It seems that every year there is a young player that is able to step out behind the shadow of players before him and become a major player. This year is no different as the Ravens have seen some players leave via free agency and some were cut or traded and have some open holes for young prospects to shine.
As OTAs begin this week for the Ravens, we'll look at a few of the players that could make a major impact this season and be the next big name.
He was our pick last year to break out. After tearing his ACL in the BCS Championship game, he fell all the way to the sixth-round, despite having the stats of a second or third-round talent. A powerful run stuffer and edge setting defensive lineman, Lewis-Moore should be able to take on double teams in order to allow linebackers to roam free. Finally healthy, Lewis-Moore should be able to put together a good season on the defensive line as a rotational player in the wake of Haloti Ngata's departure to the Detroit Lions via trade.
Another player that had his season derailed by injury, Brent Urban is absolutely massive. 6-foot-7 and 298-pounds, Urban is a raw prospect that is just a physical freak. A fourth-round pick last year, Urban tore his ACL and missed the entire season. He was expected to be a rotational player last year before his injury, but should see increased playing time this year due to his ability to play multiple spots on the defensive line, but mostly as a defensive end. His long arms and tall frame could allow Urban to get around blockers and take up valuable passing lanes for quarterbacks, earning tipped balls and sacks.
Mad Maxx is a guy that a few analysts have pointed towards as an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate before ever suiting up. Once you see some tape on Williams and realize how open the tight end depth chart is this season, it becomes a lot clearer on why we are hearing that hype already. With tight end Dennis Pitta still unsure on whether he will be able to play ever again, much less this season, all the focus goes to Maxx Williams. A physical tight end with great hands and leaping ability, Williams should be a force in the seam where Joe Flacco loves to throw the ball and as a big red zone target. It wouldn't be surprising to see Williams end the year with the most receptions on the roster, making him a brand name in Baltimore.
Javorius "Buck" Allen / Lorenzo Taliaferro
Javorius Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro might be names that few would consider as a break out type of player, especially with recently resigned Justin Forsett sitting in front of them on the depth chart. However, when you look at Forsett's career, he has had issues with consistency from year to year, making him a journeyman up until this point. If Forsett falters at any point, either young rusher could see their workload increase from a rotational back to a more feature player on the offense in first and second downs. As bigger players, both Allen and Taliaferro should see some snaps on offense as a more brute force runner than Forsett, seeing goal line or short yardage situations. Depending on which rusher can put themselves as second on the depth chart, the chance is always there for either player to break out this season.
I'm sure that there are a few other names that were left off this list. Feel free to tell us in the comments who you think will be the breakout player of the year for the Ravens.