Sports Illustrated Gives a Lot of Love to the Ravens for Their 2017 Draft Picks

While it could take years for the Ravens and the rest of the NFL to be able to give a grade to the teams’ draft class this year, it’s never early to start throwing out how teams did last week in the annual picking of players.

Chris Burke of SI has thrown out his grades – and he has the following to say about how he felt the Ravens did last week.

Clearly, it was a focus of GM Ozzie Newsome to upgrade the Ravens’ defense through this draft. He spent each of his first four picks on that side of the ball, even doubling down at OLB on Day 2 (Tyus Bowser, pick No. 47; Tim Williams, No. 78). Defensive lineman Chris Wormley was Newsome’s other score on Day 2—he’s a player who appears custom-made to be a 3–4 end on that Baltimore depth chart. I wasn’t as high on first-round CB Marlon Humphrey as others, but he has unquestionable upside. Day 3 did bring a pair of offensive linemen: power guard Nico Siragusa, who could start in 2017, and long-term project Jermaine Eluemunor. A little surprised Newsome did not find a pass catcher somewhere. GRADE A-

A Rundown of All the Baltimore Ravens 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Ravens 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 1, Pick 16 (No. 16 overall)

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: Cornerback was a need for the Ravens, even after they signed Brandon Carr this off-season. Was it more of a need than other spots on the field, like offensive tackle or pass rusher? Was Humprey a better value than, say, a tumbling O.J. Howard? It doesn’t feel like it right away. Humphrey fits the physical prototype at cornerback, but he has a lot of technique clean-up to do before he can be trusted by his lonesome vs. premier NFL receivers. The ceiling is high, without question, but how long will it take him to get there? Ozzie Newsome has been known as a staunch best-player-available GM come draft time. Not sure he hit that mark here.? GRADE: C

Round 2, Pick 15 (No. 47)

Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston: The Ravens had the chance to nab a pass rusher in Round 1, but went with CB Marlon Humphrey instead. They addressed their edge situation well here, as Bowser has the potential to be an explosive OLB in Baltimore’s system. He only just now appears to be starting to unlock his capabilities, so the future should be very bright.? Grade: A-

Round 3, Pick 10 (No. 74)

Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan: There are times when players just look like they belong on a certain roster. That’s the case here with Wormley, a hard-nosed defender who can make noise inside or outside. Maybe not necessarily a steal here, but certainly a strong value—Wormley is a top-50 player in this class.? Grade: A-

Round 3, Pick 14 (No. 78)

Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama: Four picks, four defensive players for Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome. Certainly can’t blame him for doubling down at OLB—Terrell Suggs is nearing the end of his career and Elvis Dumervil’s contract ran out after the ‘16 season. Williams was a pass rush-only player for much of his Alabama career and might be again, but he’s exceptional in that role.? Grade: A-

Round 4, Pick 15 (No. 122) Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State

Round 5, Pick 15 (No. 159) Jermaine Eluemunor, OT, Texas A&M

Round 6, Pick 2 (No. 186) Chuck Clark, S, Virginia Tech

Ravens Take Alabama Cornerback Marlon Humphrey with Pick 16 in the 2017 NFL Draft

The Ravens had plenty of choices of what to do with the 16th overall pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft, but instead of going in a different direction or trading the pick, the team decided to go with defense, taking Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

After all, it was defense that led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win in 2001, and hopefully with Humphrey as a standout player on defense they can start to build that type of defense again.

It seemed to be falling perfectly for the Ravens. A draft expected to be dominated by defense featured an early run on offensive players. The three top receivers went off the board in the top 10 picks, taking away that option for the Ravens.

However, everything else was in play. Two Alabama defensive standouts, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and inside linebacker Reuben Foster, were still available despite both being projected to go within the first dozen picks. Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, seen as a virtual lock for the top 10, also was sitting there.

But after listening to trade offers, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome decided to stand pat and pulled off a significant draft surprise, taking Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the 16th overall pick. Humphrey was considered the second or third best cornerback in the draft, but even he acknowledged that he was surprised to be selected by the Ravens because he hadn’t visited Baltimore in the predraft process.

“To be honest, I wasn’t even paying attention to what was on the screen really,” said Humphrey, who watched the draft with family and friends in Birmingham, Ala. “That’s how surprised I was because my name got called.”

A Look at the 2017 Ravens Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out as well as the 2017 Baltimore Ravens Schedule, and here’s a look at the slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 10 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM

Sep. 17 Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM

Sep. 24 at Jacksonville Jaguars (London) 9:30 AM

Oct. 1 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM

Oct. 8 at Oakland Raiders 4:05 PM

Oct. 15 Chicago Bears 1:00 PM

Oct. 22 at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM

Oct. 26 Miami Dolphins (Thu) 8:25 PM

Nov. 5 at Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM

Nov. 12 BYE

Nov. 19 at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM

Nov. 27 Houston Texans (Mon) 8:30 PM

Dec. 3 Detroit Lions 1:00 PM

Dec. 10 at Pittsburgh Steelers * 8:30 PM

Dec. 17 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM

Dec. 23 Indianapolis Colts (Sat) 4:30 PM

Dec. 31 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: Two home games to end the season could be key for this team, as we all know last year how the season basically ended on Christmas Day in Pittsburgh. Before those two home games they have two key road games against the Steelers and Browns.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: Two of the first three and three of the first five are on the road, including that trip to London September 24th against the Jaguars. Two games against the AFC North teams in the Browns and Bengals early could set the pace for how good or bad 2017 goes.

Ravens Ask for a Later Bye; Not After Their Week Three Game in London

The 2017 NFL regular-season schedule is set to come out in the next week to 10 days, and we already know that the Ravens are set to play in London in the 2017 season.

