Jerraud Powers Announces Retirement
Former Ravens cornerback Jerraud Powers announced his NFL retirement Thursday despite being just 29 years old.
Baltimore didn't re-sign Powers this offseason after his one-year stint playing nickelback for the purple and black. The eight-year veteran said he didn't feel mentally prepared to continue his football career.
"With the 2017 season getting started and teams preparing to be the best they can be, I think it's time for me to walk away from the game," Powers posted on Instagram. "The last 8 years have been a joy and wonderful ride. Even though I can still compete and play at a high level, mentally, I'm ready for the next chapter of my life."
Prior to coming to Baltimore, Powers was a consistent seven-year starter for the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals. Powers thanked the Colts for drafting him out of Auburn in 2009 and the Cardinals for allowing him to help turn the team into a winner again.
"Thanks to the Ravens for accepting me and letting me be a part of a great football culture and great organization," he added.
With the signing of Dallas Cowboys free agent cornerback Brandon Carr and the emergence of rookie Tavon Young, the Ravens weren't expected to re-sign Powers after he started six games for the team last season. Although, he almost certainly could have found work in 2017 elsewhere had he wanted to continue playing.
He notched 33 tackles, one sack, five passes defensed and two interceptions for the Ravens last year.
This marks the third Raven to retire this offseason, as Powers joins wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and linebacker Zachary Orr.
"The game of football changed my life forever and happy to forever be a part of the greatest fraternity in the world. Football has been a part of my life since the age of 6 and it's been great," Powers wrote. "Thanks to my family for being supportive and loving me through it all. Looking forward to setting new goals with my wife and 2 sons and proving the naysayers wrong again."
Zrebiec: First-Round Pick Will Be Either Receiver Or Pass Rusher
With the number of holes the Ravens have on the roster, they could decide to go any number of directions with their first-round pick, but if you ask Zrebiec, they'll most likely grab a player from one of two positions: receiver or pass rusher.
He bases his opinion on the way the board is expected to fall and the remaining needs on the Ravens roster.
Zrebiec says all three of the draft's top receiver prospects (Clemson's Mike Williams, Western Michigan's Corey Davis and Washington's John Ross) are expected to be taken in the middle to latter half of the first round.
Plus, several impact pass rushers are projected to be available, including UCLA's Takkarist McKinley, Temple's Haason Reddick, Tennessee's Derek Barnett, Michigan's Taco Charlton and Missouri's Charles Harris.
"[F]or argument's sake, let's say they have near identical grades on a wide receiver and a pass rusher. Which direction should they go?" asked Zrebiec.
"I gather the majority of fans want the receiver. That's the sexy position, and the quest for a young No. 1 receiver has become an obsession around these parts. Fans also see how the front office bolstered the defense this offseason … Such sentiment is understandable, and the Ravens absolutely need to take a wide receiver at some point during the first two days of the draft. But I'm in the camp that their clear priority should be finding a pass rusher."
If you watch Ravens Mailbag* *to the right, you'll see that Zrebiec won't get much argument from me. Baltimore ranked 24th (tied) in league last year with 31 sacks, 10 of which came from players who are no longer on the team.
Lions President Lets Schedule Release Date Slip
While promoting his team's new-look uniforms for the upcoming season, Detroit Lions President Rod Wood may have stolen his own spotlight by accidentally announcing the NFL schedule release date.
That's the bigger and more pertinent news to fans across the league.
After showing off the uniforms to media, Wood was asked what's next on his plate. He didn't have much to say other than working on renovations for Ford Field and …
"The schedule coming out next Thursday will be a focus, too," he added, per ESPN.
If Wood's slip is accurate, that means the schedule will be released one week (April 20) before the draft.
And in case you're curious, here's the Lions' new look: