Veterans reports to camp today! One of the most fun things to watch for in training camp is the players who could emerge as stars for the Ravens in the upcoming season. Here are four players that I think can fit that bill this year.
The pressure on Perriman to have a breakout year is through the roof. The Ravens drafted Perriman with its first pick in the 2015 draft. The Ravens must see growth of Perriman into the player that they drafted him to be. Otherwise, three years since he was drafted, the bust label will start to follow him.
However, reports throughout the summer have been that Perriman has been really impressive. I believe that we saw enough flashes from Perriman last year to prove that he can be a breakout star given an expanded role in 2017. With Steve Smith Sr. gone, Perriman figures to slide in as one of the two starting outside receivers. This role should net him more playing time, and thus more production. Perriman is set to have a big year, and emerge as the future of the Ravens receiving corps.
This free agent signing went largely under the radar, but it could prove to be one of the offseason’s best. Boykin was signed late in the offseason after Tavon Young went down with an ACL injury. Boykin is set to return after missing all of 2016. I believe that he will come back strong, hitting the ground running. Boykin is an experienced slot corner who could fill in well for the promising Young. Over his four year career in the NFL Boykin has eight career interceptions, six coming in a dominant 2013 season. Boykin also has 37 passes defended. This free agent signing could pay big dividends for the Ravens as Boykin will replace Young this year and provide stable, reliable play in his absence. Boykin will be a player by the end of the season that will be regarded as a key to the defense.
Danny Woodhead is already pretty well known in the NFL. However, I believe he will breakout even more in 2017 as he posts his best season to date. Why? Woodhead could not fit Marty Mornhinweg’s offensive system any more perfectly. It was well documented how many times Mornhinweg utilized short passes to the flats as well as check downs last year. The Ravens just signed one of the NFL’s leading experts in receiving screen passes to running backs: Danny Woodhead. The match here is just too perfect. Under Mornhinweg’s system, Woodhead will not take long at all to break out as a star for the Ravens offense.
The Ravens will be looking for an outside linebacker to start opposite Terrell Suggs this season. Rookies Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams will factor in to the competition, but I feel that it inevitably will be won by Judon. Judon had four sacks last year in a backup role, in addition to 27 tackles, a fumble recovery and two passes defended. Judon’s impressive rookie season should be a sign of the things to come this year when he has an expanded role. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Judon’s sack total double to eight as long as he can stay healthy. Entering his second season in the NFL, Judon will look to win a starting a job on the Ravens defense, and build on what was a strong start for him in the NFL. I believe that he will be able to succeed in doing so.
These are my four picks to emerge as stars for the Ravens this year, but these are not the only candidates. Who do you think can breakout for the Ravens this year?