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Ravens News 3/23: Analytics love Baker Mayfield, thanks Mike Wallace and more

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NFL: International Series-Baltimore Ravens Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What Analytics Say About Baker Mayfield - Peter King

Why are you hearing about the AIQ now? One of the two teams that subscribes fully to the testing service already has its franchise quarterback. The other team is not a perennial winner, picks in the top half of the first round this year and is one of the handful of teams most interested in drafting Baker Mayfield, the subject of The MMQB’s ongoing series. Goldman declined to confirm the performance of specific players, but did acknowledge a QB prospect this year scored in the Top 100 on the AIQ all-time—out of more than 4,000 tests—and is the second-highest scoring quarterback out of 63 who have taken the test since 2012. Two league sources, who asked for anonymity to discuss the testing results of a prospect, confirmed it was Mayfield.

PFF applied its new metric to last year’s quarterback draft class and this year’s top six—Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson, Mayfield, Josh Rosen and Mason Rudolph. They used four major categories to chart the specific point on the receiver’s body where the ball was placed—Accurate (perfect), Frame (on-target, step below perfect), Catchable Inaccurate (catchable, but less than ideal ball location), Inaccurate (uncatchable).

“We found there’s a pretty big difference between Mayfield, Darnold and the rest,” Palazzolo says.

The article goes on to note that Mayfield is far superior to his peers when under pressure. All in all, King presents a compelling case that Baker should be the first quarterback drafted.

2018 NFL Draft positional strengths and weaknesses - Steve Palazzolo

WIDE RECEIVER

It’s difficult to pinpoint a clean No. 1 receiver option, making this a wide open year when ranking the wide receiver class. SMU’s Courtland Sutton turned heads with an excellent NFL Combine at 6-foot-3 and he’ll be in the mix at the top. Beyond that, Alabama’s Calvin Ridley provides a deep threat while Colorado State’s Michael Gallup is a PFF favorite who shouldn’t go overlooked. Maryland’s D.J. Moore has excellent quickness and toughness that make him another top option. This class has a few specialists, from slot receivers to big red zone threats, so it’s a draft to find No. 2 receivers or role players more than it is a draft to find a game-changing No. 1 option.

Top End: Weak

Depth: Strong

TIGHT END

The theme of this class is receiving tight ends who need work as run-blockers, but that’s OK in today’s NFL. South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert is the most intriguing mismatch option, but Penn State’s Mike Gesicki is right there with him after destroying the NFL Combine. Gesicki’s downfield skills were limited in Penn State’s offense, but they’re prevalent on film if you look hard enough. Throw Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews into the mix as well as he was a glorified slot receiver in the Sooners’ offense. It’s a good year to need a tight end.

Top End: Strong

Depth: Strong

Strong depth at wide receiver and tight end bodes well for a Ravens team that is hoping to add playmakers at both positions. It would behoove the team to trade back into the late first or even top of the second round if they can find a partner. Adding one of the top few receivers and tight ends would be a coup for Baltimore, however they may all be taken by the time they go on the clock on the second round.

EAGLES SIGN WIDE RECEIVER MIKE WALLACE TO 1-YEAR DEAL - Ryan Mink

He chose not to re-sign Mike Wallace, who is now moving on with a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles worth a reported $2.5 million, plus incentives, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport.

Wallace signing elsewhere helps the Ravens in the compensatory pick calculation. His signing essentially cancels out Baltimore’s inking of Brown. As of now, it means the Ravens could be in line for a third-round compensatory pick in 2019 after Ryan Jensen got the richest contract for a center in NFL history from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Wallace played well for the Ravens overall and should be a capable replacement for Torrey Smith in the Eagles offense. Looking back on his two year stay in Baltimore, fans should appreciate Mike’s contributions to the team. As Mink points out, Wallace’s departure has positive implications for the 2019 compensatory equation.