Lamar Jackson is playing out of his mind. Jackson has become the front runner for MVP. The Ravens are serious Super Bowl contenders and are a problem to prepare for. Praising the Ravens left and right is the popular thing to do. Criticizing teams for passing on Lamar Jackson is the popular thing to do. The reality is, Baltimore made a lot of mistakes. They just had more cracks at the apple. Never forget that the Ravens drafted Hayden Hurst over Lamar Jackson.
If Baltimore thought Lamar Jackson was ever going to perform like this, they wouldn’t have drafted Hayden Hurst ahead of him. It may go down as one of the worst first round picks in recent memory. Baltimore was stupid enough to draft a 25-year-old rookie tight end who spent years playing minor league baseball. It was like drafting 29 year old Brandon Weeden in the first round except this was the tight end version. In two years in the NFL, Hurst has 48 catches and 2 touchdowns. Drafting Hurst in the first round was a joke at the time and remains a joke now.
Go up and down the Ravens draft history. Baltimore hasn’t had a good draft since 2014. Even that year, they gave Timmy Jernigan away for no reason. Year after year, Baltimore has missed in the draft.
2015 the Ravens took Breshad Perriman in the first round. YUCK. Maxx Williams and Carl Davis were the next picks. Only two picks from that draft were hits. Za’Darius Smith and Darren Waller. Both a thriving and neither of them are thriving in Baltimore. The Ravens let Smith walk in free agency despite the fact they have no reliable pass rushers. They gave up on Waller far too soon and now he’s a star in Oakland.
2016 they snagged Ronnie Stanley with the 6th pick in the draft. They also passed on the chance to trade up with Dallas. The Cowboys wanted a 3rd round pick to go from 4 to 6. Baltimore passed on the chance to take Jalen Ramsey because they wanted to keep their 3rd round pick. They passed on Ramsey to draft Bronson Kaufusi. Disgusting. They also drafted Kamalei Correa ahead of Myles Jack. Can’t make it up. Baltimore had 11 picks in that draft. Matthew Judon is the only one that has worked outside of Stanley.
2017 the Ravens drafted Marlon Humphrey. That worked out well. The other picks were a disaster. Tyus Bowser stinks. So does Chris Wormley. They gave away Timmy Jernigan to draft Tim Williams who was a total bust. Jermaine Elumanor was traded because he’s awful too. Fail after fail after fail.
2018 Baltimore had 12 picks. They haven’t turned things around because they were smart. They turned things around because they traded down and had more cracks at the apple. Kenny Young stinks but he turned into Marcus Peters. Hayden Hurst blows but they drafted Mark Andrews too. Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott were mistakes the second they turned the cards in. Orlando Brown slipped and shouldn’t have.
Baltimore didn’t outsmart everyone. If anything, they made more mistakes than they did getting things right. They’re winning anyway. A lot more credit needs to be given to John Harbaugh who has done nothing but win since he was hired.
Even go to this past offseason. The Ravens have zero quality linebackers and let CJ Mosley go. Never even tried to replace him. That has been a death sentence for Philadelphia who did a similar thing watching Jordan Hicks leave and not replace him. Baltimore has no pass rusher. They let Za’Darius Smith and long time legend Terrell Suggs leave. It’s been mistake after mistake but it hasn’t mattered.
Before you go praising the Ravens for being so good this year, just remember that this front office has done nothing but make mistakes. Mistakes that should have made this team crumble. Is Baltimore really this good or are they riding some sort of Cam Newton 2015 Panthers wave? Time will tell. For every Lamar Jackson, there have been 3 Hayden Hurst decisions.