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Ravens News 8/9: Yanda speaks, Preseason All-AFC North team and more

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New York Giants v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

PFF Press Pass – NFL Preseason Week 1 - Charles Miller

LOS ANGELES RAMS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS, 7:30 PM ET

Lamar Jackson’s second pro appearance

Lamar Jackson made his NFL debut in the Hall of Fame game, and his play was up and down, finishing with a PFF game grade of 52.8. Even so, there is no denying that Jackson possesses talent both inside and outside the pocket. While inconsistent in two quarters of action versus the Bears, he’ll need to be much better against a new-look Rams defense.

Lamar Jackson hopes to display better accuracy and make more plays with his legs against the Rams as he adjusts to game speed at the professional level.

News & Notes 8/7: Marshal Yanda Has a Burning Fire to Play This Year. After That, He Doesn’t Know - Ryan Mink

Yanda said that was one of the toughest professional moments he’s ever gone through. He had never missed that many games in a season. And it only got worse from there.

Just as Yanda’s ankle felt better in December, he tore his rotator cuff while lifting weights and opted for surgery. That set him back yet again and held him out of all offseason practices until this week.

“A general rule of thumb, once you get to 10 years, I feel like you have to reassess and reevaluate,” Yanda said. “I’ll take my time after the season, but right now, I’ll focus on this year and doing my part.”

Marshal Yanda is under contract with the Ravens through the 2019 season.

NFL Scouts Talk Anonymously About AFC North Teams - Athlon Sports

Baltimore Ravens

“From afar, it looks like the Ravens’ window has closed with Joe Flacco as the quarterback. They have not made the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, the owner contemplated moving on from John Harbaugh in January, and GM Ozzie Newsome revealed in February that 2018 would be his last season.”

”The reality is that Flacco got hot during their Super Bowl run in 2012 but has been average to below ever since.”

”Enter Lamar Jackson as a first-round quarterback, and 2018 looks like Flacco’s final year.”

Alex Collins was a revelation as the former Seahawks fifth-round pick rushed for nearly 1,000 yards last season.”

”[Guard] Marshal Yanda will return in 2018 after missing the entire season with an ankle fracture, but they lost center Ryan Jensen to the Buccaneers in free agency, and only Ronnie Stanley at left tackle is close to being at the top of his position group across the league.”

”The wide receivers have been unproductive and miscast for so long, it was not surprising for them to sign John Brown from Arizona and Ryan Grant from Washington, only to have Grant fail his physical [and later sign with the Colts].”

”What does it say that their best defensive player is headed into his 16th year? That’s Terrell Suggs, who still strikes fear in opposing quarterbacks and offensive tackles.”

”The secondary is probably their strongest position group.”

”Newsome will always be remembered as the steadying voice in Baltimore and one of the league’s best drafters, but I’m still not convinced this is more than a nine-win team.”

Oddsmakers have set the Ravens win total at eight, 70-percent of wagers thus far have been placed on the over.

2018 Preseason All-AFC North Team: Steelers offense, Ravens defense dominate roster - Jared Dubin

Offensive Guard

Marshal Yanda, Ravens; David DeCastro, Steelers

Yanda played just two games last year and had shoulder surgery in January, but he is arguably the league’s best overall offensive lineman when healthy and he’s expected to be ready for the start of the season. He was a shoo-in here.

Interior Defensive Lineman

Geno Atkins, Bengals; Brandon Williams, Ravens

Williams would make an excellent linemate for Atkins, were he to switch teams, as he is possibly the best interior run-defender in football. (Only Damon Harrison has a claim to being definitively better.) Williams is a run-stuffer extraordinaire, such a force on the inside that the Ravens paid him big money despite the fact that he is almost a complete non-factor in the passing game.

Outside Linebacker

Jamie Collins, Browns; Terrell Suggs, Ravens

Terrell Suggs is turning 36 later this year and has been seeing his snap-share decline in recent seasons but the man just keeps getting to the quarterback. After tearing his Achilles for the second time back in 2015, he returned and put up 19 sacks over the past two years. The Ravens are nothing if not consistent on the defensive side of the ball, and while Suggs could experience some age-related drop-off in 2018, we don’t feel strongly enough about that happening to keep him off this team.

Inside Linebacker

C.J. Mosley, Ravens; Preston Brown, Bengals

Both of these players are absolute tackle machines. Mosley has made the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro second team during three of his four NFL seasons and is right in the prime of his career. He flows to the ball against the run, covers well in the passing game (he has 31 pass-breakups and eight picks in four years), and has even shown pass-rushing talent in his career. He’s a full-field playmaker on one of the NFL’s best defenses.

Safety

Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson, Ravens

This is not a great division for safeties, but even if it were, the Ravens duo would have been a fairly easy selection here. It still boggles the mind that the Chargersgave up on Weddle a couple years ago, but it was to Baltimore’s benefit that they did. Jefferson joined him in Baltimore last year and they were a seamless fit. That should continue to be the case in 2018.

Specialists

P: Sam Koch, Ravens; K: Justin Tucker, Ravens; RET: Jabrill Peppers, Browns

The Ravens might have the best punter-kicker tandem in the league. Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history and he’s got more range than just about anybody. Koch has a huge leg and consistently ranks among the best in the league in terms of net yards per punt.

Despite placing just one offensive player on this list, Baltimore’s eight representatives were second to Pittsburgh’s 11.