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Ravens are talking to the league about moving their bye week, so they can have it later in the season and not in week four.

When looking at NFL Betting, the Ravens are likely to be favorites as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Wembley Stadium in week three, a game that will be played on Sunday, September 24th.

Ravens president Dick Cass confirmed that the team has asked the league not to give the team their bye following the game in London, a game that is likely to be ugly based on how a lot of the games in London play out with the teams having major issues dealing with the time change and spending the week across the pond.

Teams that have played in London have traditionally gotten the next week off because of the travel demands playing overseas. However, the Indianapolis Colts requested to not have a Week Five bye last year after their Oct. 24 game against the Jaguars in London. Their request was granted and the Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-23, the following week.

A Week Four bye is the earliest break a team can have in the NFL. Teams prefer to have their week off closer to the midpoint because it helps break the season up and it provides a boost for a potential playoff run.

The Ravens’ matchup with the Jaguars will mark their first overseas game. Cass told The Sun last month that the Ravens recently sent 12 members of the organization to London to finalize where the team will stay and practice during its time in London.

NFL 2017 Player Predictions and Who Will Win Super Bowl 2018

While it’s way too early to determine the winner of the Super Bowl, bettors and prolific handicappers focus more player predictions for the starting season in September 2017 for the Super Bowl race of 2018. Here is what major sports sites predictions are:

Player Predictions

Alshon Jeffery
Prediction: Signs with the Chicago Bears.

Size, speed with great awareness on the ball and one of the top-tier receivers. While free on the market it seems Jeffery might make a return for Chicago Bears according to a Ian Reports tweet about a player meeting with the team directives. If you want to bet against this you hold your standing based on Jeffery’s remarks about wishing to play on a Super Ball contender this season, and that is not the case of the Bears who find themselves in the middle of a roster overhaul.

DeSean Jackson
Prediction: Signs with Tampa Bay.

A pro receiver and not playing anymore for the Washington Redskins. Where will he go? There are 3 strong candidates: 49ers, Rams, Buccaneers. Pick given by’s Ian Report on twitter. 

Adrian Peterson
Prediction: Joins New England Patriot to chase Super Bowl 2018.

Peterson is a monster athlete with a future Hall of Fame as a running back, only problem is he will soon turn 32 and questions about durability and rustiness are on the air since he played very little this last season.

Peterson has claimed interest for playing with Raiders and Seahawks according to a Bleacher Report tweet.

But Bleacher Report and the Boston Herald bet on Adrian getting an offer from the New England Patriots as the best running back in history. The best team with the best running back in history, makes sense. The Super Bowl 2018 could be enough to entice Peterson.

Tony Romo
Prediction: Goes to Arizona, Denver or Kansas City.

The most obvious team to take him would be Houston, but Arizona, Denver and Kansas City are better suitors according to Bleacher Report.

Kirk Cousins
Prediction: Signs with Washington Redskins.

The Washington Redskins need him, but he doesn´t need them with Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson leaving. So you might want to skip this tip from Bleacher Report that suggests the player has better options sitting out the season.

Other NFL Predictions

Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: The Cowboys won´t make the playoffs.

Their poor performing deals and they will lose the NFC title race according to Bleacher Report. Dak Prescott will fade thanks to his injury and lowers the overall team performance. They just lacks what is needed to survive for the next season.

Teams not Making it to the Playoffs
Prediction: the Dolphins, Raiders, Giants, Lions and Falcons will not be in the playoffs.

All of the mentioned teams are unstable in performance, they seem to be able to make only to fall once more. The Giants and Lions are amongst the most unpredictable team year after year. The Raiders are an average team, and that’s not enough. The Falcons seem to suffer from the Super Bowl curse, which says the losing team has trouble getting back to playoffs.  But more than that is the fact the team has trouble building a backbone.

Teams Making it to the Playoffs
Prediction: Ravens, Chargers, Redskins, Eagles and Bucs.

The Bucs have been raising their stats continually and Baltimore Ravens are on their good year.  The Chargers are on the up rise with Phillip Rivers.

Going with the bet that neither Redskins, Raiders nor Giants win the NFC East, that leaves Washington and Philadelphia for the bid.

Super Bowl 2018 Winner Prediction
Prediction: New England Patriots win the Super Bowl 2018.

The only possible early bet to pick the 2018 Super Bowl winner would be for the New England Patriots once more, especially if they take into key players this season as bettors predict. If you want to see more details, William Hill offers the best NFL betting odds for all future matches in different sports events like Super Bowl. The Patriots is the most solid, competitive and experienced for the task. They are unmatchable for the long term goal.

Ravens Bring Back DT Brandon Williams With Mega Deal Worth $54 Million

The Ravens reached an agreement in principle with defensive tackle Brandon Williams on a five-year, $54 million deal with $27.5 million in guarantees on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

While they didn’t use the franchise tag on him, they were intent on keeping the run-stopper around.

Losing big-ticket free agents Rick Wagner (Lions) and Kyle Juszczyk (49ers) helped create some flexibility, but Williams was already viewed as a building block.

Former Ravens President David Modell Passes Away From Lung Cancer at 56


Former Ravens President David Modell passed away on Friday at the age of 56 after battling lung cancer the past few years.

Modell is the adopted son of former Browns owner Art Modell.

David was a former President of the Ravens, and is survived by his wife, Michel, three sons, Arthur Modell, David Modell Jr. and Bertram “Bertie” Modell; three daughters, Breslin Modell, Collier Modell and Aoife “Fee” Modell; and a brother, John Modell.

Modell was a fixture with the Browns, going from being a part of the grounds crew when he was 14 years old, to eventually by his father’s side and helping the Browns move to Baltimore after the 1995 season.

Art passed away in 2012 before the start of the season, while his mother, Patricia Modell, died in 2011.