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2018 NFL Draft Reaction: Mark Andrews to the Baltimore Ravens

Mark Andrews was drafted 86th overall by the Baltimore Ravens and was the second tight end drafted by the Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft. The team also spent the 25th overall selection on Hayden Hurst.1 Andrews was the TE4 according to the last iteration of the RotoViz Scouting Index and was also the 4th TE selected in this year’s draft. Hurst, Mike Gesicki, and Dallas Goedert were all selected ahead of him.

Serving as one of the favorite targets of Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, Andrews was the 2017 winner of the John Mackey award. This honor is bestowed upon college football’s best TE. Previous winners include Hunter Henry in 2015, Tyler Eifert in 2012 and Dwayne Allen in 2011. After two fairly quiet seasons with the Sooners in 2015 and 2016, Andrews truly broke out in 2017.

Meeting Mark Andrews

At 6 feet 5 inches and 256 pounds, Andrews has good size for a TE. He caught 50 passes in his first two years with the Sooners for 807 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2017, he had 62 receptions for 958 yards and eight touchdowns. His three-year tally of 1,765 yards is the most by a TE in school history. Only former first-round-pick Jermaine Gresham scored more than Andrews’ 22 TDs.

He did not test particularly well at the NFL scouting combine, especially in terms of agility. But he did manage a 4.67 40-yard dash time. In his article regarding the combine drills that matter most for the position, the first indicator Kevin Cole looks at is the 40 time.

TIGHT-END-DRILLS-2

However, Andrews did not hit the optimal marks in the bench press or vertical jump categories. He managed only 17 reps on the bench, and his vertical was measured at 31 inches.

These shortcomings do not immediately ensure that Andrews has no hope at the NFL level, it must be pointed out. I’d just feel a lot more confident in his long-term future if he’d hit the benchmarks.

Andrews’ New Team

As mentioned in my breakdown of Hurst, the Ravens have done a serious rebuilding job with their offense this offseason. This is especially true with their pass catchers. Out have gone Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, and Ben Watson. Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead, Hurst and now Andrews have come in.

With Andrews and Hurst, the Ravens have given themselves two shots at solidifying the TE spot that has been unproductive for them ever since they won the Super Bowl following the 2012 season.

flacco aya

2018 Fantasy Outlook and Beyond

Despite ceding significant draft capital to his new teammate Hurst, Andrews should still be able to see plenty of playing time in 2018. The Ravens lined up with two TEs on 34 percent of their offensive snaps in 2017. This was the most in the NFL according to Sharp Football.

I raised questions regarding Hurst’s blocking ability when writing about him. But after selecting Andrews it looks likely to me that Hurst will be the main blocking TE for the Ravens. Given his pedigree as a pass catcher, Andrews should be used to create mismatches and also offer Joe Flacco2 a good-sized red-zone target.

The Ravens offense is not one ripe with obvious fantasy appeal, however. When they were at their most effective in 2017 was when they were running the ball, particularly with Alex Collins. But the Ravens have not made the moves they have this season so they can hand the ball off every other snap. With Hurst to do his blocking for him, Andrews should lead the team in TE targets. But he could be third, or even fourth when it comes to total team targets behind the team’s new WR additions.

Andrews may well be a matchup-based starter ideal for streaming at points in the season. But until his role is fully established, he (and Hurst) are not high up on my list of must-haves in season-long leagues. His predraft ADP of TE22 is far too high in my opinion. Andrews could be a decent late-round dart throw in best ball. But we may have to wait for the Lamar Jackson era to truly begin before we start getting very excited about Andrews.

  1. You can read more about Hurst here.  (back)
  2. until he is benched for Lamar Jackson … sorry for the spoiler.  (back)

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