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AP Pro32 ballot from Pompei

AP Pro32 ballot from Pompei

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Dan Pompei of Chicago Tribune:

Week 15

DAN POMPEI (Chicago Tribune)

1. New England Patriots - Step into Bill Belichick's web, Colin Kaepernick.

2. Denver Broncos - They need to beat the Ravens in order to keep their hopes alive for a first round playoff bye.

3. Green Bay Packers - Mike McCarthy believes this team can be better than the 15-1 Packers of a year ago. Can the Bears make him look wrong on Sunday?

4. San Francisco 49ers - Beating the Dolphins was one thing; beating the Patriots would be something else.

5. Houston Texans - In three of their last four games, Texans have a blowout loss to the Patriots and close call wins against the Jaguars and Lions. Any question about which direction the Texans are headed?

6. Atlanta Falcons - Was loss to the Panthers a blip, or was it the start of a tailspin?

7. New York Giants - If NFL teams had no secondaries, the Giants would be No. 1.

8. Indianapolis Colts - The best teams can win games in different ways. The Colts have done that.

9. Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens defense needs a savior. What do you know, here comes Ray Lewis.

10. Seattle Seahawks - They are starting to have the look of a team you would not want to be playing in January.

11. Washington Redskins - You know things are going their way when Kirk Cousins can lead them to an overtime victory over a formidable opponent.

12. Cincinnati Bengals - Their litmus test will be against the Steelers in two weeks, but they can't overlook the Eagles on Thursday.

13. Chicago Bears - The more passes Bears receivers drop, the more the Bears drop in the power rankings.

14. Dallas Cowboys - Could they ride a wave of emotion all the way to the postseason?

15. Minnesota Vikings - They have the best one-dimensional offense in the NFL.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers - Against the Raiders, Browns, Titans and Chargers, they are 0-4. Good thing the next two games are against contenders.

17. St. Louis Rams - It's not saying much, but this is the best Rams team that St. Louis has seen in quite some time.

18. New York Jets - The fact that they may be a playoff team does not speak well to the quality of the AFC this year.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Any team that can blow a 21-10 lead with four minutes left against the Eagles is not a good bet to be playing on February 3. Or Jan. 20. Or Jan. 12, 13, 5 or 6.

20. Cleveland Browns - If the season started three weeks ago, they would be a top five team.

21. New Orleans Saints - Joe Vitt describes his team as "fragile." And the Giants did not handle with care.

22. San Diego Chargers - It might be too late to save jobs, but that was an impressive effort by Norv Turner and the Chargers Sunday.

23. Miami Dolphins - Bad news: they have dropped five of six. Good news: up next are the Jags and Bills at home.

24. Buffalo Bills - Who needs to use C.J. Spiller when you are 5-8?

25. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton is starting to look like the 2011 version of Cam Newton. Where was this guy in September?

26. Detroit Lions - Their fifth straight loss has clinched them last place in the NFC North.

27. Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Foles has begun making his argument for why he should be the Eagles' staring QB in 2013.

28. Tennessee Titans - The Titans can write off the season to the education of Jake Locker.

29. Oakland Raiders - It might be Terrelle Pryor time in Oakland.

30. Arizona Cardinals - Fifty-eight points separated them from the Seahawks in their ninth straight loss. Change is coming in Arizona.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Look at the bright side, Jacksonville - only 19 days until it's the offseason.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Getting blown out by the Browns might not do much for team morale.

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Former Ravens RB Trent Richardson arrested on domestic violence charge

Former Ravens RB Trent Richardson arrested on domestic violence charge

Former Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson, who was signed by the Ravens in April 2016, was arrested Thursday night in Hoover, Ala. on a domestic violence charge, according to Hoover police.

Richardson, who was drafted by the Browns with No 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, joined the Ravens during the 2016 offseason before being waived prior to the start of training camp in August.

According to the report, Richardson was arrested following an incident at the Hyatt Place Hotel and was charged with one count of third-degree domestic violence. 

The argument between Richardson and the women began at a nearby Walmart before the altercation turned physical. 

RELATED: RICHARDSON DISCUSSES FAMILY FREELOADING

"Officers were able to make contact with an adult male and adult female who were involved in a domestic altercation," police said in the official release.

"After interviewing both parties it was determined that the two individuals had been arguing earlier while at the Walmart on John Hawkins Parkway and that the dispute continued after they arrived back at the hotel. At some point the situation turned physical and the female sustained injuries (scratches and bruising) about her face."

Richardson's NFL career has been wrought with disappointment.  He played just 17 games for the Browns — averaging 3.6 yards per carry—  before he was traded to the Colts in 2013. His numbers declined even more, and he was released at the end of the 2014 season. He spent the 2015 offseason with the Raiders, but was released before the beginning of the Regular season.

Richardson's last appearance in a regular season NFL game took place in a December 2014 Colts' victory over the Patriots in which he ran for 11 yards on six carries.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

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NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicts Ravens will select cornerback Sidney Jones

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NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicts Ravens will select cornerback Sidney Jones

The Ravens desperately need help at cornerback, which ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes they will address early.

In his second mock draft of the year, Kiper forecasts that Baltimore will selecting University of Washington corner Sidney Jones with the No. 16 overall pick. 

He reasons that the Ravens hope to get more than one cornerback out of this draft, so they'll start as soon as they get the chance. 

The 2017 draft class is exceptionally deep with cornerback talent, but Jones stands out nonetheless.

Mike Mayock of NFL Network considers Jones the top corner of a lot that also includes players like Marshon Lattimore of Ohio State and Teez Tabor of Florida. 

ESPN's Jamison Hensley makes the case for Jones thusly:

He has the experience (three-year starter), football intelligence and playmaking skills (nine interceptions and eight force fumbles in his career) to be an immediate starter. He also has traits that the Ravens love out of their prospects: strong character, aggressive and durable.

The negative trait identified by both Kiper and Hensley is Jones' size. He stands 6-feet even and weighs 180 pounds, creating potential match-up problems against large, physical receivers like A.J. Green or Mike Evans. 

Both note that he'll need to add more muscle to his frame to compete at the professional level. 

CSN draft analyst Ben Standig recently projected the Ravens to select wide receiver Josh Ross with the 16th overall pick. Click here to view the full NFL Mock Draft: 3.0

MORE RAVENS: Speedy receiver Ross could fit Ravens in first round