Originally published 4/7/2017 at 06:00a.m., updated 4/6/2017 at 12:57p.m.
The Baltimore Ravens decided it was time to pull the plug on fourth-year defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. The Philadelphia Eagles sent their third round pick (No.74) overall to the Ravens in exchange for the Ravens compensatory pick in the third round (No.99) overall, as well as Jernigan.
This is the first year that compensatory picks can be traded and Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome wasted no time taking advantage of the rule adjustment. Baltimore currently has seven picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, including four in the first 78 selections. Here are the Ravens picks: First Round (No.16); Second Round (No.47); Third Round (No.74) from Eagles trade— Timmy Jernigan and No.99; Third Round (No.78); Fourth Round (No.122); Fifth Round (No.159); Sixth Round (No.186) from 49ers trade—Jeremy Zuttah and No.198.With Brandon Williams, Carl Davis, and Michael Pierce as the primary defensive linemen on the roster, the Ravens will need to use at least one of their draft picks to replace Jernigan.
Coming off of his best season in the NFL last year, the 24-year old started in15 games for Baltimore last season. Jernigan registered five sacks and 31 tackles in 2016. He also posted his first career interception. The year got off to a fast start for Jernigan as he had sacks in each of first three games. Unfortunately, he didn't have any sacks in final seven games. His effort and attitude were questioned as his playing time decreased later in the season.
That did not stop Ravens head coach John Harbaugh from saying he expects Jernigan to have his best year as a pro in 2017. Whether or not Harbaugh was trying to pump up Jernigan's trade value is unknown. If Jernigan is to have his best season, it will be with the Eagles in a contract year.
Newsome acknowledged Jernigan as a player during his tenure with the Ravens but has his eyes on the next men in line for Baltimore.
“Timmy has been a terrific player for us for three seasons,” Newsome said in a statement released by the Ravens. “This will allow our young group of defensive linemen an opportunity to compete and play.”
The NFL Draft is just a few weeks away. Three players that could help the Ravens' defensive line include Dalvin Tomlinson from Alabama, Montravious Adams from Auburn and Chris Wormley from Michigan.
Baltimore has an abundance of early picks this year and could put a package together to move up in the first round to take Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen if he should fall.