Ravens QB Lamar Jackson Skyrockets Up Board in 2018 NFL Re-Draft

Lamar Jackson vs. Steelers

Joe Sargent/Getty Images Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 5, 2021.

The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft included five quarterbacks, and the Baltimore Ravens got the only one with an NFL Most Valuable Player award to his credit — this despite the fact that Lamar Jackson was the last of the five QBs selected. So it’s perhaps no surprise that Jackson goes off the board No. 2 overall — to the New York Giants — in a new 2018 Re-Draft orchestrated by Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report.

Josh Allen Replaces Baker Mayfield as the No. 1 Overall Pick

The only player to go ahead of Jackson is quarterback Josh Allen (Wyoming), who gets awarded to the Cleveland Browns in lieu of actual No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.

“Allen has topped 4,400 passing yards each of the past two seasons, throwing 73 touchdown passes against just 25 picks. He’s a threat on the ground, too, having gained over 400 rushing yards in each of his four professional seasons, with 31 more touchdowns on the ground,” writes Davenport, justifying the placement of Allen ahead of Jackson, who earned MVP honors in his second season with the Ravens.

“All Jackson did that year (2019) was set a new high-water mark for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 1,206 while pacing the NFL with 36 touchdown passes and winning 13 of 15 regular-season starts,” adds Davenport. “With Eli Manning nearing the end in 2018, this would have been a franchise-defining pick in New York, especially given the three up-and-down seasons the team has gotten from Daniel Jones after drafting him sixth overall the following year.”

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Who Do the Ravens Get Instead of Lamar Jackson?

In Davenport’s alternate universe, the Ravens select No. 16 overall, as the Bleacher Report writer takes into account trades that took place before the draft but does not include draft-day deals.

That said, the Ravens get running back Nick Chubb (Georgia), a “bruiser (who) has eclipsed 1,000 total yards and scored eight touchdowns in all four NFL seasons,” writes Davenport, before noting that Chubb has averaged a whopping 5.3 yards per carry over the course of his career.

Chubb — who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns — “would be abjectly terrifying in Baltimore’s smashmouth run game,” offers Davenport, who has the Tennessee Titans drafting edge rusher Marcus Davenport No. 25 overall and the New Orleans Saints taking Ravens tight end Mark Andrews No. 27 overall.

As for the No. 32 overall pick, that stays with the Eagles, who grab wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who in the real world went off the board six picks earlier — to the Atlanta Falcons.

Pro Football Focus Gives Baltimore an A+ for its 2018 Draft

Incidentally, Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently gave Baltimore an A+ grade for its 12-member 2018 draft class, a group that included tight end Hayden Hurst and quarterback Lamar Jackson in round one (No. 25 and No. 32 overall, respectively), plus offensive tackle Orlando Brown and tight end Mark Andrews in the third round.

“When a team drafts an MVP with the 32nd overall pick, chances are that it had an A+ draft. When it gets two more Pro Bowlers in the third round, chances are that team had an all-time draft. The Ravens’ 2018 draft class is certainly among the five best over the past decade,” writes Michael Renner of PFF.

“Even the Hurst selection looks far better when you realize the Ravens were able to recoup a second-rounder that they turned into (running back) J.K. Dobbins. This draft really set the stage for the Ravens offense we’ve seen the past few years,” concludes Renner.

In case you’re wondering, Baltimore made out better in the 2018 draft than all three of its AFC North rivals. PFF gives the Pittsburgh Steelers a D+ for their 2018 draft, while the Bengals and Browns both grade out with a B+.

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