Ravens: Predicting which drafted rookies will play the most in 2018

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The Baltimore Ravens drafted 12 players in the 2018 NFL Draft. All draftees, as well as undrafted rookie free agents – will compete for roster spots in training camp, but not everyone make the roster. Which drafted rookies will receive the most playing time this season?

Class A – Most playing time

Not surprisingly, four of the top five picks of the Ravens’ 2018 draft class will likely receive the most playing time this season, with 32nd-overall pick Lamar Jackson the caveat pending an unforeseen injury to Joe Flacco.  As I wrote earlier in the week, the right tackle job is Brown Jr.’s to lose. If Brown Jr. beats out the likes of James Hurst and Alex Lewis, he will almost surely play the most snaps out of the 12 draftees.

After Brown, the first player taken by Baltimore in the draft at #25 overall – Hurst – looks to live up to his first-round bill and win a starting tight end job in August. Hurst certainly has a fighting chance to do so, considering his veteran tight end competition in the forms of Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle have 754 career receiving yards and two touchdowns between them over three seasons.

The same can be said for Andrews, but Hurst has been billed the more complete tight end who can help in both the running game and the passing game, whereas Andrews’s blocking abilities have been questioned. Nevertheless, both rookies will receive plenty of snaps with the tight end position arguably the weakest on Baltimore’s roster entering camp.

Defensive Impact:

The Ravens only drafted four defensive players this year, waiting until the fourth round to take both cornerback Anthony Averett at #118 and Young at #122. C.J. Mosley is a lock to start at inside linebacker, but perhaps the biggest question surrounding the Ravens’ defense this summer asks who will start alongside him. Patrick Onwuasor started 13 games at inside linebacker for the Ravens last season and played well, but a strong camp performance by Young or Kamalei Correa could make things interesting.

Early-round linebackers taken by the Ravens in recent memory, like Correa, have struggled immensely to earn game reps, so the opportunity is there for Young. It could be one of those situations where Onwuasor plays early based on experience, and Young gets on the field at an increasing rate as the season moves along.

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