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Ravens News 5/8: Andrews compared to Pitta, Hurst’s age and more

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


“That’s a huge honor to be compared to someone like that and someone that has done so much for this organization and had some big years,” Andrews said.

“I can see it – just watching some tape today. We see him running some routes. He’s a great player, so that comparison is honestly humbling. I have to go out there and work and earn my spot and hopefully I can be there one day.”

Andrews plays the game in a similar way. He’s crafty with his route-running and finds ways to uncover despite not being especially fast or quick. He’s an inch taller and about 10 pounds heavier than Pitta.

This is an apt comparison. Similar to Pitta, Andrews shows a knack for finding the soft spots against zone coverage and is a reliable red zone target.

Age Played A Bigger Role In The NFL Draft. It’s About Time. - Michael Salfino

In last week’s NFL draft, teams seemed to be saying “younger is better” when it came to the top picks. Seventeen of the 32 players selected in the first round will be age 21 or younger on Sept. 1 — about when their rookie season will begin. This is the highest number this century.1 And it’s not a one-year fluke based on this draft’s talent pool: It’s the continuation of a trend.

So if age is a factor in the success of a draft pick, the Bills’ selection of the first round’s youngest player, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, seems a lot smarter. Conversely, the Ravens tabbing the round’s oldest player, soon-to-be-25-year-old tight end Hayden Hurst of South Carolina, seems more questionable.

The Ravens bucked the trend towards drafting younger players not only with Hayden Hurst, but also in their selection of Bronson Kaufusi, who was a 25 year old rookie in 2016. While Hurst may not have the upside of his younger counterparts, he should be more pro ready due to his advanced physical maturity. And if he appears to be declining towards the tail end of his rookie contract, the Ravens are under no obligation to re-sign him.

Scout’s Notebook - Bucky Brooks

2) Why it’s so important to pay attention to five-star high school recruits. If I worked in an NFL front office as a general manager or personnel director, I would routinely check out the high school recruiting rankings to monitor the progress of four- and five-star prospects over their college careers. While the Twitter-verse loves to suggest this star-ranking system doesn’t matter, particularly when a two-time walk-on (Baker Mayfield) is drafted first overall, the data suggests that many elite high school prospects eventually become top NFL players down the road.

Don’t believe me? Just look at recent draft classes -- you’ll see the first few rounds are full of former five-star recruits.

In 2018, for example, seven first-round selections were rated as five-star recruits, with nine additional first-round selections earning four-star designations, according to 247Sports. That’s a 50 percent hit rate in the first round, which is pretty good considering the small number of recruits who earn top billing in high school.

Two years ago, the hit-rate was even higher. The 2017 draft saw 10 former five-star recruits selected in the first round, with 12 additional selections rated as consensus four-star prospects. That’s a total of 22 elite high school recruits who were rated as elite NFL prospects. Once again, that’s a high level of success for the recruiting analysts tasked with rating 17- and 18-year-olds across the country.

Lamar Jackson was the composite 409th ranked player in the country before enrolling at Louisville. However, 2017 first rounder Marlon Humphrey was a bonafide five star recruit as the 11th ranked player in the nation coming out of high school and 2016 first round selection Ronnie Stanley was a high four star as the 125th ranked recruit in 2012.

‘Take it to the Bank’ Podcast: Interview with BTSC’s Bryan Davis + Way too early roster predictions

Listen for our extremely bold Ravens rookie class predictions, notable veterans likely to be released and how the team can roster seven wide receivers in 2018.