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Ravens Earn an ‘B+’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Ravens, who according to Kiper got an ‘B+’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

There’s no question the Ravens have disappointed lately. They haven’t made the playoffs the last three seasons. The offense and Joe Flacco have taken a step back. So GM Ozzie Newsome, in his last draft in charge, is shaking things up, putting the 33-year-old Flacco on notice. Baltimore traded up into the last pick of the first round — at a big price, surrendering next year’s second-round pick, plus pick Nos. 52 and 125 — to get Lamar Jackson. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner is the most raw of the top quarterbacks in this class, but he’s an electric talent. And with Flacco there and under contract for the short-term, Jackson doesn’t need to play right away. He can learn the game and keep developing until he’s ready. It’s a good spot for Jackson.

Elsewhere, the Ravens became the only team since the 2012 Colts to take two tight ends in the first three rounds, grabbing Hayden Hurst (pick 25 after trades down from 16 and 22) and Mark Andrews (86). Ben Watson accounted for 64 percent of the Ravens’ tight end yardage last season, but he’s gone. Hurst is a complete player who can line up next to the tackle or in the slot, while Andrews is essentially a 6-5 slot receiver. He had a great college career, and he’s going to be a tough cover for linebackers and safeties. We know Flacco loves throwing to tight ends, but sometimes he can rely on them too much. I liked the value getting tackle Orlando Brown at 83, and it’s cool to see him drafted by the team that his father “Zeus” played for. Brown’s tape shows a first-round player, but he fell because of a disastrous combine. He could start at right tackle in 2018.

And of course, Ozzie took two more Alabama players in his final draft. Cornerback Anthony Averett (118) has a thin frame, but he ran a 4.36 at the combine. Center Bradley Bozeman (215) anchored the Crimson Tide offensive line for 31 starts. Jordan Lasley (162) has some off-field issues, but he was Josh Rosen’s favorite target and took over games at times. He’s worth the risk there. Safety DeShon Elliott (190) had six interceptions (two pick-sixes) last season.

The big takeaway here is putting a clock on Flacco’s time in Baltimore. Jackson isn’t ready to contribute right now, but he could be in 2019.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/25 Hayden Hurst TE SOUTH CAROLINA
1/32 Lamar Jackson QB LOUISVILLE
3/83 Orlando Brown OT OKLAHOMA
3/86 Mark Andrews TE OKLAHOMA
4/118 Anthony Averett CB ALABAMA
4/122 Kenny Young ILB UCLA
4/132 Jaleel Scott WR NEW MEXICO STATE
5/162 Jordan Lasley WR UCLA
6/190 DeShon Elliott S TEXAS
6/212 Greg Senat OT WAGNER
6/215 Bradley Bozeman C ALABAMA
7/238 Zach Sieler DE FERRIS STATE

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