Local Radio Host Says Ravens Trade for DeAndre Hopkins Is 'Close;' Chiefs, Bills Also Reportedly in the Running
The first day of the NFL Draft is upon us, but the buzz among Ravens fans isn't solely about who the team will select with the 22nd-overall pick.
Speculation that Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be traded tonight — possibly to the Ravens — is running rampant.
Yesterday, 105.7 The Fan's Reet Manfred tweeted that a deal for the Ravens to land Hopkins is "close."
However, former NFL cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones said on "The Pat McAfee Show" yesterday that "something might be happening" with Hopkins and the Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills. Previously, Jones had said "it's a strong possibility" Hopkins will be traded to the Ravens.
During an interview with Fantasy Football Today that was posted yesterday, Hopkins had high praise for the Bills.
"Love the Buffalo Bills. Love everything about the organization. Love Josh Allen. Love Stefon Diggs. Love all those guys," Hopkins said.
When asked to give a nonverbal reaction to potential trade destinations in a video on CBS Sports' "All Things Covered" podcast last week, Hopkins reacted favorably to the Chiefs and Bills (the Ravens were not one of the options).
Russell Street Report’s Adam Bonaccorsi isn't buying the Hopkins-to-Baltimore talk.
"For starters, the disclaimer I've seen floating around the Twitterverse is that the two teams still need to figure out trade compensation and financials, which, uh, that's 90% of a trade right there," Bonaccorsi wrote. "Two parties can absolutely want to get a deal done, but if compensation and financials aren't aligned, then there's nothing imminent, especially when you're just 24 hours away from the NFL Draft.
"The other issue here is that the financial implications require additional moves to be made. The Ravens have $3M-ish in cap space and a Hopkins trade brings a $19M cap hit. … Baltimore would need to close that massive cap gap pre-trade, and they'd have roughly 24 hours to figure it out if there's any draft day compensation being included in a possible trade."
Will there be clarity on Hopkins' future tonight? Stay tuned.
ESPN Pundit Says Ravens Could Trade Up for Bijan Robinson If He Slides
The Ravens are known for their best-player-available draft philosophy, as evidenced by their selection of Kyle Hamilton last year when the safety fell to them at No. 14. That begs the following question: What if Texas running back Bijan Robinson, who is regarded as a top-10 talent, is still on the board as the Ravens' pick approaches?
ESPN's Dan Graziano said he wouldn't be surprised if the Ravens snatched Robinson.
"If Robinson starts to slide toward the Ravens' spot at No. 22, I'd watch them as a possibility to move up for him," Graziano wrote. "Baltimore is focused on adding playmakers in an attempt to show Lamar Jackson it's serious about bringing him back and building a better offense around him."
Running back would figure to be low on Baltimore's priority list, as J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill are all under contract. However, Robinson might be too good to pass up if he's available. If he gets to the Chargers at No. 21, they might sprint to the podium. Their top running back, Austin Ekeler, could be traded.
Part of what makes Robinson so compelling is his ability as a pass-catcher.
"When you're a guy that can be very versatile, that can do so many things for an offense whether it's catch the ball out of the backfield, line up at slot receiver, obviously 'running back' and do so many things at a high level, become mismatches for defenses, then I think that's where the value of the running back position really comes into play," Robinson said.
Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz said last month that he wouldn't be opposed to the Ravens taking Robinson in the first round.
"He's just a really talented player. He's versatile. He plays on all three downs," Hortiz said. "Obviously he's a great runner – athletic, explosive, fast – but he can also do things in the passing game and is a willing blocker. If you get a chance to take a great player, you've got to take him."
One person who will be flabbergasted if the Ravens select Robinson is ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., who referred to it as "the ultimate luxury pick" and joked in February that he'll retire if it happens.
Iowa Edge Rusher Lukas Van Ness Emerges As Popular Pick for Ravens in Latest Mock Drafts
We've seen a lot of the same players – mostly cornerbacks and wide receivers – linked to the Ravens in mock drafts. However, a new name has surfaced in mock drafts the past few days: Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness.
"As a big, tough, versatile, and athletic defensive lineman, Van Ness checks a lot of boxes for the Ravens," Kelly wrote. "He can line up at multiple spots on the defensive front and provides a power element to the team's pass rush."
Meanwhile, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah went with Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks for the Ravens in his final mock draft.
"The Ravens have always valued the position. Banks' speed and toughness is a good match for them," Jeremiah wrote.
In his final mock, Kiper has Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba falling to Baltimore at No. 22. Kiper has cornerback Joey Porter Jr. going one pick later.