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Ravens News 2/7: Alex Collins #101, Key Offseason Dates, Combine Invites and more

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Top 101 players from the 2017 season - Pro Football Focus

101. ALEX COLLINS, RB, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Top 101 appearances: New entry

Despite languishing on the practice squad as late as mid-September this past season, Alex Collins had a breakout year for the Baltimore Ravens and had the highest pure rushing score of any back at 89.7. Collins averaged 3.0 yards per carry after contact, breaking 34 tackles on 212 carries. He was a weaker player in the pass game, but those carries were spectacular.

PFF Elite Stat: Among the 53 running backs with at least 81 attempts in 2017, Collins ranked 10th in PFF’s elusive rating at 55.7.

The Ravens elusive young running back was their only representative in PFF’s 51 through 101 best players of last season. Collins earned a better run grade than Rookie of the Year candidate Kareem Hunt and MVP candidate Todd Gurley in their system. His emergence should allow the Ravens to focus their draft capital on other positions.

Key Dates for the Ravens as the NFL offseason officially begins - Jeff Zrebiec

March 12-14: Three-day nontampering negotiating window with free agents

During this period, teams are permitted to express interest in and engage in contract negotiations with representatives of pending free agents. However, a contract cannot be fully completed until after 4 p.m. March 14. Most of the top free agents will know where they’re signing by the end of this negotiating window.

The start of free agency is a little more than a month away. The negotiating widow should be a busy time for the Ravens, as they attempt to retain center Ryan Jensen and perhaps make a run at the wide receiver Steve Bisciotti alluded to at his press conference last Friday. Quarterbacks Drew Brees, Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins headline the free agent class.

NFL Combine 2018: Official list of participants released - Jenna Thomas

Alabama is fresh off yet another championship and leads all schools this year, with invitations extended to 14 players.

Ohio State is second with 11 players invited.

Georgia and LSU each have 10 players who were invited this year. Florida State and Miami have nine each, and Penn State has eight players who were invited.

A list of all 326 players invited can be found here. The scouting combine will begin at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on February 27th. The measurements and drills should go a long way towards stacking the Ravens draft board in what appears to be a rather fluid draft class.

Jonathan Ogden deserves a statue outside of M&T Bank Stadium - Kyle J. Andrews

The Baltimore Ravens have honored both Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis and Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas with statues outside of the stadium. For Baltimoreans and many others in Maryland, Lewis and Unitas meant the world to their respective franchises. However, the Ravens are missing a statue of the original Raven, left tackle Jonathan Ogden.

It is difficult to dispute that Ogden is worthy of his great honor. Ideally, the Ravens will erect a statues of Ogden as well as Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs after each are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Orioles immortalized six of their greatest players in 2012 with bronze sculptures, the Ravens should follow suit with their own ‘Legends Park’ across the way from Camden Yards.

Question of the Day: How would you describe (in one word, picture or Gif) Josh McDaniels’ decision?