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Late For Work 4/28: Ray Lewis Gives Impassioned Message To Rioters


Ravens Players React To Baltimore Riots

Monday was a dark day for the city of Baltimore.

Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard when criminal activity broke out following two weeks of tension over the death of Freddie Gray, whose funeral was yesterday. 

Ravens players, both current and past, are joining in the chorus on Twitter, urging those involved not to use violence as the answer and to pray for peace.

I've got a message for the rioters in Baltimore. Posted by Ray Lewis on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Baltimore this isn't the answer!!! — Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) April 27, 2015

I don't know how I can help but I promise I'll try to help the city — Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) April 28, 2015

prayer is needed 4 Baltimore today.rioting and looting our city is only punishing ourselves Getting A Answer why a young man lost his life. — Steve Smith Sr.(@89SteveSmith) April 28, 2015


Baltimore Violence is not the answer to influence positive change. Policy will not change through violence. It's ok to... Posted by Brendon Ayanbadejo on Monday, April 27, 2015

Ravens Ponder Trade Options Days Ahead Of Draft


That's the number of consecutive NFL Drafts General Manager Ozzie Newsome has made a trade.


That's the number of times in past nine drafts Newsome has made a trade in the first round alone.

The "Wizard of Oz" is known for moving around draft boards, and he's not afraid to move up to grab a coveted player or move back to acquire more picks. Of course, Newsome isn't making these trades simply off the cuff. While he must make split-second decisions, those decisions are based on months of meticulous research and phone calls with potential trade partners, which take place before the draft even begins.

"By the time NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces Thursday night that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock with the first overall pick, Ravens executives will already have touched base with many of the teams picking directly in front of and behind them," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. * *

Former Cleveland Browns General Manager and former Ravens Director of Player Personnel Phil Savage worked with Newsome for years, and explained how the process goes down.

"They're at 26, so you'd call those teams in that 20-to-24 range and say, 'Hey, we're targeting a certain player and we may be interested in coming up depending how the board shakes out,'" Savage told Zrebiec. "Then, you'd call the teams behind you and say, 'We're open for business if you want to come up.' You know what your own team needs are and what's going to be available. You have to marry those two things, and that determines what direction you go."

While Newsome keeps an open mind for just about any scenario, Savage has never seen him do one thing: stray from the draft board. The board is painstakingly set by Newsome's staff after watching endless reels of tape, personal scouting trips, visits with prospects, topped off by internal debates and assigned grades.

They will designate players they deem worthy of a first-round pick, and Zrebiec explains that if only one or two are left on the board as the Ravens' pick draws near, Newsome will try to swing a trade. But if several targets are left, Newsome will stay put or even trade back.

"What he won't do is select a player the Ravens don't value in that particular round," wrote Zrebiec. "The Ravens abhor trading picks, but they've done it in an attempt to fill major needs." 

They moved up to nab Joe Flacco, Haloti Ngata, Michael Oher and Kyle Boller. Zrebiec also reported that Newsome attempted to move up last year to grab Khalil Mack. That would have been one of the most significant jumps in Ravens' draft history, as Newsome would have needed to move from No. 17 all the way up to No. 5, where the Oakland Raiders were and who also loved Mack.

"Newsome wasn't able to sufficiently entice [Raiders GM Reggie] McKenzie, so the Raiders stayed put and drafted Mack, while the Ravens remained at 17, where they took linebacker C.J. Mosley. The Ravens' willingness to package picks to move inside the top 10 last year shows that Newsome will explore all avenues during the draft to select a player his organization covets."

Shane Ray's Arrest Affect Ravens' Opinion?

Several mock drafts have the Ravens selecting Missouri pass rusher Shane Ray with the 26th-overall pick Thursday night. He's considered a top-10 talent, but has fallen down analysts' draft boards because of a reported failed drug test early in his career at Missouri and a nagging toe injury.

Well, his stock could even tumble further because of an incident Monday morning.

Ray, who was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was cited for possession of marijuana and stopped for speeding and failing to drive in the right lane, according to the NFL Network.

"Beyond the specifics of Ray's legal situation, the fact that he got pulled over with marijuana three days before the draft will cause teams to question his character and decision making, especially when he knew his draft stock was falling because of his toe injury," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

"Will the Ravens consider him if he's available at No. 26? Do the Ravens wait to see if he plummets to the second round? Or do the Ravens distance themselves from him after having eight players arrested the last two offseasons?"

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