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Article Two Year Plan: Lost's Draft Grades and Offseason Overview


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The swan song for Ozzie Newsome had me extremely skeptical. This is the most prepared scouting wise I had personally ever been for an NFL draft... Yet something worried me that we would continue to neglect the needs of the offense in favor of going defense for the entirety of the draft. Was my speculation of a 2 year plan wrong?

The answer(thankfully) is a resounding no. The offseason so far has been utterly phenomenal and the team has improved monumentally. This was easily the best offseason the team has had in a long time. The FO did it's job. If Crabtree, Brown, and Snead are all available, they are all monumental upgrades at the WR position. None of them are stars but all three look to be quality options for whoever our QB is. Yet the draft still worried me.

Spoiler alert. I really like this draft. As a guy who thinks that it should be no surprise that my grades here are so high. We fulfilled every position of need we had and I count at least 8 potential starters in this draft. An absurd haul.

I will give two grades: player grade and value grade.

Hayden Hurst, TE: Player Grade, A. Value Grade, B-.

Disclaimer: I was a massive fan of his tape. I had Hurst as my third TE on the board though imo the disparity between the three tight ends (Hurst, Gesicki, Goedert) was minimal to nonexistent. Hurst from my point of view was the most well rounded and pro ready and it wasn't even close. Hurst did things from an athleticism standpoint on the field that only Goedert could really match. Gesicki's combine was superior, but what Hurst displayed on a football field was far superior. You saw strength, acceleration, burst, and as far as TEs go, solid long speed. His hands are some of the best I've scouted, and his route running is already pretty well off. Jump balls? He can do that too. The tape indicates a potential pro bowl caliber TE as soon as next season, and the rare day one contributor. Overall though, part of me is disappointed that we traded back and passed on Trumaine Edmunds to take him. Edmunds was a top 5 player on my board. Hurst has an astronomically high ceiling, even with his age, but the value could have been found elsewhere. Ridley and Hernandez were higher on my board and would have been better picks. But that said, Hurst was a very very safe pick barring his health and if he reaches his maximum potential is going to be a very good TE for the next decade. Getting a #1 WR is not as big of a deal as you think. Hurst has the potential to be a #1 passing option.

Lamar Jackson: Player Grade A+, Value Grade Apex. Possibly best in the draft

Hayden Hurst pick actually goes up because of this one. If Jackson was our only first round pick, I would have been thoroughly disappointed. I would've believed that the team did not believe we could win anymore and was throwing in the towel. With us trading up.. Those feelings are lessened, especially since we did not give up much to get him. Jackson's game needs work, but unlike some inferior QB actually has fixable issues. Athleticism? Elite. Arm talent? Elite as well. He fixes his footwork, he's a franchise QB. He learns how to beat teams only with his arm... Well he's an elite QB. Ozzie Newsome's last first round pick has the potential to be one of his best ever. Jackson is in an ideal situation. The Ravens are still in win now mode as Ozzie has said, and as the rest of the draft acquisitions indicate. We can let Jackson sit for a season or two(two more likely... We honestly have monumentally upgraded the roster. Flacco doesn't fall off a cliff we should be contending for a SB this and next season.. Yes the upgrades are that good) to learn the intricacies of the NFL QB position. The next two drafts will also be dedicated to helping build the offense around him. This was the best value pick in the first round by far, and possibly the best in the whole draft. Jackson was a top 10 player on my board and my #4 QB in a VERY GOOD QB class.

Orlando Brown: Player Grade. B. Value Grade B+

So let's talk about Brown Jr. That combine was horrible and his athleticism is below average. Meaning he is what I refer to as a "scheme dependent" olineman. Some people look at the combine and want no part of him. I look at his tape and see a guy who fits a power scheme like a glove. Brown is likely to be a day one starter at the RT position. He'll have some growing pains, but he's a monumental upgrade from Hurst, and even an upgrade from Austin Howard, especially as a run blocker. Our scheme is going to let Brown do what he does best: maul people. Make no mistakes, he gets his hands on you, you're out of the play. He gets back into shape and this is lessened. The real benefactor for this pick though is Alex Collins. Howard was a below average run blocker last season. Brown comes in and that helps out a back who is already really good at creating his own yards. Since the FO seems content with having Collins as the lead back(which is not a bad thing, he's an above average RB with the potential to be much more), we could use a bookend RT that we can keep on the roster. 4/5 of our olinemen are set. For us? This pick should work.

