Ozzie Newsome is both a legendary player and General Manager, and he is further enhancing his reputation by making the absolute most of his last draft. He’s been wheelin’ and dealin’, and is doing a ton to create a positive future for this Ravens franchise.
Below you will find my review of his haul this past week – let’s get started…
Pick 25: Hayden Hurst (TE, South Carolina)
Weight: 250 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.67
His combine numbers speak for themselves. This guy is a physical specimen and the perfect style of tight end for this Ravens’ offense. Hurst came of out of high school and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates to be a pitcher. After his baseball career fizzled out he decided to give it a try in college football. He walked on at the University of South Carolina and made an immediate impact, and even started a game his freshman year. In 2016 Hurst really came into his own breaking South Carolina records for receptions and yards from a TE. He continued his form by making all SEC honors last year. His size, speed and soft hands make him a mismatch for corners and linebackers. This is a good pick and typical of Ozzie to try to get the TE of the future in his last draft.
Pick 32: Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville)
Weight: 216 pounds
Lamar Jackson is one of the most electrifying players coming out of this year’s draft. The Louisville QB has drawn comparisons to Michael Vick and has all the attributes to be must-watch television soon. He has top level arm strength, fast and as elusive as any player in the draft. The former Heisman winner is now the heir apparent to Joe Flacco. Jackson is more than likely going to sit behind Joe for a year or two then take over. It will be interesting to see if Jackson’s game translates to the next level given some of his struggles with reading defenses. This pick marks a key shift in the Ravens future and it will be fascinating to see how Harbaugh and this coaching staff grooms him.
Pick 83: Orlando Brown (OT, Oklahoma)
Weight: 345 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.85 seconds
Vertical: 19.5 inches
Bench Press: 14 reps
This guy is absolutely immense, the son of former Ravens tackle Orlando “Zeus” Brown has a very high upside. He was the star of the Oklahoma Offensive Line that helped Baker Mayfield with this year’s Heisman. Coming out of college he was touted as a guaranteed first round pick, but an extremely poor showing at the combine allowed him to fall Baltimore in the third round. I think this pick is absolute robbery. Despite his lack of athleticism, he proved that he can play his position at a very high level. He has the potential to be one of the best tackles in the league.
Pick 86: Mark Andrews (TE, Oklahoma)
Weight: 256 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.67 seconds
Vertical: 31 inchs
Bench Press: 17 reps
I really like this pick, because it plays into the type of TE that works well in a Ravens offense. At Oklahoma he was a production machine, last year he caught 62 passes for 958 yards and 8 touchdowns. His best comparison is to former Ravens TE Dennis Pitta. He is a pass catching tight end that has great hands and is an excellent route-runner. His main downside is that he doesn’t love blocking. Despite this expect him to make an immediate impact. It’s going to be interesting to see how him and Hurst develop together.
Pick 118: Anthony Averett (CB, Alabama)
Height: 5 ’11
Weight: 183 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.36 seconds
Vertical: 31.5 inches
Bench Press: 13 reps
The Ravens added another Alabama corner in Anthony Averett. He has good size and is really quick. He’s going to start out as a special teamer with a chance to develop into a very competent NFL corner. He’s raw and it is going to be interesting to see if the Ravens can help in develop out of some the bad tendencies he has in coverage.
Pick 122: Kenny Young (ILB, UCLA)
Weight: 236 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.6 seconds
Vertical: 36.0 inches
Bench Press: 23 reps
Young is a speedy linebacker that was extremely impressive at UCLA. He was a key part of their defense from the time he was a true freshman. He is a finesse player and there is going to be a learning curve at the next level. He’ll be a productive special teamer and could work his way into some packages in the Ravens defense this season
Pick 132: Jaleel Scott (WR, New Mexico State)
Weight: 218 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.56 seconds
Vertical: 34.5 inches
Bench Press: 16 reps
Jaleel Scott was a surprise to some being taken in the fourth round, but his size and hands are impressive. Although he lacks elite speed off the line of scrimmage he makes up for that with high level ball skills. He’ll have to add to his lanky frame a little bit but look for him to be a favorite deep target for Joe Flacco this upcoming season.
Pick 162: Jordan Lasley (WR, UCLA)
Weight: 203 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.5 seconds
Vertical: 34.5 inches
Bench Press: 8 reps
This is one of the more interesting picks in the draft this year from a Ravens stand point. He has a massive upside and showed it at UCLA, in 2017 he caught 69 passes for 1,264 yards and 9 touchdowns. His off the field troubles are in my opinion are a bit over played. He got caught with a fake ID and had some booze on him. The only thing different from him and every other college student in America is that he is a stud athlete thus he gets held to higher standard. The only real red flag is that he had a drop rate of 16%. Hopefully he can grow out of those catching yips and be a productive Raven in the near future.
