Ravens Set To Face Draft Target Turned Jaguar Jalen Ramsey


Sometimes a trade works out for both teams.

In this instance, the lack of a trade did just that for the Ravens and Jaguars, who will square off Sunday in Jacksonville.

In April's draft, the Ravens tried to trade with the Dallas Cowboys to move up to the No. 4 spot and leapfrog Jacksonville. The target was cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the freakish athlete out of Florida State who was widely considered the best defensive back in the draft.

The trade didn't materialize because the Cowboys wanted the Ravens' No. 6-overall pick and their third-round pick (No. 70 overall). The Ravens weren't willing to give up the third-round selection just to move up two spots, and stood pat.

Dallas drafted running back Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4, the Jags pounced on Ramsey at No. 5 and the Ravens selected left tackle Ronnie Stanley at No. 6.

"There were a lot of good players up there, but when [Ramsey] dropped to us it was a no-brainer," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Wednesday. "We knew exactly what we wanted to do."

Bradley said he didn't know the Ravens were trying to trade up to jump ahead of the Jags.

"It wasn't brought to my attention through our [general manager]," Bradley said. "If that was the case, I'm glad it worked out for us."

The rookies are only two games into their professional careers, but as it stands now, all sides are quite happy with how things turned out.

Ramsey suffered a small meniscus tear in his right knee during organized team activities, but came back in training camp and is already starting for the Jaguars. He's drawn positive grades on Pro Football Focus (PFF), who charts that he has surrendered six catches for 48 yards and one touchdown so far.

"He's done a really good job for us," Bradley said. "Just the ultimate competitor, really driven. He's highly competitive, a great teammate, and he's going to have a really, really bright future."

When the Ravens drafted Stanley, it didn't appear that they had a glaring need at left tackle. But Stanley was so impressive that Baltimore felt comfortable releasing Monroe, who later retired. Had the Ravens not drafted Stanley, they could be quite unsettled at left tackle.

In his first two starts, Stanley has been quite strong. He has given up no sacks and just one quarterback hit.

Stanley didn't get good marks from PFF for his run blocking in Week 1, but he flipped that in a big way in Week 2. He was graded as the Ravens' best run blocker in Cleveland, even ahead of Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda.

"I feel like they're playing well for young guys," Yanda said Wednesday when asked about Stanley and rookie left guard Alex Lewis. "They're both guys that can handle it."

The Ravens will also be facing off against Jaguars rookie inside linebacker Myles Jack, who is another player that was widely rumored to be in Baltimore's draft crosshairs.

Because of concerns about his knee, Jack, who was a player widely slated as a top-10 talent, fell into the second round. The Ravens had a chance to draft him at No. 36, but traded the pick to the Jaguars. Jacksonville pounced on Jack. Baltimore traded back again and took Kamalei Correa at No. 42 overall.

Correa and Jack have had similar starts to their careers. Both are learning multiple linebacker spots and have yet to make much of a defensive impact. Jack got 16 defensive snaps last week as the top backup at Mike and Will linebacker, and Correa has been relegated to special teams so far.

"We're constantly trying to find ways to speed this up to where he can go in there and the players trust him at a high level, and he's getting closer to that," Bradley said. "We got him in some last week. We'll see how he practices this week and where he's at with understanding everything."

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