Mark Andrews Player grade. A+. Value Grade. A+

Complain about us missing out on Gallup all you want. Andrews is a superior player with a higher grade, and an ideal compliment to Hurst. Andrews' route running is elite for a college prospect, and his hands are soft gloves that catch everything that could conceivably be thrown his way. He's more or less a move TE only, but that's okay. We have an inline blocker in Hurst. This helps out the red zone offense, as Andrews is a massive target who is going to go against slot CBs who he is just so much bigger than. I had a mid second round grade on Andrews and we got him at the bottom of the third. I'd say that's excellent value. I am not worried about us not taking WR early. We got ourselves two people who could just dominate over the middle of the field and who compliment each other well. Hurst is a physical vertical threat at TE who does EVERYTHING well. Andrews is the route runner who gets open, and can make people miss after the catch with his craftiness. Both of them had potential to be pro bowlers at the NFL level imo, and we got both. Both are ready to contribute from day one. Fans wanted an upgrade in the passing game, Andrews, Hurst, Snead, Brown, and Crabtree are all better individually than whatever we had on the roster last season. None of them are dominant players(though Hurst certainly could become one, and Andrews could be a pro bowler himself imo), but they're all quality. And that's fine by me

Anthony Averett Player Grade B+, Value Grade A+

You can never have too many CBs. Ozzie cannot go a draft without getting someone from Alabama. Averett though is a good one. Not without his problems or his flaws, but like Humphrey before him all of his flaws are coachable. He does not possess some of the natural gifts that Humphrey does(namely Humphrey's instincts that made him a #1 CB even last season). Nonetheless... Averett's instincts are still solid. He's excellent at breaking on the ball. Not really a ball hawk, but a stop guy. Can play the inside or the outside, and that combined with Tavon Young also being a good player on the squad is going to mess with people's heads. He's a chess piece.... And if you want the truth I saw a day one starter in this guy. I had a low second/high third round grade on him and we got him in the fourth. Like Tim Williams last year when everyone was dumbfounded by Tim Williams being available, this was a "we'd be idiotic to not take this guy here". Averett fits our defensive scheme like a glove and should be a productive corner. Ozzie has done a hell of a job at setting the secondary up for the future.

Kenny Young Player Grade C, Value Grade F

I've watched Kenny Young for four years. Not a fan. Young never, ever comes up with a big play when need be, makes boneheaded mistakes at times, and while his tape isn't terrible, he inspires virtually no confidence whatsoever. People will say that Lasley was the wasted pick from UCLA. Nope. Lasley actually has a heap of potential and will be receiving very high marks from me. Young has some talent. He's a solid coverage LB and his ability to read the play isn't bad. But he's not great at shedding blocks and has Za'Darius Smith syndrome. He is the type of guy who gets handed a big play, and then he blows it. His athleticism entails the fact that he has some potential, but he has a lot of work to do... I had a sixth round grade on him, so value wise, I have to give him an F. He should be a solid rotational LB for us, but we really need to find an ILB who can be a thumper in the run game.

Jaleel Scott Player grade B, Value Grade B

Scott went where he should have gone. I've watched a ton of tape on Scott. I am a fan. His hands are super reliable. Have no complaints there. Easily, easily the best jump ball WR in the class. He is a master of body positioning and body control. Physical player. But he's not perfect. His route running is bad. Not as horrible as the mainstream says, but still a massive work in progress. His on the field game speed isn't slow, but merely average. Which is honestly to be expected from a big man. However, he seems coachable. Scott is going to get on the field this year. His hands are very strong and in the red zone is where he's probably going to be a massive moneymaker. There's a metric heap of potential with this player, and he only has one real(but very important) issue with his game to work on. If Scott becomes a DECENT route runner we are talking about a high level #2 WR at the NFL level who becomes Jackson's best friend in the Red Zone. If he becomes a GOOD route runner, Scott is Mike Evans-lite.

