Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Mike Preston: The Ravens avoid the risk of taking a pass rusher in the first round of the NFL Draft and are in worse shape for it. vaccine

The Ravens hope that defensive end Jermaine Johnson II cannot play.

He had three chances to select Florida State Star and Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday night, but chose Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton as No. 14 overall pick and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum at No. 25. done. The wild first round that was full of surprises in Las Vegas.

Hamilton and Linderbaum are both highly rated, but Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in the draft that the team’s top three requirements were pass rushers, offensive tackles and cornerbacks. The Ravens left without filling any of those positions and were in need of a No. 2 wide receiver after the Marquis Brown was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for the No. 23 overall pick in the first round, which he later traded to the Buffalo Bills. Did. 25th pick and 4th rounder.

It sounds confusing, and Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson apparently not happy About to see my best friend on the team off to Arizona. If the Ravens don’t get a new multi-year extension with Jackson during the 2021 regular season, that’s not likely to happen now.

Ah, poor Lamar.

The NFL is a business and all about winning, even if you didn’t walk away from The Castle after Thursday night believing the Ravens were a better team. At least not after 1 round.

Johnson’s reluctance to select was interesting as many drafting experts ranked him among the top 10 players, but there must have been some red flags. Maybe it was the bright yellow and black sports jacket he was wearing, or something was hidden in his medical report. But he was worth the gamble to which Raven is no stranger. He did it with outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Chris McAllister. They turned out fine.

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Once Hamilton was safe and the Ravens were back in the first round via trades, they should have selected Johnson. The NFL is a quarterback-run league and the top players in those positions take over post-season. If you can’t contain them, you can’t win.

The AFC has talented quarterbacks like Russell Wilson of Denver, Matt Ryan of Indianapolis, Josh Allen of Buffalo, Joe Burrows of Cincinnati, Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City, Deshaun Watson of Cleveland, Derek Carr of Las Vegas and Justin Herbert of Los Angeles Chargers. That’s eight — not including Jackson — battling for seven playoff spots.

And the Ravens don’t have anyone who can constantly pressurize them. There is no Aaron Donald or TJ Watts in Baltimore. In fact, they haven’t even had one in four years, which is why they’ve been one-on-one in the playoffs. Last season, Johnson made 70 tackles, including 17 1/2 losses and 11 1/2 sacks. The 6-foot-5, 254-pound edge rusher ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds.

Maybe that’s a gamble, but the NFL isn’t full of changing boys. The Ravens’ second selection was followed by the New York Jets taking him to number 26, a pick.

Whenever you look at a great defense, you have to focus on the front four. If they can put pressure on the quarterback, they win. Actually, they dominate.

The Ravens, however, claim that they remain true to their board, but this is actually situational. When he selected cornerback Duane Starks in 1998, he was considered a stretch. He actually tried to trade the number 24 pick in 2002 but there were no takers. Instead, they ended up with the final Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed.

Sometimes, you have to take a risk, especially when filling a major weakness.

Both Hamilton and Linderbaum are good players. But the Ravens already have three Safaris on the roster in Chuck Clark, Brandon Stephens and Marcus Williams, who signed a five-year, $70 million contract this season. How much security do you need? Is new coordinator Mike McDonald running some new four-safety configuration?

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The 6-4, 220-pound Hamilton will have a presence in the middle, but is he a frequent corner-goer? Linderbaum is a good pick and the Ravens need center. His coach in Iowa, Kirk Ferentz, was one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL and his addition would give Baltimore the opportunity to replace Patrick McCreery in one of the tackle positions if Ronnie Stanley has not fully recovered from his ankle. . injury from the start of the season

Brown’s business was needed. He was the best No. 2 receiver eventually asking to be paid like No. 1. He had trouble with his hand and was not consistent in catching the ball. To be honest, he was soft, and he would go to Arizona to play with a soft team. The Jackson-to-Brown combination probably had to break because the two needed to grow up, and that would have been harder to do in Baltimore.

This is a major draft for DeCosta. It’s unfair to criticize their last two as there hasn’t been much time for development, but the 2019 crew showed Brown in the first round and outside linebacker Jalon Ferguson and receiver Miles Boykin in the third. Well, both Brown and Boykin are gone and Ferguson hasn’t been a factor.

And on Thursday night, the crows did not fulfill any of their great needs. He said it could be in the next couple of days, where they are full of choices, but that’s where you take the players who are basically identified as projects.

And the Ravens can’t wait any longer for Pass Rushers to develop.

He hopes Johnson won’t be able to play.

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Nation World News Desk
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