Each Ravens pick analyzed: Offense upgraded in first round

--- NFLDraftScout.com ---

The Baltimore Ravens landed a few players ready to make an immediate impact and others that will help lay the foundation for the future in this year's NFL Draft.

General manager Ozzie Newsome made several deals in the first round to secure a couple players rated highly on his board. He took South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst with the 25th overall pick and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson at 32.

Hurst is expected to earn a starting role immediately because the team is thin at tight end. Jackson will have the opportunity to learn from veteran Joe Flacco for at least a season before he could possibly take over the full-time job.

"I just want to get that playbook in my hands as soon as possible and get to it," Jackson said. "I want to compete."

The Ravens started the draft with the 16th overall pick. However, Newsome, who plans to retire after the 2018 season, traded picks No. 16 and 154 overall (a fifth-rounder) to the Bills for their 22nd overall pick and No. 65. Newsome then gave up the 22nd pick and a sixth-rounder to Tennessee for the 25th overall pick and a fourth-round selection.

The Ravens were able to take Hurst with that deal. Joe Hortiz, the Ravens' director of college scouting, liked the tight end's versatility and his ability to run after a catch.

"They've played him in so many roles down there," Hortiz said. "Flexed out, on the line, they've used him as a wing, and I think you guys have probably seen the highlights of him actually lining up in the backfield. He's productive in all of those roles. He's a good blocker, obviously, the way they use him.

"But his athleticism as a receiver and then his hands, he just doesn't drop the ball, and he makes some spectacular catches. He can run after the catch. So, he's just a versatile and talented athlete who can help us in pretty much all phases of our game."

The Ravens, however, were not done dealing. As the first round began coming to a close, Jackson was still available and Newsome decided to make another move.

He traded the a fourth-round pick to the Eagles, along with the Ravens' second-rounder and a second-round pick in 2019, for No. 32 and 132. This enabled Baltimore to select Jackson with the last selection of the first round.

However, there are no plans to rush the strong-armed quarterback into action.

"(Jackson's) a great quarterback - start with that," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. "But Joe Flacco is our quarterback - that's the thing we have to remember. Lamar is going to have a great chance to develop. I think you get to this stage in a quarterback's career - you've seen it done in New England, we've seen it done in a lot of places - it's time to start thinking about drafting a quarterback.

"When the opportunity came to get a really good one, I think you have to jump on it and take it. This really doesn't change things in a sense that we're going to go with Joe, and Joe's going to roll."

Newsome continued to maneuver throughout the draft.

The Ravens picked up two more potential starters from Oklahoma in the third round. The team selected tackle Orlando Brown Jr. with the 83th overall pick. He is the son of former Ravens offensive lineman Orlando "Zeus" Brown and will compete with James Hurst for the starting role at right tackle for the Ravens.

Baltimore then selected tight end Mark Andrews three picks later. He is a solid blocker that also has good hands. Both he and Hayden Hurst could be on the field at the same time because the Ravens like to use two tight ends.

"We came away with two players from the University of Oklahoma. One, we have some familiarity with - 'Lil' Zeus,'" Newsome said. "We brought him in for one of the 30 (player) visits, and I can just remember when he was here, when he was 10, 11 years old when his dad would bring him around. He comes in and he has an opportunity to compete at our right tackle spot.

"Mark Andrews, his teammate, is another target for Joe (Flacco). We feel like we don't want to put ourselves in a position with the roster, that if you get an injury, that we have to go out on the street and try to find another pass-catching tight end."

The Ravens also added depth on the defensive side of the ball by adding Alabama cornerback Anthony Averett and UCLA linebacker Kenny Young in the fourth round. Both players could push for playing time. The team added to the depth at receiver in the fourth and fifth round by picking up Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley.

Overall, the Ravens had 12 picks in this year's draft, which tied for the most in franchise history. The team currently has 64 players on the roster so there is room for these rookies to earn a spot.

"I feel like this is his best draft since I've been here, heck, maybe the best ever," Harbaugh said.

A closer look at the Ravens picks:

Round 1/25 -- Hayden Hurst, TE, 6-5, 250, South Carolina

The Ravens traded down to grab Hurst, who is expected to start immediately. Quarterback Joe Flacco loves to throw to tight ends so it's imperative that Hurst develop a rapport with him. While Hurst did not put up big numbers at South Carolina, he can create mismatches with linebackers and has good hands to move the chains.