Jordan Lasley, Player Grade B+, Value Grade A+

I get why a lot of people on here hated him, but when the draft following community here didn't even decide to take him in the forum mock until I did until the seventh round, I banged my head into the side of the pavement in the parking lot of an Irish bar. I've watched a ton of Lasley as I follow UCLA football the second most (behind my Colorado Buffalos). He's a second rounder on tape even with those hands. And his hand issue is overblown slightly. He has maddening drops that would make Perriman proud, but he does something Perriman can't do. A few things actually. He beats press coverage on a pretty consistent basis, he goes over the middle with success(actually, a ton of it. If you hit Lasley in stride he is usually going to catch it), he stays healthy. Character concerns are there. But make no mistakes. Jordan Lasley is a weapon. If Lasley gets the ball in his hands he's electric and that alone makes him a threat. He is a more polished route runner than Torrey Smith was coming out of college, and even with leading the NCAA with drops, I'd argue that Lasley's hands are around the same. Lasley, like Torrey Smith has near instant acceleration, and while he occasionally has a stupid drop, Lasley comes up in big moments like Torrey Smith did(and yes, Torrey did have a knack for coming up in big moments, at least early on). The hands are a problem, but they're not HORRIBLE. They're just not good. At the very worst, Lasley is going to be a Jacoby Jones type for us. A big play threat.. But one the team needs, especially with John Brown's injury history

Deshon Elliot, Player Grade A+, Value Grade A+

Want to talk about an absolute steal? I don't care if Elliot isn't the traditional FS type. He's a thumper at SS, but a damn good one. He had no business being here whatsoever and I'm somewhat dumbfounded that he fell this far. I had a mid fourth round grade on him. He's a classic Harbaugh player in the best way. High football IQ, great instincts, fundamentally sound player. His issues are simple to explain. Not the best athlete in the world. Which is fine. Set him in as an enforcer and he's going to be a high level role player for any team. That type of player should never be available in the sixth round as late as he was. I see Elliot easily as a future starter at the SS position.

Greg Senat, Player Grade C-, Value Grade C

Senat is a development guy. There's not too much to say since we take this type of prospect a lot. Good athlete, but very raw. He's a guy our oline coach looks at and says, "what the hell, let me try to fix this kid". At the end of the day though, I cannot hate this pick too much. He's likely going to be a better backup olinemen than James Hurst is for us, and a plug and play player. He's nothing more than a backup, but if you can get a quality backup Olinemen in the sixth round, I don't see how you can really complain too much. Not every pick needs to be a slam dunk home run.

Bradley Bozeman, Player Grade A, Value Grade A+

Oh look, another Alabama player. For what it's worth... This proves my point. He's biased and I won't miss the bias... That said, if your bias goes towards a school that routinely is in the dance for the NCAA championship... You're bound to get a few good ones. Want another player who had no business of being here this late... Bozeman is another guy. I had a fourth round grade on him, and though that, at least in our scheme, that Bozeman had the chance to be a day one starter. A potential day one starter in the sixth round doesn't sound too bad. Bozeman is not going to be an elite player, far from it. But Bozeman has the potential to be a rock at C for the next decade. Not a world beater, but if you can get a steady starter for ten years, how can you complain really. He's smart, he's technically sound, and he's strong as an ox. His movement skills are worriesome, but the two guards next to him, Yanda and Lewis, both thrive in pass protection and should be able to help him out when he's playing a better player.

Zach Sieller, Player Grade: N/A, Value Grade, N/A

Yeah.. He was the only player in this draft I did not watch any tape of. I cannot grade his pick at all.

