 

    He’s a smart guy, so he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a mistake,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s not scared to make a mistake. He’s willing to play fast even if he does make a mistake. And sometimes, some of the plays you see him making? He might not be perfectly where he’s supposed to be, but that willingness to play fast overcomes it, and you go make a good football play.

    While the timetable for Mosely's return is unknown, the Ravens can find solace in knowing their young replacement is a steady hand.

    The 23-year-old currently leads the team in tackles (17), followed by Tony Jefferson (12). 

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    What you need to know from the Ravens' 27-14 win over the Broncos

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    What you need to know from the Ravens' 27-14 win over the Broncos

    The Ravens got a 27-14 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.

    It was an interesting game for many reasons including Broncos star rookie running back, Phillip Lindsay, getting ejected in the first half for throwing a punch.

    Here's what you need to know from Sunday's win:

    — Rookie linebacker Kenny Young stepped in for injured C.J. Mosley and showed he will be a starter. Young had a critical sack on Broncos quarterback Case Keenum on a third down in the second and finished the day with 10 tackles. The Ravens defense as a whole was impressive. While they gave up a lot of short third downs, they stopped their fair share as well. Most importantly was the late fourth quarter interception from Patrick Onwuasor, while the Broncos were threatening in Ravens territory. 

    — The Ravens are continuing to work on the run game, as something offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg emphasized after the team was averaging just 3.3-yards-per-carry heading into Week 3. Against the Broncos, the team averaged just 2.8 yard-per-carry, but put up two rushing touchdowns from Buck Allen and Alex Collins.

    — It was a strange day for the Ravens' special teams when the Broncos blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. The day became even stranger when safety Justin Simmons, (illegally) leaped over long snapper Morgan Cox to block a field goal and the penalty went uncalled. Kicker Justin Tucker made up for it by hitting not one, but two 52-yard field goals, his eighth straight from beyond 50. 

    Joe Flacco finished the day 25 of 40 for 277 yards and one touchdown, while helping improve the team to 12-12 in the red zone. The QBs most impressive play came late in the fourth on a third down hitting the gas pedal, to not only get the first down but stayed in-bounds to keep the clock running and sealing the team's victory. His connection with John Brown continues to be strong after finding the receiver for a 44-yard gain, too.

    The Ravens are now 2-1 and head to Pittsburgh for a Sunday night matchup in Week 4. 

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