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Ravens Should Look To Trade Back

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Mock draft projections of who the Baltimore Ravens will draft in the 1st round have been all over the place, but one them has held consistent: they are all either underwhelming or unrealistic.

Baltimoreravens.com recently published its 2018 Ravens Mock Draft Monitor 5.0, which collected projected picks from 11 expert mock drafts across several platforms. the players projected to the Ravens, along with how many experts picked them, are listed below:

WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama (4)

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame (2)

OT Kolton Miller, UCLA (1)

OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma (1)

LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech (1)

OLB Marcus Davenport, Texas-San Antonio (1)

C James Daniels, Iowa (1)

The only one of these players that the Ravens should not hesitate to pick if he’s available is Edmunds. The still 19 year old athletic freak would fit perfectly at ILB next to CJ Mosley in the Ravens 3-4 scheme, as he has the ability to cover TEs and RBs out of the backfield, a weakness of Mosley’s that has often been exploited.

However, Edmunds is unlikely to make it past the Bears at number 8 and has been projected as high as number 6 to the Colts.

Ridley might seem like the dream scenario here, especially to fans. But upon further examination, it may actually be tough to justify drafting him at 16. This year’s class is stacked with late-1st and 2nd round WR talent.

Also, keep in mind that last year’s 3 first round receivers all failed to make an impact in their rookie season while later round picks like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cooper Kupp became big weapons for their teams. The Ravens may be better served by waiting to take a receiver.

If that isn’t enough justification, consider the fact that Ridley dropped 20 passes over his 3 seasons at Alabama. If Breshad Perriman has taught Baltimore anything, it’s that you don’t invest a high pick in a WR that doesn’t have sure hands.

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A mock draft trend that has emerged lately is to have the Ravens taking an offensive lineman with their first pick. While building a solid line is always a priority, the Ravens seem to be pretty well set in that area for 2018.

Guards Marshal Yanda and Alex Lewis will both be back from injuries, Ronnie Stanley has established himself at LT, and the Ravens just gave starter-level money to the James Hurst, who will start out at RT. Center is a bit of a question mark, but Matt Skura, who played well filling in at guard last year despite playing center in college, figures to be able to fill that void. Combine these pieces with the depth provided by 2017 draft picks Nico Siragusa and Jermaine Eluemunor and you have the makings of a strong offensive line.

Daniels would fill the biggest need on the line, but centers can usually be found later in the draft. Brown, who gave a historically awful performance at the combine, and Miller both have potential, but they would probably make more sense in the 2nd round.

McGlinchey would be a solid pick and is the best option of the linemen in this group, but drafting him to start at RT would essentially mean the Ravens paid Hurst starter-level money to be a versatile backup. It’s tough to see a cap-restricted team like the Ravens making this kind of an inefficient move on draft day.

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Lastly comes Marcus Davenport, a talented but raw edge rusher from Texas-San Antonio. Davenport looks the part and could develop into a star, but does Baltimore really need another young, raw pass rusher?

Unless the Ravens have already given up on Tim Williams, Tyus Bowser, and Za’Darius Smith, the answer is a resounding no.

So if the Ravens find themselves on the clock at 16, and a dream prospect like Edmunds or Georgia LB Roquan Smith has not fallen to them, they should strongly consider trading back.

If the Ravens can find a trade partner and jump back into the mid-20s of the first round, they could pick up anything from an additional 2nd rounder to a pair of picks in the 3rd and 4th rounds, while still finding a player that gives them value at their new slot and is an exciting pick that fills a need.

By trading back, Baltimore could find themselves in a position to take a WR like DJ Moore (Maryland), Courtland Sutton (SMU), or Christian Kirk (Texas A&M), all of whom have has much potential as Ridley and should be available later in the 1st round.

Other options could include a playmaking TE like Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State) or Mike Gesicki (Penn State) or an ILB to play next to Mosley like Rashaan Evans (Alabama).

Even if the Ravens took one of the previously mentioned offensive lineman at this point later in the round, they would be getting much better value and adding some additional picks to help fill more pressing needs.

These picks would all be reaches at 16, but make perfect sense later in the 1st round.

Of course, all of this is dependent on the Ravens finding a trade partner, which is by no means a guarantee. But if Ozzie Newsome gets a call from someone looking to move up and the offer is good enough, he should not hesitate to trade back.

AFC

Broncos Hire Ed Donatell As Defensive Coordinator

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The Denver Broncos will hire former Chicago Bears defensive back ED Donatell to be there defensive coordinator. The Move reunites Donatell with Vic Fangio, the head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Donatell coach under Fangio led defense s from 2011 through 2018 as defensive back coach. So the two are definitely know each other well. Donatell has been a defensive coordinator in the league before running, the Packers defense from 2000-2003 and in the Atlanta Falcons from 2004-2006.

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Browns Targeting Chuck Pagano for Defensive Coordinator

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With Freddie Kitchens officially at the helm as head coach, the Cleveland Browns are now focusing on his building his staff.

According to the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, the Browns are interested in former Indianapolis Colts head coach Check Pagano for their defensive coordinator job.

Pagano had interviewed for head coaching vacancies this offseason, and is drawing interest as a defensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

The report goes on to say that Kitchens is really interested in adding Pagano to his staff.

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AFC

Texans’ Demaryius Thomas Wants To Continue Playing Career

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Houston Texans veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who they acquired via trade from the Denver Broncos mid-season, plans to continue his playing career, and would like to stay in Houston.

“My main priority right now is getting back healthy. I can still play, man. I’m not thinking about retirement. I just don’t know where it will be,” Thomas said, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

“I told them I would love to finish my career here, but we’ll see…This is what we have to deal with as players and guys in the locker room. I hope my appearance and being around the guys and talking to a couple of guys helped. I don’t want to say I helped that much play-wise, but leadership-wise, I think I helped.”

Thomas played in 7 games for the Texans following the trade, and caught 23 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

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