There were trade rumors surrounding Timmy Jernigan in late March, about weeks away from the 2017 NFL Draft. The rumors came to fruition when the Ravens traded away Timmy Jernigan and their 3rd round (#99- Compensatory) pick to the Philadephia Eagles and received their 3rd round (#74) pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Baltimore Ravens still have their 3rd (#78) pick so another move may occur to move up in the draft. But in this 3 round mock draft, the Ravens stay put. As a Ravens fan, I was originally not pleased with this move. However, now looking at it, I am fine with the trade. And while I wished they would have gotten more out of the Eagles in this trade, I understand the reasoning behind it.
With a lot of young defensive line talent, Timmy Jernigan was expendable.
After giving Brandon Williams a “five-year $54 million deal with $27.5 million guaranteed“, the Ravens were not looking to spend money on Jernigan. The 28-year-old nose tackle is now the highest paid nose tackle in the league. Jernigan was in his last year on his 4-year rookie deal in 2017 and most likely he would have walked in free agency demanding a lot of money as a young defensive tackle.
In addition, the Ravens also expressed interest in locking up pro bowl linebacker C.J. Mosely to a long term deal as Raven.
This deal will most likely after they have the ability to exercise his 5th-year option on May 8th and during the 2017 season. Trading away Jernigan does save potential money spent on Jernigan for Mosely next offseason.
In my opinion, this is the biggest reason why I think the Ravens traded Jernigan. [su_pullquote]“Timmy has been a terrific player for us for three seasons,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. “This will allow our young group of defensive linemen an opportunity to compete and play.”[/su_pullquote] The young group of defensive lineman the Ravens have mostly been injured in the past but now are being promoted as the solution in 2017.
Michael Pierce, the undrafted rookie defensive tackle (Samford) was one of the few who played well in 2016, could be the starter as he could convert to 3-4 defensive end from nose tackle if he loses some weight.
The 2nd round 3-4 defensive end Bronson Kaufusi (BYU) was on injured reserve before the preseason last year with a broken ankle.
The 4th round 3-4 defensive end/ tackle Willie Henry (Michigan) also ended on injured reserve and did not have any game action beforehand.
The 2nd year defensive tackle Carl Davis (Iowa) was put on injured reserve with an ankle injury early in the year and did not play much in his rookie season in 2015. But with these young and talented defensive linemen, competition is needed for 2017 and the talent on the roster has to be evaluated for 2017. The Ravens believe they can step it up and stay healthy to make an impact in 2017.
Finally, I think while Jernigan was a good player in a top 10 defense in 2016, there were consistency concerns with him in his career with the Ravens.
The 2014 2nd round pick out of Florida State had only 13 sacks in his 3-year career and in 2016, had 5 sacks but only had 1 sack in the finally 7 games. In 2014 and 2015, he never had more than 5 sacks in a season and had 4 sacks in both his rookie and sophomore season. Anyone of the defensive lineman that the Ravens have could replace him if they stay healthy. While it was a great move for the Eagles, I think it was a good move for the Ravens as well.