“It was masterful, the way it happened in that draft room tonight,” said Newsome, who is usually not given to overstatement.
“What happened tonight in that draft room was a masterpiece,” Ravens Head Coach Jon Harbaugh added, echoing the theme.
Masterful. Masterpiece. Let me add a slightly less highfaluting description: It was flipping unbelievable.
In the span of 32 picks lasting slightly more than three hours, Newsome traded back twice, traded up once, filled the Ravens’ biggest immediate need, landed the franchise’s quarterback of the future, and in the end, no doubt, lit a fire under a fan base that’s been sulking through the offseason.
Ozzie Newsome reminded NFL nation why he is called The Wizard.
The Ravens needed a shot in the arm, something to get fans excited about this team again, and the additions of Hurst and Jackson put some pizzazz back into this offense and team.
In one night they got the best tight end in the draft and the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner. The quarterback competition in training camp will be interesting with Joe Flacco as the starter and Jackson competing with Robert Griffin III for the backup spot.
Between the pro ready Hayden Hurst and the electrifying Lamar Jackson, instant coffee will be served in 2018.
2018 NFL Draft Debrief: Winners and losers from Round 1 - Gregg Rosenthal
Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome: What a swan-song performance from the Hall of Famer in his final draft running the Ravens. Newsome traded down in the first round twice before taking Hayden Hurst at No. 25 overall, the first tight end off the board. Then, the Ravens used some of that draft capital to move back into the first round to select Jackson at No. 32 overall.
I contend there’s never been an NFL player quite like Jackson. It will take some time and creativity for the Ravens to eventually transition their offense away from Joe Flacco to their new first-round QB, but that’s not a transition that has to happen this season. Talent rises in the NFL, and no player drafted on Thursday night has the potential to routinely embarrass opponents like Jackson. Much of Newsome’s tenure in Baltimore was spent trying to fix a sluggish offense. With Jackson, Newsome has a chance to burnish his legacy for years to come.
A new offensive system would re-energize the fanbase.
All 32 NFL team’s draft needs post Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft - Gordon McGinness
Top needs: LB, Edge
The Ravens provided one of the most exciting moments of the night, trading back into the first round to nab Louisville’s Lamar Jackson at Pick 32. He not only gives them a potential quarterback of the future, but gives them the exciting, do-it-all playmaker at quarterback that they have lacked since entering the league in 1996. With Willie Snead arriving as a free agent this week, and the drafting of South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst earlier in Round 1, their needs now shift away from playmakers. There are plenty of questions at linebacker beyond C.J. Mosley and another athletic coverage presence could really solidify that back-seven. On the edge, the Ravens can’t count on Terrell Suggs forever, and while they did invest in Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser last year, they combined for only 286 snaps and there is still room for another pass-rushing presence.
Right tackle and wide receiver are arguably larger remaining needs.
2018 NFL Mock Re-Draft - Walter Football
65. Baltimore Ravens: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
The offensive line must be upgraded, and Orlando Brown would start immediately at right tackle, which was a big problem area for Baltimore. Brown, despite struggling at the combine, would continue the legacy of his late, great father, who was a dominant presence for Baltimore in the late 90s.
83. Baltimore Ravens: Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama
Unless Brandon Carr takes a big pay cut, I can’t see him being back next year. The Ravens could pursue another cornerback early in the draft if Carr leaves.
65. Baltimore Ravens: B.J. Hill, DT/3-4DE/NT, N.C. State
The Ravens could use a backup nose tackle.
At the combine, Hill (6-3, 321) had a good workout and helped himself by illustrating his athleticism. Hill was part of a talented defensive line for the Wolfpack, and all four of their 2017 starters are future NFL contributors. Hill is a tough run defender at the point of attack who is tough to move and reliable to fill his gap. The senior recorded 57 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, three sacks and three passes batted in 2017. As a junior, he totaled 39 tackles with 2.5 for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble and three passes batted. Hill contributed 50 tackles as a sophomore with 3.5 sacks and 40 tackles as a freshman with 1.5 sacks.
83. Baltimore Ravens: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
The Ravens could use two wide receivers and have shown a lot of interest in Gallup.
Gallup had 100 receptions for 1,413 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. He put together a decent week of practice at the Senior Bowl and then turned in a solid showing at the combine. There is a nice media buzz about Gallup, and he could end up being one of the solid mid-round values at wide receiver. Gallup (6-0, 198) had nice production for the Rams in the 2016 season as he totaled 1,271 yards and 14 touchdowns on 76 receptions.
Adding Orlando Brown and Michael Gallup in the third round would be a dream scenario.