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Late for Work 4/17: AFC North Rematch in Week 1? Pundits' Schedule Predictions


Looking at Schedule Predictions

Mark your calendars. The NFL schedule officially drops at 8 p.m. tonight, providing the dates and times for the Ravens' 2019 regular season.

Penn Live’s Aaron Kasinitz took a shot at predicting how the Ravens' schedule will shape up, starting with their Week 1 opponent.

"I'm going to guess the Ravens open the season at the Miami Dolphins," Kasinitz wrote. "The Orioles are scheduled to play in Baltimore on the first Sunday of the NFL season (Sept. 8) and it's rare to squeeze two professional sports games into the same city on the same day. The Ravens could host a Monday night season opener, but I think it's more likely they head out of town to play a non-divisional opponent."

There's speculation that the Ravens could open the season with an AFC North grudge match against the Browns. Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan liked the possibility of an early rematch.

"I feel like with Lamar [Jackson] there, with Mark Ingram there, that's going to be a nice little setup," Jordan said.

While Lamar Jackson vs. Baker Mayfield would be must-see television, there's room for doubt after Odell Beckham Jr. sent out this cryptic tweet last week.

Pair that with Beckham's comments on Instagram and it seems like the Browns are facing the Jets in Week 1, which would mean a return to MetLife Stadium for the former New York Giants receiver.

The amount of primetime games a team receives is always an interesting point of discussion, and after playing in three last season, Kasinitz predicted the Ravens will [extra space]play in four in 2019.

"Yes, quarterback Lamar Jackson gives Baltimore newfound national appeal and the team is coming off an AFC North title," Kasinitz wrote." Still, I don't think they'll play in five or six primetime games (usually the most a team will get in one year), because the Browns and Steelers reside in the same division and could draw even more national viewers than the Ravens."

"It'll be interesting to see how the league and its TV partners perceive Jackson and a run-heavy offense in terms of the number of scheduled primetime games," added WNST’s Luke Jones.

You can hedge your bets that one of the primetime games will come against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Kasinitz believes that will happen in Baltimore in Week 9.

Kasinitz provided a few more predictions: The Ravens will have a bye early in the season between Weeks 4 and 7. They will play back-to-back West Coast games against the Seahawks and Rams. They will end with a division foe.

We'll see at 8 p.m., so make sure you come back then, check the app and all of our social media challenges for the news, analysis, a week-by-week opponent breakdown and a really fun announcement video.

Earl Thomas Returns to Seattle in One of 2019's Most Anticipated Games

At No. 13 under the "appetizers" section, the Ravens head on the road to face the Seahawks in a West Coast battle.

"Everything is cool about this game, from the Russell Wilson-Lamar Jackson dynamic to Earl Thomas returning with the bird ... to the birds ... for the birds ... never mind," Harrison wrote.

There are plenty of factors that make this an intriguing matchup. All-Pro safety Earl Thomas returns to Seattle for the first time since signing a four-year, reported $55 million deal with the Ravens.

Thomas spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Seahawks, but his 2018 season ended with a broken leg and frustrations towards his former team, feelings which Thomas said are resolved.

Both teams feature dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks and follow similar offensive philosophies. The Seahawks led the NFL in average rushing yards per game last season (160) while the Ravens finished second in that category (152.2).

The Ravens and Seahawks are expected to be in contention for the playoffs and a Super Bowl title, making this an important game to mark on the 2019 schedule.

Daniel Jeremiah Mocks Clelin Ferrell to Baltimore

Does Daniel Jeremiah know something we don't?

Exactly one year ago, the NFL Network analyst and former Ravens scout mocked tight end Hayden Hurst to Baltimore.

"I think the Ravens would be looking to trade back in this scenario," Jeremiah wrote. "Hurst is a good fit for this offense, but they can probably land him 5-7 spots lower in Round 1."

Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. Originally at pick No. 17, the Ravens traded back twice to draft Hurst at pick No. 25.

Jeremiah released his most recent mock draft on Tuesday, and it's worth paying attention to. At 22, Jeremiah paired the Ravens with Clemson edge rusher Clelin Ferrell.

"Ferrell fits Baltimore's profile. He's physical, tough and has a high floor," Jeremiah wrote.

ESPN’s Todd McShay had Ferrell landing with the Ravens in his best-case-scenario three-round mock draft.

Ferrell, the recipient of the Ted Hendricks Award as college football's top defensive end, put up monster stats with the Tigers in 2018. He tallied 11.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss.

The Ravens are in the market for a pass rusher early in the draft and the position is loaded with first-round talent. Ebony Bird’s Chris Schisler labeled Ferrell in his "second tier" of edge rushers along with Florida State's Brian Burns and Michigan's Rashan Gary.

"I think he's a physical player who plays so aggressively, it fits the Ravens like a glove," Schisler wrote. "Ferrell is coming off a season in which his team was crowned the national champions and he had 11 sacks and forced three fumbles. He started showing flashes of brilliance in his sophomore season with six sacks. At this point, he's developed into one of the most complete pass rushers in this draft class."

What's also interesting about Jeremiah's mock draft is he doesn't have wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, a popular mock draft pick to Baltimore, going in the first round at all. The first, and only, wide receiver he has in the first round is Oklahoma's Marquise Brown at No. 25 to Philadelphia.

Bill Barnwell Whips Up Draft Day Trade Scenarios

Just over one week until the NFL Draft, all signs point to the Ravens trading back in the first round.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell got creative and constructed a mock draft consisting entirely of trades for all 32 picks.

Barnwell has the Ravens trading pick No. 22 and No. 123 to the Rams for pick No. 31 and a 2020 second-rounder.

"New general manager Eric DeCosta is down a second-round pick after sending it to the Eagles as part of the Lamar Jackson trade last year, so while he has two picks in each of the third and fourth rounds, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him trade down to try to get back some draft capital," Barnwell wrote. "Given that the longtime deputy to Ozzie Newsome isn't going anywhere anytime soon, he shouldn't be terribly concerned if that capital doesn't come back until 2020.

"Any team interested in offensive linemen will be looking to get ahead of the Texans at No. 23, and after losing Rodger Saffold in free agency and cutting John Sullivan, the Rams could very well be in the market for an interior lineman such as Erik McCoy. The Ravens themselves could target McCoy … but they should be happy to move down nine spots and pick up a second-rounder for 2020."

In another scenario, Barnwell proposed the Ravens trade No. 22 and a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Rams for No. 31, No. 94 and a 2020 second-rounder.

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