SILVER SPRING, Md.– The Baltimore Ravens could be back in playoff contention after the selections that were made at the 2018 NFL draft.
The Ravens had two first-round selections in the 2018 draft where they selected tight end Hayden Hurst out of the University of South Carolina and quarterback Lamar Jackson from the University of Louisville.
2016 Heisman Trophy winner Jackson was the 32nd pick in the NFL Draft. The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player in college football whose performance best exhibits what it means to be an NCAA athlete.
In addition to being the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson adds a new type of quarterback that the Ravens have not had for the past ten seasons with Joe Flacco. Jackson is known for his ability to scramble in the pocket and run the ball effectively creating a new offensive weapon in Lamar Jackson.
“We have a good team with a great defense. Joe Flacco wasn’t the future, he’s too old to play at the level we need him to,” said Ravens fan David Wachter. “Because we have Lamar Jackson we can make it to the next level.”
The Ravens now have three different quarterbacks that all bring something different to the table when it comes to play style and experience. The current starter for the Ravens, Joe Flacco, is known for being able to stay in the pocket and through the football but is not known for his ability to run the football.
On the other side of the picture, the Ravens also picked up free agent Robert Griffin III who did not play on an NFL team during the 2017-18 season. Griffin III is known for being able to run the ball and throw outside of the pocket. As a mix of the two quarterbacks Jackson could be the thing that the Ravens have been looking for in order to get back into the playoffs.
The Ravens usually run an offense using two tight ends to help block. A top prospect tight end like Hurst will be able to fit in very well with that style of offense and be a key blocker.
The biggest asset that the Ravens needed to acquire in the offseason was a receiver with Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. Hurst is considered as a tight end that is equally capable at being a receiver as well which helps fill that void of a big receiver.
During the 2017-18 season, the Baltimore Ravens’ offense was ranked 20th in the NFL. Flacco was sacked 27 times, within the top 50% of quarterbacks in getting sacked that played in the 2017-18 season.
The amount of times that Flacco got sacked was at the fault of the offensive line. In the third round of the draft, the Baltimore Ravens picked up offensive lineman Orlando Brown from the University of Oklahoma. Brown stands six foot eight inches and weighs 345 lbs making him a threat for defensive players to move.
“Having a big O-line man is helpful. It’s always good to have more QB protection,” said long time Raven’s season ticket holder Joseph Stevens.
With all the strategic pick ups in the 2018 NFL draft, the Baltimore Ravens are a strong contender in making it make to the playoffs in the 2018-19 season.