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Ravens News 4/22: Red Star prospects and more

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 12 Wyoming at San Diego State Photo by Alan Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lamar Jackson Working on Mental ‘Tom Brady Stuff’ During Offseason - Clifton Brown

“Me and my teammates had already talked before we left Baltimore in January, we wanted to get together and watch film together,” Jackson said. “I feel like we need to hit a lot more deep passes that we didn’t last year. The quarantine is slowing everything down right now. I can’t get with my guys, to be working on timing our routes. That’s a big part of it.”

“I doubt if I’m going to be carrying the ball a lot going on in the future,” Jackson said. “We’ve got dynamic running backs. We’re going to have even more receivers. We’ve got Hollywood, Mark Andrews, Nick (Boyle), Willie Snead, Miles (Boykin). We’re going to be pretty good. I don’t think I’ll be running a lot.”

Until he can return to all normal offseason activities, Jackson is making sure he stays in shape with running and Pilates, and he feels no complacency after his MVP season. Jackson is tired of hearing about his 0-2 playoff record and he is even more driven to help the Ravens win a Super Bowl, using that quest to fuel him.

“I let it haunt me,” Jackson said, “but it makes me a better player.”

The Altered Goal of This Year’s Draft - John Eisenberg

Normally, the Ravens are hoping to make personnel additions that provide depth and possibly help them ascend to the upper tier of Super Bowl contenders. But they’re already in that upper tier this year, which alters the goal.

They aren’t trying to go from good to great. They’re trying to go from great to really great.

Actually, maybe the best way to frame it is they’re trying to go from really potent to better than the Kansas City Chiefs.

I’m quite sure the Ravens’ decision to make a major investment in their defense by adding Campbell and Wolfe, franchising Matthew Judon and re-signing cornerback Jimmy Smith is based at least partly on doing what seemingly is needed to battle the Chiefs and their track team of an offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Selecting a high-end inside linebacker with their top pick would pretty much complete the Ravens’ overhaul of their defensive front. I predict they’ll make such a move, taking LSU’s Patrick Queen.

Top SEC draft prospects? Most overhyped? SEC coaches weigh in - Matt Zenitz

Who were the toughest guys to prep for and match up against last year aside from the obvious top guys?

Kentucky quarterback/wide receiver Lynn Bowden (three votes)

“He was a b---- to prepare for,” a defensive assistant coach said.

Who are some guys that maybe aren’t big names that you’d be interested in if you were an NFL GM?

Mississippi State linebacker Willie Gay (four votes)

“Fast, physical, instinctive, has bad intentions when he gets there,” a personnel official said. “Really good player. Probably the best linebacker that we played this year. He made some plays in our game that I was just like, ‘Holy smokes.’ He’s just ridiculously talented.”

“He’s a specimen,” a defensive coordinator said. “He belongs at the next level in some capacity.”

Alabama outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings (three votes)

Jennings — whom former Alabama star Rolando McClain once referred to as “the meanest mother------ you’re going to see” — was a three-year starter for the Tide and finished last season with 83 tackles and eight sacks. “He’s tough, he’s big, he’s strong, he plays football and he’s a grown man,” a defensive staffer said. “If you’re just talking about a pure man, Anfernee Jennings is a pure man. You’d probably have to look at somebody that came out 10 years ago to even find a comparison for him. He’s the last of a dying breed. They don’t make ‘em like Anfernee anymore. That’s a throwback linebacker.”

Tennessee safety Nigel Warrior (three votes)

While Warrior wasn’t among the more than 300 players invited to the NFL scouting combine, at least some coaches believe he has a future in the NFL. A three-year starter for Tennessee, Warrior had 70 tackles last season, tied for the SEC-lead with four interceptions and was a first-team All-SEC selection. “I’ve always liked him, just watching him on tape, because he plays hard on special teams,” an offensive assistant coach said. “Special teams in the league, that’s how you stay there, right? He’s a guy that he makes plays and he did it in high school too and I’ve always liked him as a player. I see him at least playing a lot of years because of his special teams.”

2020 NFL Draft: All-Pros, Pro Bowlers and Red Stars in this class - Bucky Brooks


1) Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

2) Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

3) Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

4) Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

5) Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State


1) Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

2) Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

3) Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

4) Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

5) Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

6) CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

7) CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

8) Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

9) Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

10) Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU


1) Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin

2) Michael Pittman WR, USC

3) Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA

4) Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming:

It is difficult to find a hard-hitting inside linebacker with outstanding production as a tackling machine and ball-hawk.

As an instinctive defender with exceptional diagnostic skills and reactions, he flies to the ball without hesitation and delivers the thump to ball carriers. Wilson’s ability to control the tackle-to-tackle box in the run game is impressive, but his playmaking ability as a pass defender could vault him to elite status as a pro. He is one of the best underneath zone defenders to enter the draft in years, exhibiting uncommon awareness, anticipation and ball skills.

5) Cam Akers, RB, Florida State

Three-round PFF Analyst Mock Draft: Tua Tagovailoa goes No. 2 overall to Washington, Chargers snag Jordan Love in Round 3 - PFF