Pick 190: Deshon Elliot (Safety, Texas)
Weight: 210 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.58 seconds
Vertical: 36 inches
Bench Press: 15 reps
Deshon Elliot was only a one-year starter at Texas and came out of nowhere to become a Jim Thorpe Award Finalist. He had 6 interceptions and two pick sixes this past season. His physical attributes will limit him at first. He seems to have an eye for the ball and should make an impact on special teams.
Pick 212: Greg Senat (OT, Wagner)
Weight: 302 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.38 seconds
Vertical: 26.0 inches
Bench Press: 19 reps
Initially a basketball player at Wagner he turned to Football his Senior year. Senat is a very good athlete but is extremely raw. He will have to fight for a roster spot, but his size and speed will mostly likely secure his spot in purple this off season.
Pick 215: Bradley Bozeman (C, Alabama)
Weight: 311 pounds
Bradley Bozeman was the starting center for this years stacked national championship winning Alabama team. His size is exactly what NFL scouts are looking for in a center. Despite his build he lacks the speed and size to be a starting Center in the NFL right now. He is going to have a hard time keeping up with NFL level nose tackles. Look for him to be a backup for the time being.
Pick 238: Zach Sieler (DE, Ferris State)
Weight: 290 pounds
This guy is an absolute beast. The only reason he fell to the last round of the draft was because of the lack of competition at Ferris State. He has a rare mix of size speed and strength that are going to help his transition at the next level. I think he is a steal and has potential to be an impact player down the road.
Patriots fans aside, it’s pretty easy to see why Tom Brady is one of those guys you just love to hate. The dude’s life has pretty much taken the path of any American teenage boy’s dream. He’s dated gorgeous women since college, he eventually married a supermodel, his bank account is absolutely loaded, and he’s now got enough bling to occupy each digit on his clutch right hand.
It’s easy to hate on Brady, especially as a Ravens fan who’s still bitter about 2011 and 2014, however watching him lead the Patriots to an incredible come-from-behind win over the Falcons today confirmed in my mind that he is the greatest quarterback of all-time – yes, I said it. I’m sure many reading this just cringed and will soon put forward other names for debate, including Peyton Manning, Brett Farve, Joe Montanta, etc. However none of these superstars achieved what Brady has across all key indicators and as such, Brady gets my vote.
While the numbers certainly tell part of the story – five time Super Bowl champion, four time Super Bowl MVP, 12 time Pro Bowl, over 60,000 passing yards, nearing 500 career touchdowns, etc – the resilience of the man and his ability to lead by example tell much of the rest.
Today’s win was so incredible mere words will never truly do it justice. After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons went on a tear in the second, opening up a 21-3 lead by the half. When Matt Ryan connected with Tevin Coleman midway through the third, the Falcons looked headed for their first Super Bowl victory with a seemingly unassailable 28-3 lead. They were dominant and even more so than the scoreboard, the difference between the two teams in their body language was extreme. The Patriots were flat, while the Falcons had never been more pumped up. The 25 point lead held until just two minutes remained in the quarter when Brady’s short pass found James White who raced into the end zone, yet even then, Stephen Gostkowski’s missed extra point attempt seemed to confirm it just wasn’t meant to be the Patriots night. Brady, though, had other ideas.
His fourth quarter was one for the ages as he shifted into top gear, rallied his troops, and progressed down the field drive, after drive, after drive. Gostkowski’s 33-yard field goal with just under 10 minutes remaining brought the Patriots to within two plays and it was then when fans first sensed the game was far from over. While plenty still needed to go the Patriots way, including a little luck, Brady finally saw a door ajar and the rest, as they say, is history.
Some of his record-breaking stats were so impressive they may never be broken – in particular his 43 completions and 466 passing yards. The win, his fifth, ties Charles Haley’s NFL record for the most Super Bowl wins by one player, and he became the first player in history to be named Super Bowl MVP on four occasions.
Today’s win was all the more special for Brady in light of the highly publicized Deflategate scandal, which saw him miss the first four games of the 2016 season following a suspension for his alleged involvement. While never popular among rival fanbases, due to his success more than anything else, the scandal severely tarnished his reputation and still to this day, jokes about flat footballs often circulate through social media platforms during Patriots games. His relationship with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strained throughout the scandal, investigation, and subsequent legal battle, however Brady seemingly had the last laugh, as demonstrated by the final two words – “Roger that!” – spoken in this Shields Health Care commercial released shortly after today’s game…
The short clip, obviously filmed prior to his fifth win today, highlights the cockiness Brady seemingly possesses, however even his biggest critic will enjoy the commercial’s comedic nature. Love him or hate him, Brady is a champion and his swagger suggests he damn well knows it. With a handful of rings and the utmost respect among his peers, who are we to suggest otherwise?
Update: The commercial was pulled offline shortly after being released, however various recorded versions are still available (as seen above).