Last night was electric for the Baltimore Ravens. A two-time trade-down by Ozzie Newsome ended with the Ravens picking up the number one tight end in the draft, Hayden Hurst. Some fans even went to bed after the move, knowing Ozzie’s history with the NFL Draft. But it wasn’t over.
At pick 32, the Ravens traded with the Philadelphia Eagles and acquired QB Lamar Jackson, a huge move and a sign of the future.
Many loved this pick. Ravens fans were ecstatic, and pundits were talking about the Ravens more than 15 minutes after the first round ended. Now, Todd McShay ranks the Ravens draft best overall in the first round.
“This was classic Ozzie Newsome. Few, if any, GMs have managed the NFL draft better than Newsome the past two decades, and he was in prime form again throughout the night. Baltimore traded back twice (from 16 to 22 to 25), picked up an extra third- and fourth-rounder and still got a great player in Hurst. Then Newsome used one of those picks and a couple of others to move back up and land a potential franchise quarterback in Jackson, who can sit and learn behind Joe Flacco. Remember that Ravens assistant head coach Greg Roman was the 49ers’ run game coordinator when they had success with Colin Kaepernick.
Baltimore made a smart move for an incredible talent. Now, they have the present with Joe Flacco and the upgraded offense, but also a team prepared for the future. It’s hard to look at any of the other franchises’ drafts and claim they made better moves than Baltimore. The Cleveland Browns nailed two top-five picks, but they didn’t trade back for better picks, then land two high-potential players. McShay has the Bills as his honorable mention, which is fair, but the clear-cut favorite right now is Ozzie Newsome and Charm City.
As a bonus, the Pittsburgh Steelers earned ‘Biggest Reach’ with their selection of SS Terrell Edmunds. McShay ranked him as the 84th-best player in the draft. Quite early for Steelers to make the at 28.