News & Notes: Lamar Jackson and Joe Flacco Share the Field in Creative Ways - Ryan Mink
Second-year guard Nico Siragusa is back on the field and has no limitations, per Harbaugh. Coming off a major knee injury suffered at the start of last year’s training camp, the Ravens are still easing him in with limited reps, however.
The Ravens continue to shuffle their offensive line as they get a look at how players handle different positions. On Tuesday, the first-team offensive line, from left to right, was Ronnie Stanley, Jermaine Eluemunor, Matt Skura, James Hurst and Orlando Brown Jr.
Second-year outside linebacker Tyus Bowser had the play of the day when he picked off Flacco during 11-on-11 red-zone drills and raced the other way for what would have been about an 85-yard touchdown.
Great news all around. If Brown Jr. wins the right tackle job outright and Bowser takes the next step, the Ravens could be improved on the edges in 2018.
Lamar Jackson to be active on game days as Ravens search for creative ways to use him - Childs Walker
“This is a little unique. You’ve got the ability to put two quarterbacks on the field at the same time,” he said. “You want to find the way to get the most out of all your guys. Lamar’s going to be on the team. I fully expect him to be active on game day. So gosh, I’d sure like him out there helping. … What options does that create for our offense? That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”
It’s also clear the team’s veterans enjoy watching Jackson, especially when he takes off running.
“It’s been cool just to see the way we can switch things up at quarterback,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “[Lamar] is just a natural runner. Once he gets out of the pocket, it’s like watching a young Michael Vick. He’s just amazing to watch.”
Adding more speed, playmaking ability and deception should help the Ravens offense.
2017 Receiving Plus-Minus - Scott Kacsmar
Receiving plus-minus estimates how many catches a receiver caught compared to how many an average receiver would have caught, given the location of those targets. It does not consider targets listed as “Thrown Away,” “Tipped at Line,” or “Quarterback Hit in Motion.” Player performance is compared to a historical baseline of how often passes were completed based on the pass distance, the distance required for a first down, and whether they were on the left, middle, or right side of the field.
Rk Player Team Passes C% REC +/- C%+
63 Michael Crabtree OAK 98 59.2% -2.7 -2.8%
72 Jeremy Maclin BAL 71 56.3% -5.4 -7.6%
75 John Brown ARI 51 41.2% -6.4 -12.6%
8 Benjamin Watson BAL 78 78.2% +4.4 +5.7%
2 Danny Woodhead BAL 36 91.7% +5.3 +14.7%
56 Alex Collins BAL 33 69.7% -3.8 -11.5%
Speaking of old tight ends, Benjamin Watson could see another strong year in 2018 after returning to New Orleans with Brees. He had the highest plus-minus (+4.2) of any tight end or wide receiver to play with Joe Flacco last season in Baltimore.
Woodhead was injured last season so Baltimore fans didn’t get to see the full effect of him with Flacco, but he caught 33-of-36 passes. He would be a much better receiving option than Alex Collins, who ranked dead last in DYAR and DVOA and had the sixth-lowest plus-minus (-3.8). Collins only had one target that was thrown more than 4 yards down the field, but he did at least catch that one for 15 yards.
The Ravens lost their two most efficient pass catchers this offseason in Ben Watson and Danny Woodhead, but Jeremy Maclin’s departure should be considered addition by subtraction. Hopefully Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Alex Collins can improve their respective catch rates in 2018.
Way-Too-Early Ravens’ 53-Man Roster Predictions - John Eisenberg
Offensive linemen (8) – Ronnie Stanley, Marsha Yanda, James Hurst, Alex Lewis, Matt Skura, Orlando Brown Jr., Bradley Bozeman, Nico Siragusa.
Comment: The first six are locks. If the Ravens want more experienced depth, they could go with Jermaine Eluemunor, who played in 2017, ahead of Bozeman, a practice squad candidate, or Siragusa, a PUP possibility as he returns from a serious knee injury.
Defensive linemen (6) – Brent Urban, Chris Wormley, Brandon Williams, Michael Pierce, Willie Henry, Carl Davis.
Comment: This projection leaves out Bronson Kaufusi, a 2016 third-round pick who was injured as a rookie and often inactive in 2017. The Ravens want to hold onto him, but keeping three quarterbacks and four tight ends forces a tough choice. They need an extra cornerback who can play special teams more than an extra defensive lineman.
Safeties (4) – Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, Anthony Levine, Chuck Clark.
Comment: Clark makes it ahead of rookie DeShon Elliott, a practice squad candidate.
The Ravens may actually have enough depth on the offensive line to trade one of their guards for a late round draft pick. On the defensive side of the ball, Kaufusi’s days appear to be numbered. However, it would be surprising if DeShon Elliott does not make the cut. The former unanimous All-American displays excellent instincts, physicality against the run, competitiveness and ball skills on tape.