Round 1/32 -- Lamar Jackson, QB, 6-3, 216, Louisville

The Ravens are confident they nabbed the heir to Joe Flacco. Jackson is a big-time playmaker that won the Heisman Trophy Award in 2016. He also has a nose for the end zone and broke a Louisville record with 119 touchdowns (69 passes, 50 runs). Jackson will also get an opportunity to ease into his role and will benefit from playing behind Flacco.

Round 3/83 -- Orlando Brown Jr., T, 6-8, 345, Oklahoma

The son of former Ravens offensive lineman Orlando "Zeus" Brown could be another steal by the Ravens. The stock for the younger Brown fell after he struggled at the Combine. However, he has the size and pedigree to make an immediate impact in Baltimore. Brown will compete with James Hurst for the starting role at right tackle. Orlando Brown Sr. died in September 2011 at age 40 because of complications from diabetes.

Round 3/86 -- Mark Andrews, TE, 6-5, 256, Oklahoma

The Ravens entered the draft with tight end as their biggest need. They took Hurst with the 16th overall pick and then selected Andrews two rounds later. It was the third time the Ravens took a pair of tight ends in the draft. Andrews will have an opportunity to play immediately because the Ravens will likely will go with two-tight end sets on offense. Andrews led Oklahoma with 62 receptions for 958 yards (15.5 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns. He also won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end.

Round 4/118 -- Anthony Averett, CB, 5-11, 183, Alabama

Newsome went back to the Alabama talent pool to add depth in the secondary. Averett has good speed and is solid in coverage. While he is a bit undersized, he played on one of the best defenses in college football and has developed the technique and toughness to play in the NFL. Averett is the nephew of former Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie.

Round 4/122 -- Kenny Young, ILB, 6-1, 236, UCLA

The Ravens were able to acquire Young from the pick they acquired from Kansas City. Young, an All-Pac-12 selection last season, could earn a spot next to veteran C.J. Mosley. He led the Bruins last season with 110 tackles, 8.5 for loss, one sack and three passes deflected. Young is lauded for his work ethic.

Round 4/132 -- Jaleel Scott, WR, 6-1, 218, New Mexico State

He provides a big target that can play inside and outside. Scott is also effective coming down with the ball. He was a first-team all-conference pick in the Sun Belt after catching 76 passes for 1,079 yards with nine touchdowns. However, he doesn't have the speed to get behind most NFL secondaries.

Round 5/162 -- Jordan Lasley, WR, 6-1, 201, UCLA

Lasley is productive when he can stay on the field. He caught 69 passes for 1,264 yards with nine touchdowns last season. Lasley also averaged over 18 yards per catch. He was named honorable mention by the Pac-12 coaches. Lasley also has the ability to respond in big games, finishing with more than 200 yards receiving against both USC and California. However, he has dealt with several legal and disciplinary issues.

Round 6/190 -- DeShon Elliott, S, 6-0, 210, Texas

Elliott could evolve into another ball hawk in the secondary. Last season, he had six interceptions and broke up seven passes. Elliott could play himself into the rotation at safety with a strong training camp. He could also make his mark on special teams.

Round 6/212 -- Greg Senat, T, 6-6, 302, Wagner

Senat is athletic and also played four years of college basketball. He originally wanted to play tight end but eventually decided he was best suited for the offensive line. Senat started 11 games in both 2016 and 2017. He will be a project for the Ravens as he increases his overall bulk.

Round 6/215 -- Bradley Bozeman, C, 6-4, 317, Alabama

The Ravens added further depth to the offensive line with Bozeman, who is widely regarded for his toughness. Bozeman started 14 games as a senior for the national champions last season and earned second-team All-SEC honors. He could compete for playing time because the Ravens lost starter Ryan Jensen to the Buccaneers via free agency.

Round 7/238 -- Zach Sieler, DE, 6-6, 290, Ferris State

Sieler was dominant at the Division II level and had 50.5 tackles for a loss and 26.5 sacks over the last two seasons. He has the size and strength to make an impact in the NFL. Sieler was general manager Ozzie Newsome's last pick in 23 years of leading the Ravens' draft.


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