AFC North Notes: Jackson, JuJu, Browns, Tate

The second of the Ravens‘ two 2018 first-round picks has changed the course of their franchise, with Lamar Jackson becoming an MVP candidate barely a year after he made his first NFL start. Ravens brass took extensive measures to keep their Jackson interest secret. While John Harbaugh has said he discussed Jackson at length with his staff and scouts leading up to the 2018 draft, Eric DeCosta said he and previous Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome did not mention their interest in Jackson to the team’s scouts or coaching staff, according to Peter King of NBC Sports. Nor did the Ravens interview Jackson at the Combine, with Newsome and DeCosta wanting to keep what turned out to be an important secret. The Ravens, however, took a risk on losing Jackson by trading back twice in Round 1. Baltimore selected Hayden Hurst at No. 25 before trading back into the first round, via Philadelphia, for No. 32.

We felt like there was a pretty good chance that Lamar might be there later in the first round, early part of the second round,” DeCosta said, via King. “We were willing, if we could, to trade back, trade back, accumulate capital and then possibly either try to trade back again or in a second round, make a play and get Lamar at that point. But, you know, it was a risk.”

“We were (nervous about losing Jackson). We were. But I think you’ve got to stay as clinical in the moment as you can, and really just go with all your best information and the plan.”

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Although Myles Garrett‘s appeal will take place Wednesday, the odds the Browns defensive end plays again this season appear slim. “He will not play the rest of the season,” Roger Goodell told OTG’s Gary Myers (via Pro Football Talk). “He will probably meet with us some time in the offseason. We’ll make a judgement. … Does he have remorse? Does he understand why it’s not acceptable? Do we understand what he’s going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?” Garrett is suspended indefinitely for striking Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet.
  • Prior to the AFC North rivals’ game-ending fight, the Steelers saw wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson suffer concussions. In addition to the head injury Smith-Schuster sustained, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) the third-year receiver also sustained a knee injury on the play that ended his night. Smith-Schuster has not missed a game this season but he’s uncertain for Pittsburgh’s Week 12 tilt against Cincinnati.
  • The Bengals observed one of their emerging wideouts stretchered off the field Sunday. Auden Tate is in concussion protocol and suffered a cervical strain, Zac Taylor said (via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby, on Twitter). Tate flew back to Cincinnati with his teammates and has appeared to escape a serious injury.
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12 comments on “AFC North Notes: Jackson, JuJu, Browns, Tate

  1. The Ghost of Bobby Bonilla

    It’s amazing that all of the talk two years ago was that BALT was ready to fire Harbaugh, now he might go to the Super Bowl this year.

    Just goes to show that a franchise QB means everything in the NFL and if you have one, you’ve got job security.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I seem to recall all the stories suggesting Harbaugh was the one considering other options rather than the Ravens looking to dump him. Of course a lot of that could have simply been posturing to secure a solid contract extension (which he eventually received).

  2. mitchrapp

    I don’t believe they wanted a player but didn’t trust their scouts enough to tell them.

  3. GiantsX3

    Have to give Baltimore serious credit for identifying the talent and keeping mum on their attraction to him in order to get him late in round 1.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think it’s next to impossible to keep anything a secret these days. Major corporations like Apple are paranoid about product security and spend millions but information still ends up being leaked. Football scouts talk among themselves too. The thing is that even if teams know that your attracted to certain players they are still going to follow their own agenda and address their own needs before worrying about who you might draft.

  4. 2012orioles

    I’m a Steelers fan, and I owe the ravens an apology. Especially Lamar. He clearly worked hard to improve his throwing in the offseason. I doubted him. Still don’t think there’s a great team this year, but the ravens are the best team this season imo.

  5. kevin

    let see how a full 2nd season is for him as teams get use to em and are ready for em. let’s see how he does and Baltimore does. 1 just means small sample let’s see if the kid can put together a large sample size and how he is . who knows he could be HOF player or end up as a backup only time will tell

  6. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Calling absolute BS on the Peter King story.

    When the Ravens first signed RG3, it was floated that they would draft Jackson and keep RG3 as the backup after they cut Flacco, because RG3 could play a similar style to Jackson and Flacco did not.

    If I, a casual observer of the NFL at best, knew this, it was far from secret.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I don’t think playing style was of particularly great significance. RG3 had a worrisome history of injury while Flacco had championship rings. Unfortunately for Joe he also had age and a hefty salary working against him so he became the odd man out.

      • forwhomjoshbelltolls

        The point was that Jackson was 100% linked to the Ravens before the draft.

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