With the 6th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley. That pick may have been Laremy Tunsil, until about 15 minutes before the draft, but that never happened.
Before the draft, offensive tackle was one of the least popular picks among fans for a Baltimore team that had severely disappointed in 2015.
After the pick, many were still disappointed.
During the season, they saw the difference a Franchise left tackle can make for an NFL organization. Stanley proved he has what it takes to protect Joe Flacco’s blindside better than any left tackle Baltimore has employed since Jonathan Ogden’s retirement.
Stanley’s pick was undoubtedly the best decision Baltimore could have made at no. 6 in last year’s draft.
Now the question is, should Baltimore double down and select an offensive lineman in the first round for the second straight year?
I believe they should hold off on an offensive lineman until after the first two rounds, and try to upgrade the pass rush first and foremost at this point. Before the Brandon Carr signing, I had cornerback as the top first round priority.
Right tackle and center are both top needs the team must address before the season begins. Former starter Ricky Wagner left Baltimore to become the highest paid right tackle in the league, and Jeremy Zuttah was traded after a disappointing third year in which he was pushed around easily and committed six penalties.
This has been a dark horse projection in the upcoming draft for Baltimore among fans, and is currently gaining steam as the weeks go by.
Mel Kiper projected Baltimore selecting Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk in his latest mock draft. There have also been reports that the Ravens Front Office is infatuated with Alabama prospect Cam Robinson, as well.
But of course, with so much time between the Super Bowl and the draft, analysts have time to project any position of need to every team.
The Ravens need two new starters, but should only fill one of those spots with a rookie.
This upcoming draft is also projected to put out one of the weaker offensive line classes compared to recent years. So, the next question is, should the Ravens pull the trigger on a top lineman in a weak class, as opposed to another top need (edge rusher, wide receiver, inside linebacker)?
Baltimore has had success turning late round picks into quality players in recent years (Alex Lewis and Wagner). They must decide whether they believe a top lineman in this draft will be a truly dominant player, or if they can develop another late round prospect.
Ravens’ Alex Collins Arrested
Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins was arrested early on Friday morning following a car crash about a mile from the Ravens’ team facility, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.
Per the report: Officers responded to a report of a car that had crashed into a tree on the 10000 block of Dolfield Road at about 6:48 a.m. Friday morning, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach said.
Collins, 24, was arrested, however charges were not made public at the time of this writing.
Ravens vice president of public relations Chad Steele told The Baltimore Sun that the team has spoken with law enforcement and is aware of the situation involving Collins.
Collins is coming off a down year with Baltimore after a breakout campaign in 2017. Collins managed only 411 yards rushing in 2018 and was placed on injured reserve back in December, ending his season early.
Ray Rice Says He Is Done With Football
Former NFL running back Ray Rice, who had been working to try and get a second chance in the NFL over the past couple of years, is no longer pursuing a comeback.
“I’ll be the first one to say it; I don’t have to retire to tell you I’m done with football” Rice said, during an interview on CBS This Morning.
“The pressure I was under of being a star, that was the person I hated the most.”
Rice was suspended indefinitely back in 2014 when a video surfaces showing Rice punching his then-fiancee, now wife, Janay Rice while the two were alone in an elevator.
Rice was never picked up by another team following the conclusion of his suspension, and his release from the Baltimore Ravens.
Rice said that he sees “similarities” between his situation and the one of former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who was recently cut loose by the team when a video surfaced showing him pushing and kicking a woman in a hallway.
“Somewhere down the line everybody who’s sayin’, ‘Does he deserve a second chance for football?’ And this that and the other— I actually got my second chance” Rice said of Hunt, who cleared waivers and is now a free agent.
“During my darkest moments, and I used to ask myself, ‘How could she even be—want to support me?’ … That’s understandable. But I think what’s misunderstood about us is that the friends we were before the incident. That’s why, like I said, when I look at Kareem Hunt, I wanna know what his life was like. I want to know what happened in life. I know Kareem has apologized, and has expressed remorse for survivors of domestic violence.”
Ravens Trying To Entice Fans With Lower Concession Prices
The Baltimore Ravens are attempting to win back fans and their latest plan is making a big step toward doing just that as the team announced on Tuesday that they will reduce concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium in 2018.
The Ravens have been on a mission to bring back fans who were angered by some players’ national anthem protests coupled with their 3-year playoff drought.
A series of moves have demonstrated their efforts. The team invited fans to ask questions at a media pre-draft news conference held a question-and-answer session with fans at the team facility with owner Steve Bisciotti, coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome, and also have had team president Dick Cass meet and talk to fan clubs.
While the team has sold out every game during their 20-year history at M&T Bank Stadium, empty seats grew in numbers as the 2017 season wore on, and the no-shows are very obvious.
The organization is taking this initiative very seriously.
“It’s something I would really like to take a hard look at, and at least, come up with select items that we can do,” Bisciotti said back in February of this year.
“If it means us … I can’t make Aramark do that with me, but I can make them go along as long as it’s my share of the profits that I’m waiving. Yeah, I’d like to take a look at that. I think we could probably do that.”
There is an official news conference scheduled for Thursday where the Ravens will officially announce price reductions on concessions.
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