Podcast: Ravens Draft Recap

After six rounds and seven picks, the Ravens are done drafting. Now that the draft is over, how to you feel about it?

Here is a list of the Ravens’ 2017 draft picks:

  • Pick #16 (Round 1): Marlon Humphrey – cornerback – Alabama
  • Pick #47 (Round 2): Tyus Bowser – outside linebacker – Houston
  • Pick #74 (Round 3): Chris Wormley – defensive tackle – Michigan
  • Pick #78 (Round 3): Tim Williams – outside linebacker – Alabama
  • Pick #122 (Round 4): Nico Siragusa – guard – San Diego State
  • Pick #159 (Round 5): Jermaine Eluemunor – guard – Texas A&M
  • Pick #168 (Round 6): Chuck Clark – safety – Virginia Tech

On this episode of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast, Jake McDonnell and Tyler Feeser talk about how these seven picks shape the 2017 Ravens. What is there to like about what the Ravens did? What are some areas of concern for the team going forward? With so much information stemming from the three-day draft, this discussion is what you need to hear.

Following the draft talk, Jake gets Tyler’s take on the Orioles after a month of play.

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Saturday Draft Recap: Ravens Strengthen Offensive Line

On Saturday the Ravens made their final three picks of the 2017 draft. After drafting four defensive players in the first three rounds, Ozzie Newsome and company picked up their first offensive players in rounds four and five.

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Siragusa started every game in his last three years at San Diego State. Credit: @GoAztecs on Twitter

With the 122nd overall pick, the Ravens selected guard Nico Siragusa from San Diego State. Going into the 2017 draft, the Ravens had many needs on both sides of the ball.  One of those was certainly the lack of depth on the offensive line.

 

With the departure of two starters, Ricky Wagner and Jeremy Zuttah, the Ravens desperately needed someone to fill either of those voids. Siragusa will have a prime opportunity to do just that in 2017.

Experts say Siragusa has an NFL ready frame and the ability to dominate inside on the run game.  His potential weakness is playing outside or pulling in blocking schemes.  Pass protection could also be an issue early on in his professional career.

The fourth round pick also becomes the second Siragusa to wear a Ravens uniform but has no relation to former defensive tackle, Tony Siragusa.

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Eluemunor’s hand and upper body strength will make him a nice addition to the Ravens O-line. Credit: 247 sports 

In the fifth round the Ravens picked up another offensive lineman. Jermaine Eluemunor, from Texas A&M, will look to compete for a spot on the Ravens O-line just like Siragusa.

 

Eluemunor grew up in London before coming to New Jersey at the age of 14.  While in England, Eluemunor played a lot of rugby but switched to wrestling and football in high school.  The fifth round pick is being praised for his upper body strength and ability to work in different blocking schemes.  However, some experts are saying his lack of experience in college is a weakness along with his footwork.

The Ravens final pick of the 2017 draft came in the sixth round when they selected safety, Chuck Clark from Virginia Tech at 186 overall. Clark was a team captain for two season at Virginia Tech and…

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Chuck Clark joins a strong Ravens secondary for 2017.  Credit: Roanoke Times

Experts like Clark’s no hesitation tackling approach and his ability to play a combo safety role. With the Ravens making great strides this off-season to strengthen their secondary, Clark’s immediate role is in question. His weaknesses mainly revolve around his size. At 6’o”, Clark is shorter than the NFL norm.

 

The Ravens walk away from the 2017 draft with a defense that is ready for the regular season.  At the same time, Joe Flacco and the offense will be looking at an uphill battle if the team cannot add more offensive playmakers before the season begins.

As far as the Offensive line is concerned, Ozzie did make some efforts to patch up the holes but Siragusa and Eluemunor are far from guaranteed starters.

Ravens third round recap: stocking up on defense

PHILADELPHIA, PA – After three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Ravens have made four selections. All of them are defensive players.

After the Ravens drafted Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey in the first round, and Houston outside linebacker Tyus Bowser in the second round, Baltimore had two picks in the third round, #74 and #78.

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 05 Maryland at Michigan

Credit: FanRag Sports

Pick #74 – Chris Wormley – DT – Michigan

The first name called for the Ravens in the third round was Michigan defensive tackle Chris Wormley. I wrote a quick scouting report on Wormley in a post on Ebony Bird, but Wormley will be a nice addition to a defensive line that lost both Lawrence Guy and Timmy Jernigan this offseason.

In four seasons with the Wolverines, Wormley made 119 tackles (62 solo), 17.5 sacks (5.5 in 2016), and a forced fumble.

With Jim Harbaugh being the head coach of Michigan, you have to think that Wormley was high on the Ravens’ radar. Even with losing Jernigan and Guy, the Ravens still have a ton of depth along the defensive line. Players like Brent Urban, Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Davis, and Willie Henry will all compete with Wormley for playing time. Not to mention that in the middle of it all stands nose tackle Brandon Williams, who the Ravens resigned to a long-term deal earlier this offseason.