Overall Draft Grade: A+

How the hell could this be any higher? Overall I thought the 2017 and 2016 drafts were excellent.. This draft was probably better than both. Hurst is a potential pro bowler, and a day one starter who's likely going to be a starting TE for ten years. Lamar Jackson is more likely to be a franchise QB than to not be one(that alone gets this draft an A grade if he does become one). Orlando Brown, day one starter and day one upgrade. Mark Andrews, likely starting player one day and day one contributor. Anthony Averett, future starter, would not be surprised if we gave Carr the boot and promoted him to be day one starter. Kenny Young, even if I don't like him, likely day one contributor. Jordan Lasley and/or Jaleel Scott are likely to be future contributors, and I expect Lasley to contribute immediately. Bradley Bozeman. Potential day one starter.

Overview: Needs going forward

WR: We still need to find a #1 WR for Lamar Jackson to grow with. But the good news here is that both Brown and Snead will be hitting their physical primes when Jackson is to become the starter. Crabtree is going to have to be replaced though with a young up and comer or a massive signing. The WR position was indeed massively upgraded this season, but we still need that #1 guy. Only way I would've been able to give this draft a higher mark was if we took Ridley rather than Hurst in the first round.

RG: Yanda has another 2-3 years left before he either retires or outright declines(guards can play at a high level forever. You really don't need to be an amazing athlete for that position). It should be high time for us next year to start looking for another guy.

Interior pass rush: as of right now this is clearly the biggest issue on the entire team. Henry is a nice piece but is only one man and we did nothing to upgrade that. I liked Maurice Hurst, but if he fell that far than the heart condition must be worse than initially let on. Since this class was not particularly good at the DT position and the top two guys were both gone by the time pick 16 rolled around, I am okay with us not addressing it in the class. The DT class was poor. But honestly the move

Edge rusher: I don't think this is a massive need, but I am somewhat dissapointed that we didn't try for anyone. I hope this means that the coaching staff has as much faith in Bowser and Williams as I do.

Third down RB: I don't understand for the life of me how we ignored this. There were quality scat backs available. Woodhead was a good player for us last year and this is honestly the last piece the offense needs to add right now.

FS: Weddle has another year or two left.. He was a guy who should benefit from Pees being gone(seriously.. He should've played single high far more than he should've. Athletically last season there was NOT a dropoff). But a replacement should be found by then.

C: Yeah I said Bozeman is a potential day one starter, but I would never mind upgrading the C position at all. Cannot complain at all if we do.

ILB: Young is a rotational piece that I am not that comfortable with. We need a long term guy next to CJ.

Views for the future:

2018 has a tougher schedule ahead. It's a make or break season for one guy and one guy only. Joe Flacco. If Flacco plays like he did in the second half of the year for more than half of the year. We likely win the whole division. Yes, I said it.

The defense is a top unit, and will hopefully benefit from having a more aggressive coordinator. Pees was NOT as bad as most people said, but was not amazing either. If Wink is an upgrade like several anticipate, we should have a top five unit again. While a small addition, Averett does add a boost to the secondary that oh so desperately could use. Our defense will be a top 3 unit if one of Bowser or Williams breaks out. I will go so far to say that BOTH do. If the defense stops blowing leads... Expect a winning record. It's a tough schedule and I am aware of this. But even the best offenses in the league are going to have a tough time vs our unit here. It's mostly young for the first time in a very long time and our additions from the past two drafts all look promising in some way shape or form. The defense will improve itself as more pieces develop. To further go in depth.

The front 7 does not have much work to do. Williams is still a clogger at NT, Pierce is still a good player. Willie Henry last year looked like he has the potential to be a difference maker, and the all around we have Urban and Davis as rotational pieces, and all three look to be solid. A more aggressive coordinator would be more beneficial in the long run, especially to Henry and Davis. It'll be interesting to see what happens to Chris Wormley, but my hopes for the future are next to none. It was a waste of a pick last year imo and I think I'll continue to be proven right. Bronson Kaufausi may be the odd man out, which is kind of a shame, but he still hasn't shown much. Overall, I am somewhat dissapointed that an interior pass rusher was not added this offseason, but that's not the worst thing in the world. The defensive trenches last year were good, and I would expect them to be so again this upcoming season. Barring health of course.

