John Harbaugh’s First Impressions of Each Draft Pick
Ryan Mink, Baltimoreravens.com
WR Zay Flowers
“Zay looks just as advertised. Quick, good hands, very smart. [He’s] picking things up really quickly, playing every position right now across the board. It’s just the first two install days, but I’d say everything you expected to see, you saw. He’s catching the ball well.”
LB Trenton Simpson
“He looks fast. He’s picking things up, a very good communicator. Obviously, there’s a lot that these guys have on their plate. There’s a lot to learn. But he’s off to a good start.”
OLB Tavius Robinson
“He looks good. High energy, high energy. I think his skillset is going to really express itself with the pads on. But he’s a tall, rangy guy with heavy hands and a lot of energy.”
CB Kyu Blu Kelly
“He looks really good. I would say just for me personally, even a little more athletic than I thought from the draft on the tape. He looks really fluid.”
OL Sala Aumavae-Laulu
“Good feet, just like we thought. It’s harder for the linemen because we’re not in the pads, but he moves real well and seems like he’s picking things up well.”
Which NFL rookies will make the biggest immediate impact? A pick for all 32 teams
Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic
It has to be wide receiver Zay Flowers. It’s hard to project what linebacker Trenton Simpson’s role will be as a rookie. Fellow linebacker Tavius Robinson will likely be a rotational guy at the start. Cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly will need to establish himself on special teams before earning a role defensively. Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu is a developmental offensive lineman. It all comes back to Flowers, who figures to have a significant role on offense from the jump. Lamar Jackson loves throwing the ball between the numbers, so Flowers should get his targets. He also could factor into the team’s return game.
Ravens’ John Harbaugh doesn’t rule out return of CB Marcus Peters: ‘Don’t close the door on good players’
Bobby Kownack, NFL.com
“I would say no,” Harbaugh told reporters Saturday when asked if Ya-Sin’s arrival eliminates the possibility of signing more defensive backs. “I don’t think you ever really close the door on any personnel move. Whoever it might be. You’d probably ask me about Marcus (Peters) and whatever other corners are out there. You don’t close the door on good players and good people, you just see how it goes.”
The oft-boisterous Peters has 32 career interceptions with six returned for touchdowns, 92 passes defensed and 11 forced fumbles, but he hasn’t had a Pro Bowl campaign since the year of the trade. And although he recovered from a torn ACL that wiped out all of 2021 to play 13 games last season, his 67.6 PFF coverage grade was his lowest as a Raven.
He still possesses the skill to contribute as a starter or important depth piece. Gregg Rosenthal ranked him No. 46 in his top 101 free agents. The Ravens are just going younger for now on the boundary opposite Marlon Humphrey — Ya-Sin is entering his age-27 season and placed seven spots ahead of Peters in Rosenthal’s list.
“He’s a young veteran corner,” Harbaugh said of Ya-Sin. “We’ve always appreciated the way he plays. He’s a very diligent player. He can run. He’s a good tackler. He’s a tough player. Good man and zone player, both. We were impressed when we talked to him. Just happy to get it done. So, looking forward to seeing how he does.”
Thoughts on Lamar Jackson’s $260 Million Contract
Jason Fitzgerald, Over The Cap
Once the sides broke off talks last year, Jackson did benefit by waiting on a contract. Essentially, he allowed Jalen Hurts to jump the market and set a framework to use for his contract. He earns $3M more over three years, $4 million over four, and $5 million over five. He probably would not have gotten that had he not waited. While there is a chance some of the other QB contracts could get done it is probably more likely that they won’t hit until the summer and he would have been blocked off from an extension by then so I think the timing was perfect for him to agree to a deal right before the draft.
Overall, it is a traditional market mover at the position and will set the framework for the next contracts which will likely be somewhere between $53 million and $55 million per season. The five year contract length, if it wasn’t already solidified, is clearly the baseline for everyone and now there is a new set of guarantees for players to aim for. Overall I think the other QB’s looking for new contracts are happy with where this one landed, giving them more ammo to ask for and hopefully receive more than they would have had Jackson not signed an extension.
11 things we learned from Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s news conference — and 5 things we still don’t know
Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner
What we still don’t know
What happened after Jackson’s trade request? He and the Ravens needed only a month to patch things up and agree on a deal. A lot happened in that span: Beckham was signed, Hurts reset the quarterback market, and the NFL draft loomed. But DeCosta told NBC Sports on Wednesday that the Ravens’ final offer to Jackson was not too different from what he’d been offered in September, before contract talks were suspended.
How does Jackson want to play? He’s bristled at the notion of being a “running quarterback,” and indicated after the departure of offensive coordinator Greg Roman that he’s ready to play in a “pro-style” offense. Jackson said Thursday that he told someone he wants to “throw for, like, 6,000 yards with the weapons we have,” but didn’t talk about his goals as a runner. Many productive running quarterbacks, such as Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick, had fewer rushing attempts as they aged out of their athletic prime.