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Credit: Bleacher Report

Pick #78 – Tim Williams – OLB – Alabama 

Just four picks after the Ravens took Wormley, Baltimore drafted Alabama outside linebacker Tim Williams. The selection of Williams makes the first four Baltimore draft picks all defensive players, and the second to be taken from Alabama, which is of course Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome’s Alma-Mater.

Williams was a two-year starter in his time with the Crimson Tide. In 14 games last season, he racked up 31 tackles, nine sacks, two passes defensed, and two forced fumbles (one fumble recovery). In four seasons, he totaled 57 tackles (38 solo), and 20 sacks.

Ever since the infamous Ray Rice debacle, the Ravens have shied away from taking chances on players that have off-the-field issues. Well, there is some baggage with Williams. Nothing major, but there are some concerns.

At the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year, Williams admitted that he failed multiple drug tests during his time at Alabama. He was never suspended, but he sat out a half of one game for being arrested on a misdemeanor gun charge.

From a unit standpoint, Williams will be joining a group that is led by 14-year veteran Terrell Suggs. Second-year man Matt Judon and third-year man Za’Darius Smith are the young players that have some experience in Baltimore’s system. Pass rusher was a big need for the Ravens entering the draft, and they have addressed it by drafting both Bowser and Williams.

Jake’s Take: From a defensive standpoint, I am very excited to watch this defense. The Ravens have tons of depth all over the defense, and it is shaping up to be a lights-out unit.

However, I am very concerned about the offense. I feel like I am beating a dead horse here, but at the State of the Ravens press conference a few months ago, the Ravens emphasized how much they need to built around Joe Flacco. Aside from the addition of running back Danny Woodhead, the Ravens have not helped Flacco out at all, and that is concerning. Yes, Flacco needs to step up his play next season, but you have to help him out.

The Ravens enter day 3 of the draft tomorrow without picking a single offensive player. That needs to change tomorrow. The Ravens have three picks left, and several positions need to be filled, including wide receiver and offensive line/center.

When the draft is over, I fully expect Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens’ brass to say that “they are not done adding players yet.” Okay, but realistically, how much is going to be left out on the market for them to add?

Final Say: As I said before, the defense looks to be great next year, and I think it will be. However, the offense was in serious need of several positions before the draft started, and nothing has been done to address those needs.

 

 

Ravens select Houston OLB Tyus Bowser with 47th overall pick

PHILADELPHIA, PA – With the 47th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Ravens continued to build up their defense by selecting Houston outside linebacker Tyus Bowser.

The move comes a night after the Ravens spent their first round pick on Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who was the 16th player taken in the draft.

In four seasons with the Cougars, Bowser finished with 137 tackles (70 solo), with 28 of those being for losses. Bower recorded 22.5 sacks (8.5 in 2016), three forced fumbles (two fumble recoveries), and two interceptions.

Bowser missed five games last season after fracturing an orbital bone in his hand. The injury was sustained in a fight with a teammate. Despite the injury, he led the Cougars in sacks.

The addition of Bowser helps solidify a Ravens pass rush that is looking for the successor of Terrell Suggs. Suggs is 34-years-old and will turn 35 in October. Even at his age, he still produces, but it is not guaranteed that he will be around after 2017.

Bowser will be joining a group of young pass rushers on Baltimore’s roster that includes Za’Darius Smith and Matt Judon. Smith was taken in the fourth round of the 2015 draft, and Judon was a 2016 fifth round selection. While these two are promising young players, they have produced just 10.5 sacks combined. Drafting Bowser gives the Ravens another young option to explore. Once Suggs retires (or leaves in free agency), his position will become open, and it will be up to one of these guys to snatch it.

Pass rusher was one of the top needs for the Ravens entering the draft. Now, Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens’ brass need to help out the offense. Building up the secondary and drafting Bowser is great, but the only real addition the Ravens have made to the offense since the 2016 season ended was signing veteran running back Danny Woodhead. Joe Flacco needs weapons, particularly at the receiver position, and the offensive line could use some help as well.

With such a heavy focus on defense this offseason, it’s time to shift the focus to the offensive side of the football.

Ravens draft Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with 16th overall pick

PHILADELPHIA, PA — With the 16th overall pick, the Ravens have drafted Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

Humphrey played two seasons at Alabama after redshirting his freshman year. In 31 games, Humphrey recorded 81 tackles, five interceptions, and forced three fumbles. Last season, he made an 18-yard pick-6 in Alabama’s Sept. 3 opening game against USC, a 52-6 win for the Crimson Tide.