The LB corps also looks to be solid. While Za'Darius Smith remains a total liability(still mad we haven't gotten rid of him yet), the OLB corps has a lot of promise. Both Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser have high ceilings to become very high level players. Bowser's coverage abilities hopefully could allow for the guy to shine this year. Him platooning between ILB and OLB should be a possibility, and his raw athleticism is going to be a nightmare for teams to put up with. Then we have Tim Williams, my top choice for a breakout player. He was foolishly benched for most of the year, but should easily start to see the field again. Then we have the steady piece. Matt Judon isn't more than a jack of all trades master of none type, but he's the type of piece every defense needs. You need role players like Judon. He's solid at everything whether it'd be coverage, pass rushing, or edge setting. I do believe that Judon has a higher ceiling as a pass rusher and would hope he reaches it. Then we have Suggs who decided to turn the clock back last year. He's still an elite run defender and a good pass rusher... Who might have another year in him if he comes back to camp in good shape. CJ Mosley played through an injury through most of last season, but if healthy is still one of the top ILBs in the game. Tim Williams and/or Bowser breaks out... Look out is all I'd have to say.

The secondary is a different thing altogether. Weddle and Jefferson will benefit from a new DC. Jimmy Smith if he can return at 80% is still a top CB. Marlon Humphrey looks to be a #1 CB and thrived in that role at the end of the season. Tavon Young's return provides us with a good CB who can go either inside or outside. Carr is a stable vet, even if he's just average. Averett comes in and provides us with another guy who can switch in or out. Canaday is a nice depth pice as well.

The offense is a different animal. We are clearly in win now mode and I have confidence here for the first time in a very long time. If Bozeman is named the day one starter, and Lewis improved some of the nuisances in his game, then we are set with five starters on the offensive line that I genuinely have confidence in. Which is huge. Bozeman is a downgrade from Jensen, but getting Yanda back is a massive upgrade in it of itself, Brown is a likely upgrade from Howard, and Lewis is a gargantuan upgrade from Hurst. Hell, if Siragusa is indeed healthy, then he might make a run for the LG spot and I'd have even more confidence if he returns 100%(somehow).

The real benefactor here should be Alex Collins. He displayed some pro bowl caliber potential last season with his innate ability to create his own yards. Given that we have made some definitive upgrades to the offensive line, I would not be surprised that if you took the upgrades, added Roman's scheme into the mix, and then Collins himself just being a good RB.. If we had a top rushing attack next season. Let's Add Kenneth Dixon, who actually compliments Collins very well. He's our #2 back and he's a starting caliber guy who does everything well and runs with violence. We never got to see him in Roman's scheme and he should be nothing but a benefactor. I am not happy Buck is still here, but he was a guy who improved significantly as last season went on and got better as each game went on. The rushing attack will be the focal point of the offense.

The pass catching corps went from one of the worst in the entire NFL to being as a whole a well rounded unit after the draft. Crabtree is a high level #2 WR who has strong hands and is a threat both going over the middle and in the red zone. He alone is five times better than any WR we had last year and his playstyle fits our culture significantly. John Brown, when healthy, is one of the best deep threats in the league. Snead was not a byproduct of Brees. He likely won't match his production in previous seasons, but having Drew Brees as your QB does not magically make you have good hands or become a good route runner. He's both of those things anyway. Each of them would've been the top option on the team last year and now we have three good, but not great WRs on the roster. I'd still like to see if we could convince Dez Bryant to come here(would honestly put the offense over the top IMO). But that's three reliable options for Flacco. Add in the TE corps. I see Boyle being gone, Maxx is a better blocker and a much better receiver. Hurst is a day one starter at TE and could be a contributor from day one. Andrews is going to be an interesting guy. Snead will be a full time slot guy, but Andrews will still be the #2 TE on the roster who will be used in move packages. If he learns how to block, look out(actually not saying too much. Andrews is (hilariously) still a better blocker than Pitta was). Scott and Lasley should see the field as well. Both are more reliable than Chris Moore is(yes, even Lasley is.. Far more actually). Our pass catching corps does not have a definitive #1 guy who is going to dominate. We were not going to find that guy in the draft(only real guy there was Ridley... We opted for the TE which is fine, but I still somewhat don't get it). Instead this season we got five guys this offseason who have reliable hands, know how to get open, and all of them compliment each other well.

