If you missed the NFL draft Thursday night, you missed the Ravens drafting a pretty good quarterback. If you missed it Friday night, you missed them taking the son of Zeus. And if you missed it Saturday, you missed a whole lot more picks.
If you missed the whole thing, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the most enduring moments from the three-day, 12-player haul, plus a look at who likes the Ravens’ draft and who does not.
Best Ravens grades
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: “Ozzie Newsome played all the hits in his last draft as general manager of the Ravens. After making his name as an evaluator by taking Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis in the first round, he finished the 2018 draft with two first rounders. Tight end Hayden Hurst was a bit of a surprise but the Ravens at least were able to move back and take him. Then Newsome made the big move back into the first round to take quarterback Lamar Jackson. If that pick works out, he set up the future of the Ravens.” Grade: A
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: “The Ravens had two trade downs to pick up a bunch of extra picks, which really helped make their draft. They took tight end Hayden Hurst with their first-round pick, and he will be an immediate impact player. They then traded back into the first round to take quarterback Lamar Jackson. He will be their quarterback of the future. I liked the pick of Orlando Brown in the third round, but I am not as sold on tight end Mark Andrews, their other third-round pick, as others. Keep an eye on fourth-round receiver Jaleel Scott. He should contribute as a rookie. Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta had another good draft.” Grade: A
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: “The Ravens revamped their offense, using four picks in the first three rounds on the offensive side of the ball, beginning with South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst, one of the best tight ends in the draft. The wild-card pick is Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, who many believe has the most upside of all the QBs drafted. And look out for Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown, whose stock fell after a poor scouting combine.” Grade: A
Walter Football: “The Ravens made an interesting decision by trading up into the very end of the opening round to take Lamar Jackson. Flacco was not pleased by this, refusing to talk to the media about it. Flacco has been very subpar since winning the Super Bowl. It's not completely his fault — his protection has been poor, and he's had several injuries — but there's no questioning his decline. Newsome was correct in pursuing a quarterback of the future.” Grade: A-
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: “The Ravens picked up a slew of picks in two trade-downs and still got a talent at a need position (tight end). That's a great way for Ozzie Newsome to start off his final draft as the Ravens' GM. Hurst is a smooth, sure-handed receiver who will provide toughness inside and stretch the field. I think fellow tight end Dallas Goedert has a potentially great future, though, so I would have gone that direction instead. Giving up a second-round pick in 2019 to get Jackson is not an overly risky play. I'm a believer in Jackson's playmaking ability and he's under no pressure to play in 2018. Jackson is a worthy selection.” Grade: A-
Worst Ravens grades
Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports: Tight end Hayden Hurst was a need pick, and not an inspiring one. It made less sense when the Ravens doubled down with tight end Mark Andrews in the third. If Orlando Brown plays like he did in college he’s a good value acquisition in the third, but his lack of athleticism (he had a historically bad combine) is concerning. Cornerback Anthony Averett was a solid find in the fourth. But the most interesting piece of the draft class is clearly quarterback Lamar Jackson. If he’s used right, Ozzie Newsome’s last first-round pick as GM will be a huge part of his Ravens legacy. Grade: C
Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated: “With six key contributors in contract years, the Ravens needed to replenish their defensive front seven—but they didn’t, save for taking linebacker Kenny Young in Round 4. Next year’s GM, Eric DeCosta, will have to play catchup. But if their offensive overhaul goes well, that’s a small price to pay.” Grade: B-
Ian Wharton, Bleacher Report: “Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome's draft class is a confusing one. As terrific as it was for the Ravens to invest in Lamar Jackson as the successor to the declined Joe Flacco, they surrounded him with a rookie class that doesn't seem to fit him well. Jackson has superstar talent and will benefit from a stable organization.” Grade: B-
TheScore: “The Ravens were one of the toughest teams to grade this year. Baltimore can't be knocked for their forward-thinking mentality, even if the team parted with a 2019 second-round pick in the Lamar Jackson trade-up. Selecting two tight ends could be considered questionable, but the Ravens came away with a number of solid prospects that filled multiple needs. Averett and Elliott were their strongest third-day picks. Overall, this class will live and die with Jackson.” Grade: B-
Rotoworld: “Hurst didn’t belong anywhere near the first round as a 25-year-old rookie with three career receiving TDs. Ozzie Newsome redeemed himself in his final draft as Ravens GM by leaving behind Baltimore’s quarterback of the future in Jackson. Moving up for Jackson did cost the Ravens their 2019 second-round pick. Brown bombed the Combine but has first- or second-round tape. Whereas Hurst can play in-line tight end, Andrews is best used as a catch-first seam stretcher in the slot. Andrews reminded me of ex-Broncos TE Tony Scheffler. I don’t think Averett has an NFL future beyond special teams. Young and Elliott were big-school producers who checked athleticism boxes before the draft, raising the probability they’ll outkick their draft position. Scott and Lasley add more mediocrity to Baltimore’s pedestrian wideout corps. Senat, Bozeman, and Sieler probably aren’t long for the league.” Grade: B-