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Late for Work: Lamar Jackson Voted NBA Players' Favorite Athlete

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson Voted NBA Players' Favorite Athlete

Lamar Jackson made a positive impression on the international soccer community this week in Germany, and it turns out the Ravens quarterback is a big hit with NBA players as well.

In The Athletic's anonymous NBA players survey, Jackson was voted the players' favorite non-NBA athlete.

"He's one of the best QBs ever since he came into the league," one player said. "His running ability is crazy."

Jackson received 13 percent of the vote, well ahead of women's basketball phenom Caitlin Clark (6.1 percent).

The other NFL players who ranked among the top 20 vote-getters were: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (3.5 percent), Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (2.6 percent), Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1.7 percent), Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (1.7 percent), and Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (1.7 percent). Ravens running back Derrick Henry also received votes.

Pundits Make the Case for Ravens Trading Up in First Round

There's been a lot of speculation that the Ravens could trade down from the 30th-overall pick in the first round of the draft on Thursday night, but there hasn't been much talk about the possibility of General Manager Eric DeCosta trading up.

The Baltimore Banner's Jonas Shaffer made the case for the Ravens moving up in the first round, noting that with nine picks in this year's draft and a projected 11 in next year's, they have the ammunition to do so.

"In the few instances when the Ravens have traded up under DeCosta, they've targeted prospects with rare physical gifts," Shaffer wrote. "A handful of players expected to be taken in the low to mid-20s in this year's draft fit that profile and would also fill a need on the Ravens' roster: Georgia offensive tackle

Amarius Mims, LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr., Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean and Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson."

Shaffer looked at where the Ravens could move up in the first round with various two-pick trade packages based on Jimmy Johnson’s trade value chart:

● No. 29 (Detroit Lions): Nos. 30 and 165 (fifth round) overall

● No. 28 (Buffalo Bills): Nos. 30 and 130 (fourth round)

● No. 27 (Arizona Cardinals): Nos. 30 and 113 (fourth round)

● No. 24 (Dallas Cowboys): Nos. 30 and 93 (third round)

● No. 18 (Cincinnati Bengals): Nos. 30 and 62 (second round)

Pro Football Focus’ Gordon McGuinness also envisioned a scenario in which the Ravens could trade up.

"Baltimore picks at No. 30 overall and could draft a falling tackle, with players like Oklahoma's Tyler Guyton and Arizona's Jordan Morgan frequently being linked to the Ravens in mock drafts," McGuinness wrote. "I like the idea of Baltimore being aggressive, especially if a player like Washington's Troy Fautanu or Penn State's Olu Fashanu reaches the midpoint of the first round. The Ravens would likely need to add a second- and a fourth-round pick to get up into that range, but given their needs at the position this year and next, it's a move that could set them up for the next five years at left tackle."

Our own Ryan Mink also wrote about this possibility, and a potential trade partner, in 50 Words or Less.

Ravens Are No. 1 Again in Rankings of the Past Five Drafts

The Ravens' tradition of draft excellence continues to be recognized in the leadup to this year's draft.

As noted in Late for Work last week, the Ravens' 2018 draft class was ranked the best of the millennium by The 33rd Team. The latest accolade has the Ravens ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive year in The New York Post’s analysis of the past five years of the draft.

"I thought they might slide this year because the Lamar Jackson draft came off the books. But GM Eric DeCosta continues to draft extremely well," The New York Post's Brian Costello wrote. "Patrick Queen, Justin Madubuike, Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum all look like star players and Zay Flowers showed a lot of potential as a rookie last year."

Hamilton, the 14th-overall selection in 2022 and an All-Pro safety in 2023, was named the Ravens' best pick of the past five years.

Costello noted that "the rankings are based upon how many games the draft pick has played, Pro Bowl appearances, first-team All-Pro selections and awards like MVP and Rookie of the Year. We also factored in how much the team has won during the five years because players on losing teams tend to have an easier path to playing time."

ESPN Draft Day Predictor Has WR Adonai Mitchell Among Ravens' Most Likely Picks at No. 30

There have been about 30 players mocked to the Ravens in the first round by various pundits, but which prospects are most likely to be selected by Baltimore when it's on the clock at No. 30?

ESPN’s Draft Day Predictor ranked the 10 most likely first-round picks for the Ravens. The rankings were "based on prospect grades from Scouts Inc., expert mock drafts, team needs, and a few other factors. The Predictor considers these factors in proportion to how accurate they have been in the past."

Here's a look at the top three, with comments from Ravens Wire’s Glenn Erby:

Texas WR Adonai Mitchell

"Mitchell would give Baltimore another smooth, polished receiver on the outside, bolstering an already stout passing game."

Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry

"The Alabama to Baltimore pipeline is real, and McKinstry could develop over time while returning from foot surgery. Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Stephens are already quality starters."


"Robinson had 9.5 sacks over his final two college seasons, and his 18% pressure rate last season ranked sixth in the FBS."

A Top RT Prospect Falls to Ravens in First Round of PFF's Mock Draft

PFF conducted a seven-round mock draft with McGuinness making the Ravens' picks. Here's a look at his first three selections:

Round 1 (No. 30 overall): Alabama OT JC Latham

"After trading away Morgan Moses, the Ravens seeing one of the top right tackle prospects in the draft fall to them would be an ideal scenario. Latham earned PFF pass- and run-blocking grades of 81.7 and 79.6, respectively, and would be a plug-and-play starter on the right side."

Round 2 (No. 62): Penn State EDGE Adisa Isaac

"After a failed attempt to move up to grab wide receiver Xavier Worthy, the Ravens stick at Pick No. 62 and land another good value against the PFF big board. Isaac is not the biggest edge defender around, but he flashed enough in college and racked up 33 total pressures, including nine sacks, from 208 pass-rushing snaps."

Round 3 (No. 93): Florida State WR Johnny Wilson

"Wilson is a huge target at 6-foot-6 and 231 pounds. He's an explosive athlete, and his timed 40-yard speed of 4.52 was good enough for a player of his size. While dropping 12.8% of his college targets is a concern, along with being a size outlier, he is a solid value based on the remaining prospects."

Quick Hits

● The Ravens are No. 3 in PFF’s pre-draft power rankings.

UCLA EDGE prospect Laiatu Latu, who has been mocked to the Ravens, said that "Lamar Jackson on the run" is the player he'd most like to tackle.

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