This is the most help Flacco has ever had in his career from a sheer quantity perspective. And turns us into a very well rounded team. If he does not perform with the team we have put around him, he will be cut next year and Lamar will be put into a very ideal situation to continue to grow.

Next season barring health looks to be an uphill battle. But there are teams I have confidence in. Overall though.. This was the offseason the team needed. The two year plan for Ozzie has been executed. Not masterfully but he's been solid. The real question here is can we perform on the field and stay healthy? We do that.. I have us winning the division.
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Staff Member
I also thought Ozzie, dropped the mic, on this draft class. What a way to go out and hand the baton off to Eric DeCosta.

Although, my favorite TE in this draft class was Goedert, I do believe they wanted someone who could come in right away and make an impact and Goedert, like most TE's, would probably need sometime to get adjusted to the NFL. I was however upset we didn't take Edmunds or James in this spot.

I had the Ravens taking Lamar Jackson at number 16 and would have been excited if he was taken at that spot. I, unlike you, would not have been disappointed if we had only taken Jackson in the first round. I would have felt as I do know, Jackson is a talent that they couldn't let slip through their hands. He has the potential to be the best QB in this draft class and wouldn't be surprised to see him this year in some packages. I can't wait to see Jackson in the preseason though!

I agree that Zeus, Jr. will be starting on day one at right tackle and should be a force to deal with in both the run and the pass game and that the benefactors will be our running game and of course Flacco and Jackson.

Mark Andrews was a surprise for me, but a very good surprise. I love him as a move TE in our scheme and having him and Hurst on the field together is going to be very difficult for the defense to deal with.

Getting Anthony Averett at this point was an obvious BPA and should fit right in, although I don't see him starting at this point, but next year we shoudn't have a problem letting Brandon Carr go.

I woiuld have liked to have seen a WR taken after Averett instead of Kenny Young at this point, but unlike you, I completely understand why we took Kenny Young. He should be a very good coverage backer and for the most part we have pretty good success not only drafting linebackers, but developing them. Yes, we have had our failures in the past, but I'm a Kenny Young fan. I do however believe he could have been had in the 5th round.

Jaleel Scott is going to be a red zone nightmare and should make an impact this year in certain packages. Can't wait to see him on the field. I'm also a fan of Lasley and made it well aware early on the offseason, even after knowing Lasley had the worst hands over the last two years. I believe a lot of that has been with Rosen forcing him the pigskin, since he was his only receiving threat. I'm not so sure his hands are any worse than Torrey's or Mike Wallace's either. He could end up being a steal in this WR class which didn't have any clear cut #1 options with the best options being Ridley, DJ Moore and maybe Kirk.

DeShon Elliott was also a nice find in the 6th round and he has some tremendous ball skills. I believe he is more suited to the SS position than FS, but he should receive some action as well as some immediate impact on special teams.

Greg Senat is more potential than anything and I have no doubt that our OL Coach and Roman can groom him to possible starter at either position on the line, whether it be G or T. At worst we found a very solid backup.

I was an avid proponent for Bradley Bozeman. Although he is far from athletic, he should be a quality Center and could play guard as well. I'm hoping he starts over Skura, but even if he doesn't this season, we should have a quality oline.

Zach Seiler is a project, no doubt, but can Ozzie go out in his last draft without taking a defensive lineman. Seiler will most likely be a practice squad or IR'd player this season, but he has some potential to be part of the defensive line rotation as a 5 tech.