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Late for Work 4/19: Despite Signing OBJ, Is DeAndre Hopkins Still in Play for Ravens?

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Despite Signing OBJ, Is DeAndre Hopkins Still in Play for Ravens?

The Ravens made a splash by signing Odell Beckham Jr., but could another multi-time Pro Bowl wide receiver end up in Baltimore?

With DeAndre Hopkins reportedly on the trade block, former NFL cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones said on "The Pat McAfee Show" that the Ravens are among a handful of teams in the running for the Arizona Cardinals star.

Appearing in a video on CBS Sports' "All Things Covered" podcast, Hopkins was asked to give a nonverbal reaction to four potential trade destinations. He reacted favorably to the Chiefs and Bills, negatively to the Patriots and Jets.

When discussing the video, Jones said "there's one more team that he missed: Baltimore."

There have been conflicting reports about the Ravens' interest level in Hopkins, but Jones, who is friends with the All-Pro wide receiver, said: "My sources said that might could still happen."

Later Tuesday afternoon, Jones said there's a "strong possibility" that Hopkins lands in Baltimore.

Meanwhile, Buffalo outside linebacker Von Miller said yesterday that Hopkins wants to join the Bills, noting that his source was Hopkins himself.

"I talk to Hop all the time and it's kind of like the same thing with OBJ," Miller said via The Buffalo News. "You just never know until you know. Hop said he wanted to be a Buffalo Bill and you never know until you get that DeAndre Hopkins signature on a contract."

If the Ravens are interested in Hopkins, pulling off a trade would take some creativity. Baltimore has limited draft capital (five picks, no second-round selection) and just a little more than $3 million in cap space, per Hopkins, who turns 31 in June, has a $19.5 base salary for 2023.

Ravens Are Rated a "Middle Class" Team in AFC Hierarchy

The Ravens have made the playoffs in four of the past five seasons and are perennial contenders, but are they still one of the AFC's elite teams?’s Eric Edholm doesn't think so. Edholm placed the AFC teams into four tiers, and the Ravens landed in the "middle class" category.

The Chiefs, Bills, and Bengals were deemed "established title contenders" while the Dolphins, Chargers, and Jaguars were classified as the "next wave."

The Jets and Ravens were the top two teams in the middle class, which also included the Steelers, Patriots, Titans, Browns, and Raiders.

"The two teams at the head of this group might be on the verge of changing their social statuses," Edholm wrote. "As the world waits for the seemingly inevitable Aaron Rodgers trade, the Jets might be closer to receiving that bump than are the Ravens, who are still sweating out talks with Lamar Jackson. Is the Odell Beckham Jr. signing the olive branch that ultimately keeps Jackson in Baltimore?"

Ravens Take Cornerback, Wide Receiver With First Two Picks in Mel Kiper Jr.-Todd McShay Mock Draft

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay put together a three-round mock draft in which they alternated picks.

In the first round, McShay selected Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes for the Ravens at No. 22 overall.

"The Ravens are looking for a playmaking corner to line up opposite Marlon Humphrey, so I think the guy who picked off 14 passes in college -- including six pick-sixes -- makes a lot of sense," McShay wrote. "Sure, Forbes is only 166 pounds, but his instincts, speed and arm length make him tough to beat."

For the Ravens' next pick (third round, No. 86 overall), McShay went with Cincinnati wide receiver Tyler Scott.

"The position is thinning out a little bit, but Scott can be dangerous downfield with his elite second gear," McShay wrote.

Three Ravens Who Need to Step Up in 2023

Among the Ravens who need to step up this season, three are from the 2021 draft class, in the opinion of Baltimore Beatdown’s Frank Platko. Here are some excerpts:

WR Rashod Bateman

"Entering his third season, availability is by far the most important factor for the former Minnesota Gopher. However, Bateman also can stand to become more consistent and clean up issues with dropped passes. He won't have the pressure of shouldering the lone No. 1 wide receiver title anymore after the Ravens signed Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency."

OLB Odafe Oweh

"David Ojabo is unproven at the moment and Tyus Bowser is the only other true edge rusher on the depth chart as is. Oweh will be called upon to increase his productivity in 2023 and it's imperative that he answers the bell."

G Ben Cleveland

"With [Ben] Powers having signed a four-year contract with the Denver Broncos in free agency, the opportunity for Cleveland to seize a larger role is there for the taking. With the size to be a mauler in run blocking and match up against many defensive lineman, Cleveland profiles as a seamless fit between Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum. Thus far, though, Cleveland has not consistently played up to his physical potential and has been a work-in-progress, particularly in pass protection."

ESPN Pundit Proposes First-Round Trade for Ravens

ESPN's Bill Barnwell devised a mock draft that had a trade for every pick in the first round. For the Ravens, Barnwell proposed a trade with the Raiders.

In exchange for the 22nd pick, the Ravens would receive Las Vegas' second-round picks in 2023 and 2024. The Raiders have the 38th-overall selection this year.

"General Manager Eric DeCosta would be excited about the possibility of landing No. 38 and a future second-rounder, which could fall in the same ballpark given Vegas' track record of mediocrity," Barnwell wrote.

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