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Ravens News 5/1: Kenneth Dixon a post-draft winner, 2019 mock draft and more

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Philadelphia Eagles v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

PFF’s eight best picks of the 2018 NFL Draft’s first round - Pro Football Focus

LAMAR JACKSON, QB, LOUISVILLE (BALTIMORE RAVENS, PICK 32)

The capital it took to secure this pick in a trade from the Eagles notwithstanding, being able to pick a quarterback of Jackson’s caliber at No. 32 is excellent value.

Jackson ran for 8.7 yards per rush in college with 73.0 percent of his rushing yards coming on designed runs. The ability to create passing-like yardage with his feet is of tremendous value. Jackson was not the most accurate passer in this draft ranking 10th of the 10 draft class quarterbacks that we charted ball location for this past season. That being said he made the fourth-highest percentage of perfectly accurate throws and his biggest struggles were on passes behind the line of scrimmage where his accuracy percentage was 20.0 percent below the class average.

Jackson was much more of a pocket passer than common perception would lead you to believe, in fact he threw to his second look more frequently than any other passer in the draft. When he did, he had an above average accuracy rate (55.0 percent vs 51.8 percent average) while also limiting turnover-worthy throws (2.27 percent vs 6.83). Jackson brings the ability to provide value in many ways on each play and the Ravens will now be tasked with constructing the offensive scheme to maximize that.

The stats on Jackson’s ability to find his second read while also avoiding turnover-worthy throws are particularly encouraging. Lamar may never develop precision accuracy, but his ability to move the chains on the ground can carry the Ravens a long way when paired with an imposing defense.

Ravens winners and losers from the 2018 NFL draft - Jeff Zrebiec

Winners

Kenneth Dixon: Alex Collins is the Ravens starter at running back and backup Buck Allen’s spot on the team seems secure because he’s developed into a core special teams player. It was widely expected that the Ravens would select a running back in a draft that was loaded with talented ones and that addition would push Dixon onto the roster bubble. However, they didn’t address the position in the three-day draft, which could be taken partly as a show of faith in Dixon. The fourth-round pick in 2016 has been suspended twice and already dealt with a few injuries, including one that knocked him out of all of last season. He has to prove he can stay healthy and get in good shape, and if he does, there appears to be a roster spot for him.

The failure to add an additional running back is probably the Ravens second most questionable draft day decision behind only their choice to wait until late in the fourth round to secure a rookie receiver.

Judging from Eric DeCosta’s post draft comments, the board did not fall their way at this position, a coveted back or two was selected right before their turn on the clock. Considering the depth of the running back class and the necessity to bring in at least four quality tailbacks to training camp, it was surprising that the Ravens did not address the position with one of their twelve draft picks. Kenneth Dixon may appear to be a winner right now, but it remains extremely likely that the Ravens will find some better competition for him soon.

2019 Mock Draft - Walter Football

12. Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Lewis, OLB, Alabama

The Ravens grab an understudy for Terrell Suggs.

Lewis was playing well in the 2017 season opener before sustaining an injury that cost him most of the season. He totaled just 16 tackles with a sack, but scouts who watched 2018 spring football were raving about him. Sources believe Lewis has a ton of potential. The edge defender, formerly known as Terrell Hall, developed behind the scenes for Alabama in 2016, but he could be poised for a breakout year in 2018. Scouts have told me that the 6-foot-5, 247-pounder is big and quick, plus possesses surprising change-of-direction skills. They said that Lewis has a great build and is dripping with upside.

6. Baltimore Ravens: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

The Ravens have been desperate for receivers. They signed Ryan Grant to a $27 million this offseason before nullifying it, and then they tried to get Dez Bryant with a multi-year offer. Here’s their answer.

A.J. Brown has a tremendous athleticism, and he’s been a great weapon for Ole Miss this year.

Obviously it is much too early to dig into the 2019 draft class, but these mocks are amusing nonetheless. Judging by these early projections, the national analysts will continue their obsession with finding and a ‘true’ number one receiver as well as Terrell Suggs replacement.

Take it to the Bank Podcast: 2018 NFL Draft edition - Baltimore Beatdown

Host Logan Levy sits down with RSR’s Filmstudy, Kyle P. Barber, Kyle J. Andrews and Vasilis Lericos to break down Baltimore’s 2018 NFL Draft Class.