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Ravens News 3/22: Power rankings, catch rule, Moneyball DeCosta and more

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John Harbaugh News Conference

NFL Power Rankings: Vikings, Rams rising via free agency/trades - Elliot Harrison

16. RAVENS

Depending on your perspective, the Ravens have either enjoyed a very fruitful or fruitless winter session. The team managed to energize the wide receiver corps with the speedy John Brown and highly emotional Michael Crabtree. (Question 1: Did you see Aqib Talib was traded to the Rams? Question 2: When do the Ravens play the Rams next??) On the other hand, Brown is often hurt, while Crabtree is coming off his worst year since an abbrevaited (post-Achilles surgery) 2013 campaign. Baltimore also lost center Ryan Jensen to free agency and there are additional questions -- health- and depth-related -- on the offensive line. Draft.

Harrison pegs the Ravens as the 7th best AFC team, behind the Patriots, Jaguars, Steelers, Chargers, Texans and Titans. With four of the top six ranked teams, the NFC is shaping up to be a dogfight in 2018.

Catch rule recommendations revealed ahead of vote - Kevin Patra

The proposed rules defining a catch are:

1. Control of the ball.

2. Two feet down or another body part.

3. A football move such as: » A third step; » Reaching/extending for the line-to-gain;» Or the ability to perform such an act.

The key change in the proposal would eliminate the frustrating going-to-the-ground element of the rule that caused catches to be overturned...

If the occasional football viewer believes a play should be considered a catch, it should be a catch. Enough said.

ERIC DECOSTA WILL LEAN MORE ON ‘MONEYBALL’ ANALYTICS AS GENERAL MANAGER - Ryan Mink

DeCosta and the Ravens have a pair of analytics specialists in the player personnel department in Football Systems Developer David McDonald and Player Evaluation & Analytics Manager Corey Krawiec.

DeCosta said it took football about 10 years to get to the point where teams began starting to make decisions with analytics, but it’s only starting to take off now. DeCosta said the Ravens are at the point now where they have enough organized data to see trends.

Knowledge is power. It will be intesersting to see if analytical data impacts DeCosta’s draft day decision making in 2019, particularly in regards to positional value.

Report: RFA Willie Snead visiting the Ravens - Evan Mazza

In the past Snead was a productive weapon for Drew Brees, but was a non-factor last season as he missed five games, three due to a suspension, and only caught 8 receptions for 92 yards in 2017. He also dealt with hamstring injuries.

However prior to 2017, Snead tallied 141 receptions for 1,879 yards, and 7 touchdowns combined over two seasons in New Orleans and was a huge threat on third down. At just 25 years old, Snead has untapped upside.

Report: Ravens hosting RFA WR Cameron Meredith for a visit - Logan Levy

Meredith is certainly an intriguing wide receiver that would seemingly fit perfectly with the Baltimore Ravens. He is a big, physical receiver who excels at making contested catches. He is coming off a torn ACL and a “slight” MCL tear in his left knee that forced him to miss the entire 2017 season. However, during the 2016 season, Meredith posted 66 receptions for 888 yards and four touchdowns.

As Evan and Logan point out, both Snead and Meredith possess significant upside. The way free agency has unfolded, the Ravens would be wise to ink a potent third receiver in lieu of an ancient tight end.