Purple Reign Roundtable: Final Grades on the 2018 Ravens Draft Class

 

Well the 2018 NFL Draft has come and gone. There are now 12 new Ravens headed to rookie minicamp in a couple weeks. The P/R staff gives their thoughts on the draft class, it’s impact on the upcoming season, and beyond.

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Phil Gentile

Grade: A-

Well I had my doubts when Ozzie traded back not once but twice in the first round but what do I know. In his final draft, the Hall of Famer completely rebuilt the Ravens offense for the foreseeable future. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Hayden Hurst from my fellow Gamecock alums. The real shocker was adding Lamar Jackson, already the most dynamic player on the roster. Flacco will play another year or two and that should give the Louisville standout plenty of time to grow and develop under Greg Roman and James Urban. I really REALLY wanted a 2nd or 3rd round receiver to complete the overhaul but with the Ravens track record at the position I’m happy with what they got instead. Bravo Ozzie. We will miss you.

 

Chibs Telford

Grade: A-

What a whirlwind the past three days have been. I went from hoping we didn’t draft Ridley at 16th overall, to watching us move back over and over, filling holes and preparing for the future. This was Ozzie’s swan song, but it was also his masterpiece. 12 picks, and 3 days later, when it was all over, all I could do was marvel at the brain inside his head. Somehow, he had filled every need, added much needed depth, and provided Eric DeCosta with a strong foundation upon which to build. Nothing could’ve prepared me for this draft, in which he completely revamped the offense, and shored up spots in the defense, while also netting the (hopefully) franchise QB of the future. Oh.. and he must read my Twitter – Jaleel Scott is a Raven.

One last time.. Thank you, Ozzie. For everything.

 

Matthew Pyne

Grade: A

Ozzie put on a masterful performance in his final draft by addressing short and long term needs. Lamar Jackson could be the QB of the future. The O Line has found reinforcements and the offense has weapons at tight end.

 

Joe Hamilton

Grade: A

After spending a career building strong defenses, Ozzie spent his final draft setting the Ravens offense up with 8 pieces for the future including a potential franchise QB, and still managed to fill holes on the Defense, while only giving up a future 2nd to make it all happen.  The draft master painted a true masterpiece for his final piece.

 

Michael Champagne

Grade: A

This was the kind of draft Ravens fans wanted to see from Ozzie Newsome’s final go. We addressed positional weaknesses and added depth to areas that has been depleated by injury in the past. Not to mention hearing Eric DeCosta’s input in interviews after the rounds made me excited for the heir-apparent’s ascension. I’m confident in future of the organization and I’m excited to see these guys in camp.

 

Matt Wise

Grade: B

Value value value. In a draft in which the Ravens had a ton of holes to fill on the roster, Ozzie & Co. accumulated picks and added competition to seemingly every position. While I give the first two days an A, a day full of head scratchers Saturday results in a B grade from me.

 

Matt Jergensen

Grade: B

Ozzie Newsome’s final draft was a memorable one as he stayed true to the team’s commitment to upgrade the offense. I like the bold selection of Lamar Jackson which would usher in a new offensive philosophy when he finally takes over for Flacco. It’s certainly not a surprise that the Ravens already have coaches on board to scheme for him. Both Tight Ends should make an impact this season but I’m more concerned about Brown who flopped at the combine. The team essentially addressed most of its needs and passed on some potential defensive studs in the name of need. This team looks improved from last season but will it be enough to return to the playoffs. Time will tell.

 

John Wachter

Grade: A

After creating a legacy that included a history of great drafts, Ozzie Newsome had one chance to go out with a bang. He did exactly that. Ozzie played the first round like a fiddle, first moving back to select the guy he deemed best at our biggest position of need, followed by moving up to the 32nd and setting the media on fire with the selection of Lamar Jackson. From there, it was nothing but smart picks and value at virtually every position of need. The 2018 draft has immediate contributors as well as future investments, and puts the Ravens back on the map as true contenders in the next couple of years. This draft has me excited for the future of the team again, and could be a legendary finale for a hall of fame general manager.

 

Andrew Fossett

Grade: B-

I’m a little pessimistic about this draft. The Ravens were one good weekend away from a great season but in order to push themselves into contender status, they needed rookies who could make immediate impact. I feel that this class is more of a down-the-road group. The best additions for 2018 are Hayden Hurst at tight end and Kenny Young at linebacker.

 

Brandon Portney

Grade: B

In Ozzie Newsomes swan song, he went vintage Ozzie, trading back 5 times and finishing the draft with 12 sections , with 8 of them being offensive positions. And boy was it a pleasure to watch a legend work. This was a draft that filled needs and brought some excitement to Baltimore. It was very much about building the offensive foundation of the future.

 

Melinda Wise

Grade: A

The wonderful wizard Ozzie did some grade A work during his last ride. The rest of the NFL should take notes (or not because obviously I want the Ravens to be the best), and this might be one of Ozzie Newsome’s coolest drafts. I was a mess during the first round until I realized that he’s a genius who should pretty much never be doubted. Really excited for Zeus part deuce and I love the tight end selections. I’m hoping Joe has the weapons he needs to succeed this year, and I’m also glad we have a succession plan in place with Lamar Jackson, who I really wanted.

 

Charles Kastner

Grade: B

The Ravens passed on some studs in the first because they felt they had to fill an immediate need. From then on, they grabbed a QB at a good price, and drafted some very successful college players in the 3rd round.

 

Ashley Anderson

Grade: B

Rounds one and three earn an A+ from me as Ozzie addressed the biggest present needs as well as preparing for the future without Flacco. Day three (rounds four through seven) was less successful in my opinion because the Ravens skipped over some highly rated receivers multiple times.

 

Thomas Hunter

Grade: A-

In his final draft with the Ravens after 22 years, Ozzie put the franchise back on the track to respectability. The Ravens should be lauded over choosing players with tremendous upside that may not contribute right away but should have major roles down the road. Lamar Jackson is the face of this draft class and hopefully the next game changing franchise quarterback for the Ravens, but Baltimore snagged several impact players each day of the draft and this class should be getting Ravens fans excited for all the right reasons.

 

Michael Crawford

Grade: A

The Ravens entered the 2018 draft with 64 players on the roster and 8 picks. Ozzie and the rest of the front office team were able to make a series of trades to acquire 4 additional. They masterfully orchestrated their best player available at a position of need philosophy and turned it into 12 player selections.

I don’t believe in assigning draft grades based on the players a team selected. We have no idea how those players will perform in the NFL. But in terms of their draft strategy and execution, I give the Ravens 2018 draft class an A.

 

James Revere

Grade: A

I’ll give the Ravens a solid A on this draft. They still seem to undervalue the receiver position however. Outside of that every position was at least two rounds ahead of where they should be.

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