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Late for Work 6/20: Ravens Wrap up Rookie Contracts With Hayden Hurst Signing; Sneak Peek of the Top-Rated Ravens on Madden 19


Ravens Wrap up Rookie Contracts With Hayden Hurst Signing

The Ravens now have all their rookies under contract after the team's top draft pick, tight end Hayden Hurst, inked his deal.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, there is little negotiating room for rookies, which means Hurst got a standard four-year deal reportedly worth $11.1 million as the 25th overall selection.

Per Russell Street Report's Bryan McFarland, the contract is fully guaranteed and will include a $6.1 million signing bonus. Just like every other first-round pick, Hurst has the standard fifth-year option the Ravens can exercise if they so choose. His cap charges over the next four years are $2 million, $2.5 million, $3 million and $3.5 million.

Standing in at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, the South Carolina product has been praised for his strong hands and ability to get open this offseason. At 25, he's older and more mature than most rookies after a brief professional baseball career.

Hurst has been described as "ahead of the curve" in his development since the Ravens drafted him in April. That comes as good news because the Ravens lost their top-producing tight end last year in veteran Benjamin Watson, and Hurst is expected to become the new No. 1.

"Hurst has been the Ravens' best pass-catching tight end in offseason practices," ESPN wrote earlier this month. "He has great hands and consistently gets separation with his speed. If Hurst keeps up this pace, he'll make an immediate impact in Baltimore's passing game."

"[Signing Hurst] is great news for Joe Flacco, who often utilizes his tight ends in the Marty Mornhinweg offense," added Baltimore Beatdown's Kyle Barber. "Soon enough, 'Thor' will be catching passes and moving the chains for Charm City."

Here are the 2018 cap hits for all the Ravens' draft picks, per McFarland:

Hayden Hurst (Round 1, No. 25): $2,006,551

Lamar Jackson (Round 1, No. 32): $1,722,118

Orlando Brown (Round 3, No 83): $696,430

Mark Andrews (Round 3, No. 86): $689,165

Anthony Averett (Round 4, No. 118): $645,250

Kenny Young (Round 4, No. 122): $639,975

Jaleel Scott (Round 4, No. 132): $625,095

Jordan Lasley (Round 5, No. 162): $547,169

DeShon Elliott (Round 6, No. 190): $519,450

Greg Senat (Round 6, No. 212): $509,602

Bradley Bozeman (Round 6, No. 215): $509,602

Zach Sieler (Round 7, No. 238): $500,170

Sneak Peek of the Top-Rated Ravens on Madden 19

Some Madden 19 ratings leaked via YouTube Monday, and it's a good thing these aren't the final numbers because some are far too low, staring with All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda (not that he cares).

According to the video from Miguel "Gator" Lozada below, here are the current highest-rated Ravens:

  • Marshal Yanda, 88
  • Jimmy Smith, 88
  • Justin Tucker, 86
  • Sam Koch, 84
  • Michael Pierce, 83
  • C.J. Mosley, 83
  • Brandon Williams, 83
  • Eric Weddle, 82
  • Michael Crabtree, 82
  • Tony Jefferson, 82
  • Brandon Carr, 79
  • Alex Collins, 79
  • Joe Flacco, 77

While Yanda won't pay attention to his ratings, we know that quarterback Lamar Jackson cares about his, especially his speed rating.

He wasn't happy with his 88 speed when he played himself in the video game right after he was drafted (see video below), and told the game makers the number needed to be adjusted. They listened, as it was increased to 92 in the latest iteration.

Jackson's overall rating is a 67, but he has an explosive 95 rating for agility and 94 for acceleration. Behind Jackson is newly-signed quarterback Robert Griffin III with a 63 overall rating, 86 in speed, 85 in agility and 83 in acceleration.

The official release of Madden 19 is set for Aug. 10.

Winners and Loser of Ravens Minicamp

In Press Box’s Bo Smolka’s estimation, the "winners" of the Ravens minicamp included Flacco (looked healthy, early rapport with new receivers), defensive lineman Willie Henry (see below) and wide receiver Chris Moore (consistent big plays).

Smolka says the "losers" were wide receiver Breshad Perriman (didn't stand out as much as the new receivers), defensive lineman Michael Pierce (see below) and tight end Nick Boyle (didn't have a bad camp, but the presence of the rookie tight ends diminishes his role).

An interesting change to note is along the defensive line. The Ravens used a starting lineup with Henry and defensive tackle Brandon Williams in the middle, instead of playing Pierce next to Williams like last year.

"Henry had a starting spot along the defensive front throughout OTAs and minicamp, and he appears to give the Ravens a little more speed and presence as an interior pass rusher," wrote Smolka.

"[B]ased on spring workouts, it seems [Pierce's] role has been diminishing, with Henry essentially taking his spot on the starting defensive line. The Ravens have a lot of depth up front and can move the big bodies around, but Pierce's role this spring appeared to be consistently less than it was last year."

Lamar Jackson Is Good for the Ravens, But Are the Ravens Good for Jackson?

Consider this your daily Lamar Jackson debate.

The Ravens usually fly under the national media's radar, but Jackson has changed that. And everyone has an opinion on how and when the Ravens should use him.

A panel on "Speak for Yourself" changed up the debate a little bit, asking whether Baltimore is a good place for Jackson to develop. Bucky Brooks feels like it's an ideal place for the electric rookie, and tried to convince the rest of the incredulous panel.

(Note: A new episode of "The Lounge" podcast featuring an extended interview with Jackson will be released later today).

Quick Hits

  • "It's difficult to evaluate line play in the spring, but Orlando Brown Jr. definitely showed growth from rookie camp until the end of spring workouts," wrote Luke Jones. "This next month will be critical for him to keep himself in good shape to continue that momentum into the summer. [WNST]

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