The 2017 NFL Draft was a crucial one, as always, for Ozzie Newsome and Co. in Baltimore. The Ravens have missed the playoffs in three of four seasons since winning Super Bowl 47. They needed a great draft to bring back their first AFC North championship since 2012.
Newsome and the rest of the Front Office feel the pressure to regain the success that Baltimore enjoyed from between 2008-2012. To do that, it was necessary to draft players that can contribute immediately.
Baltimore came out of the 2017 draft with seven draft picks, five of which being defenders.
- Round 1, Pick 16: CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
- Round 2, Pick 47: OLB Tyus Bowser, Houston
- Round 3, Pick 74: DE Chris Wormley, Michigan
- Round 3, Pick 78: OLB Tim Williams, Alabama
- Round 4, Pick 122: OL Nico Siragusa, San Diego State
- Round 5, Pick 159: OL Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M
- Round 6, Pick 186: S Chuck Clark, Virginia Tech
My Favorite Pick
- My favorite pick for the Ravens is a toss-up between Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams. I think both will contribute and could be Baltimore’s starting outside linebackers when Suggs retires. Bowser was a great pick in Round 2, even over a receiver like Juju Smith-Schuster or a lineman, considering both Forrest Lamp and Cam Robinson were off the board. Williams could end up being the steal of the draft at 78 if he cleans up his off-field problems and plays up to his 1st-round potential. Baltimore should be very excited to see these two terrorize QBs together for the next 4+ years. Learning under Suggs is a plus, too.
My Least Favorite Pick
- I really liked all of Baltimore’s picks in rounds 1-5. My least favorite selection was Baltimore’s last one, safety Chuck Clark. I didn’t see the need to grab a safety in this draft (other than if Malik Hooker would’ve fallen to them in Round 1). Baltimore already had four safeties on its roster in Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, Lardarius Webb, and Anthony Levine Sr. Where does Clark fit?
- I give this draft a B+ grade. They failed to address a need at offensive play-maker, which was a surprise, but understandable given the way the board fell. Other than O.J. Howard being on the board at 16, Baltimore was only given real options on defense. Which, considering what kind of team Baltimore is, was not a bad thing. This defense could be dominant as soon as this September. Baltimore lead the league in interceptions last season. Adding two explosive edge rushers and a defensive end who will join the rotation right away? The team wasn’t given many chances to upgrade the offense, so they ran with it and upgraded an already tough defense.
By season’s end, this draft could end up producing 4-5 starters/contributors, which is exactly what Baltimore needed coming into this draft. Add that to last year’s talented group, and this team just got younger and more talented. Ozzie needed a great draft following multiple misses from 2013-2015. The only problem is he only had seven picks to do that, which is low for his standards. I believe this draft will be a major factor in pushing Baltimore back into the playoffs. If they add a veteran receiver and lineman in the final phase of free agency/via trade, this team can go back to being feared.
Ravens’ Lamar Jackson Posts Perfect Passer Rating
Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback continues to make a strong argument for MVP honors this season, and Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals only strengthened his case.
Jackson became the second player in NFL history to produce a perfect passer rating (158.3) in multiple games in a single season, joining Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who accomplished the feat twice back in 2007.
Jackson posted a perfect rating in the Ravens’ season opening victory against the Miami Dolphins, becoming the sixth player in league history to post perfect ratings in multiple career games.
Jackson fueled the Ravens’ rout of the winless Bengals on Sunday, a game that resulted in a 49-13 final score.
“I’m a quarterback at the end of the day,” Jackson said, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “I want to prove that each and every day I go out and practice. I treat it like it’s a game. If I miss a pass at practice, I’m ticked off.”
“I mean, jeez, you go out there and he’s whipping the ball and putting it in awesome spots,” Ravens tight end Nick Boyle said. “You saw his awesome passes today. That’s something he can do that people don’t think he can do or didn’t think he could do. That’s what makes him so dangerous. He could do everything.”
Jackson entered the 2019 season with plenty of questions regarding if he could be the long-term NFL quarterback for the Ravens, given his style of play.
Jackson has answered those questions, and then some.
“He’s one of the most exciting players I’ve ever seen,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. “(He’s) dynamic. I’m interested to see what teams do down the road here to stop him, because he certainly is hitting on all cylinders right now.”
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Ravens’ Earl Thomas Celebrates Victory Over Seahawks
Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas was extra motivated when playing his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, on Sunday, and the victory over Seattle meant a little bit more than a normal regular season win.
Thomas spent his first nine seasons with the Seahawks, including their Super Bowl championship back in 2014, but had a rather sour departure from the team, highlighted by a rift with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
Thomas and the Ravens won the game 30-16 at CenturyLink Field.
“I definitely came in here with a purpose, and we got it done,” Thomas said following the game, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
While Thomas had his issues with his former head coach, he has the utmost respect for his former teammate, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who has the same respect for Thomas.
“I hold Earl in high regard, man,” Wilson said. “I really love him. Just how much he’s meant to my family, his family and everything else, and what that means and then also just to the Seahawks organization and what he’s meant … he played really good today, he played great, he was battling out there, back-and-forth … Earl’s one of the best to ever do it.”
Throughout the game Thomas could be seen talking trash to the Seahawks sideline.
“You knew I was going to say something,” Thomas said. “I definitely said what I had to say. It was between me and them.”
Thomas played a big part in keeping the Seahawks offense in check, chipping in five tackles of his own, in an impressive, and convincing victory.
“Earl had a great game,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “And it meant a lot to Earl. Earl didn’t have much to say. He just wanted to go ‘do.’ I think he played great. No big plays. Nothing over the top, Earl and Chuck both. Earl was back there, patrolling the back end. A couple of critical tackles. I mean, sometimes you forget about the safety when he’s doing his job so well.”
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Ravens’ Lamar Jackson Says ‘I hate running’; I’d rather pass
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson worked all offseason to change the perception of him that he is a running quarterback, intent on changing the narrative about his style of play and vowing that he would be running less.
Three games into the season and Jackson is showing his preference of throwing as opposed to taking off for a run.
“I hate running,” Jackson said, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “Only if I have to, but my job is to get the ball to the receivers, the tight ends, running backs. If I have to run, I’ll do it, but I’d rather just sit back and pass it. I like throwing touchdowns instead of running them.”
Thus far this season, Jackson is averaging 33 passes and just nine rushes per game, which is a considerable drop from his 17 carries per game during his rookie season.
Jackson did tuck the ball and run for a score during Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but he insists that running the ball was his only option on the play.
“I only could run it. There was no one open,” Jackson said. “I had to make him miss. I’m one-on-one. I like my chances over anyone one-on-one.
Currently, Jackson is on pace for over 900 yards on the ground, and his ability to create highlight-reel runs often amazes his teammates.
“He’s wild, man. He’s amazing,” Ravens’ running back Mark Ingram said. “I don’t think there is anything like him in the league, as far as just extending plays and being able to juke defenders. He’s special. He can extend plays and buy time for us to get open, receivers to get open, or him take off and run at the last resort and juke people, spin around people, make people fall.”
But even more impressive than his production on the ground has been Jackson’s improvement as a passer, and he carries a 113.9 passer rating s the Ravens enter their Week 4 tilt against the division-rival Cleveland Browns.
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