The addition of Humphrey is the latest move Newsome has made to improve Baltimore’s secondary. Earlier this offseason, the Ravens signed two big free agents –safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Brandon Carr. Baltimore released longtime Raven Lardarius Webb, but later resigned him on a new contract.

The Ravens are not messing around with the secondary after the unit has struggled with depth and injuries in recent seasons. Jimmy Smith has been particularly susceptible to the injury bug, and the addition of Humphrey will give the Ravens some leverage if Smith goes down again in the future.

Cornerback was a key need for the Ravens entering the draft, but there were better players on the board that the Ravens passed on at the time of this pick. In the future rounds, the Ravens still need to address wide receiver, offensive line, pass rusher, and inside linebacker.

For the first time in three years, the Ravens drafted a defensive player in the first round. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who played at Alabama, loves his Crimson Tide. In the 2014 draft, Newsome drafted linebacker C.J. Mosley at #17 overall. Newsome also drafted former Alabama stars Terrance Cody and Courtney Upshaw in the second round of the 2010 and 2012 drafts, respectively.

Marlon is the son of running back Bobby Humphrey, who also played at Alabama. Bobby played five seasons in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins. He made the Pro Bowl in 1990.

For this pick, the Ravens partnered with the Make A Wish Foundation, as 14-year-old cancer survivor T.J. Onwuanibe came up with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to announce Baltimore’s pick. The announcement of T.J’s wish was made a few days ago, and T.J. delivered, pumping his fist as he announced the selection.

 

Podcast: Red Sox Throw At Machado’s Head – O’s Talk April 23

After Manny Machado’s controversial slide on Friday night that injured Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox retaliated on Sunday, and threw near the head of the Orioles’ third baseman. Was Machado’s late slide intentional? Nolan McGraw and Jake McDonnell discuss.

Also on this episode, Nolan and Jake talk about the Orioles’ 12-5 start in the first three weeks of the season. Will Kevin Gausman turn it around? What can we take away from the rotation’s recent success? How about Trey Mancini’s hot start?

At the end of the episode, the guys take a quick look at the Ravens’ 2017 regular season schedule, which was released last Thursday. What record do Nolan and Jake think the Ravens will finish at in 2017? Also, the NFL Draft begins this Thursday from Philadelphia. What positions do the guys think the Ravens should target early?

Make sure to subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. Leave us a review too, so we can bring you the best podcast possible with every new episode. Thank you!

A look at the Ravens 2017 regular season schedule

The 2017 NFL schedule has been released and Ravens fans are getting their first look at the teams upcoming opponents.

Week 1: September 10 at Cincinnati – 1:00 pm

Week 2: September 17 vs Cleveland – 1:00 pm

Week 3: September 24 at Jacksonville – 9:30 am (London)

Week 4: October 1 vs Pittsburgh – 1:00 pm

Week 5: October 8 at Oakland – 4:05 pm

Week 6: October 15 vs Chicago – 1:00 pm

Week 7: October 22 at Minnesota – 1:00 pm

Week 8: October 26 vs Miami – 8:25 pm (Thursday night)

Week 9: November 5 at Tennessee – 1:00 pm

Week 10: Bye

Week 11: November 19 at Green Bay – 1:00 pm

Week 12: November 27 vs Houston – 8:35 pm (Monday night)

WeeK 13: December 3 vs Detroit – 1:00 pm

Week 14: December 10 at Pittsburgh – 8:30 pm

Week 15: December 17 at Cleveland – 1:00 pm

Week 16: December 23 vs Indianapolis – 4:30 pm (Saturday)

Week 17: December 31 vs Cincinnati – 1:00 pm

Division opponents:

The divisional matchups are always some of the most important games each year. The Ravens will face all three division opponents in the first four weeks of the season. They will also close out the season by playing all three again during the final four weeks.

Bye week:

Whenever a team plays a game in London, the NFL prefers they receive a bye week after that game. However, the Ravens made a request with the league to have their bye moved to a different week, since they felt that they would not be needing it after their overseas trip. Personally, I think this is a great decision simply because a week 4 bye is way too early. The NFL granted the Ravens their request and moved their bye to week 10.

Monday night vs Houston:

For the first time in five years the, Ravens will be hosting a Monday night game. The last time this happened, the Ravens beat up the Bengals 44-13 in the 2012 season opener.

Week 17 vs Cincinnati:

The Ravens have faced the Bengals in week 17 in seven of the last eight seasons. What’s even worse is the fact that six of those games were at Cincinnati. In 2017, The Ravens will once again close out the season against the Bengals. The good news is they will finally get to be the home team in what could be a high stakes game.

Overall thoughts:

There is a lot to like about this schedule. The first half ranks as one of the easiest in the league with a handful of opponents who finished below .500 in 2016 and an even mix of home and road games. The second half gets a little harder but with a well-placed bye week and the final two games being at home, the Ravens have a pretty good schedule on paper.