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Ravens News 1/17: Solving problems, Roman’s innovation and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

2018 NFL All-Pro teams, eye test vs. Next Gen Stats - Chris Wesseling and Nick Shook


Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens. Unlike last year in which the RamsGreg Zuerlein authored one of the magical kicking seasons of the past decade, no one booted well enough this season to unseat the position’s reigning master craftsman. The JetsJason Myers was hot on Tucker’s trail until he missed three kicks in a pair of close December losses. The GiantsAldrick Rosas enjoyed a Pro Bowl campaign himself, missing just one field goal and extra point apiece.


Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears; Brandon Carr, Baltimore Ravens.

Carr allowed the lowest passer rating of any cornerback when serving as the nearest defender to targeted receivers (62.3), and his 0:2 TD-to-INT ratio allowed and minus-7.3 percent difference between expected completion percentage and catch percentage proved throwing in his direction tended to mean trouble for opposing passers.

Brandon Carr has been one of the front office’s very best free agent acquisitions since Super Bowl XLVII. The stalwart cornerback is under contract through the 2020 season with an average annual salary of $5.9 million.

Ravens Continue To Solve Wrong Problems - Glenn Clark

Drafting a quarterback was ludicrous because instead of actually solving the issues facing the team, the Ravens simply created a new one. A year later, that hasn’t changed. In fact, the issue seems to just continue.

Instead of solving the problem in front of them, the Ravens simply created a different one. They “wagged the ball,” if you will. A year later, the Ravens seemed to have found a tight end (rookie Mark Andrews), but they’ve always had those. The receiver position remains a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a conundrum wrapped in a Lamar Jackson.

They’ll get another chance this offseason, but it won’t be easy to address the receiver position in free agency because it’s A) likely to be a disappointing group and B) going to be hard to convince receivers to come to a team that got away from throwing the ball.

Clark’s point that the Ravens have not found long term solutions at wide receiver is fair. However, drafting a starting quarterback that will play out an extremely affordable rookie contract solved a greater problem. A lack of salary cap space has plagued this franchise for nearly a decade, Lamar Jackson corrects that issue for the foreseeable future.

From Paul Brown to Colin Kaepernick: Greg Roman known for innovation - Jamison Hensley

Known for being innovative: This isn’t the first time Roman will call plays for a Harbaugh. From 2011 to ‘14, Roman’s first job as an NFL offensive coordinator was under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco. Leading up to the Super Bowl between the Ravens and 49ers, Jim Harbaugh was asked to describe Roman. “Innovative,” he said. “I believe he’s changed a lot about football this season in terms of bringing the traps back to football, bringing the counter back to football, bringing wham plays back into football.” Roman used many of these same blocking techniques in 2018, when Baltimore finished as the league’s second-best rushing attack.

Run game mastermind: Few coaches understand and excel at the run game quite like Roman. In Roman’s five full seasons as an NFL playcaller, all of his offenses ranked in the top eight in rushing: No. 8 (2011), No. 4 (2012), No. 3 (2013), No. 4 (2014) and No. 1 (2015). His reputation was only strengthened in his time in Baltimore, where his unofficial title was run game coordinator. In 2017, Roman mixed up the running schemes for each game, and Alex Collinswent from being cut by the Seattle Seahawks to the NFL’s 10th-leading rusher. Last season, Roman helped change Baltimore’s pass-heavy offense into a run-dominated one. With Roman, Jackson and underfed rookie Gus Edwards were the focal points for an offense that rushed for at least 190 yards in five straight games. The last NFL team to achieve this feat was the 1976 Steelers.

The rushing offense proved to be sustainable when coupled with capable blocking. The larger question is if Roman can install a more effective passing attack.

PFF 2019 NFL Mock Draft 3 - Steve Palazzolo


The wide receiver class has plenty of big-bodied receivers, and Harry is one of the best in contested situations while adding impressive after-the-catch skills. His large catch radius will be helpful for QB Lamar Jackson’s development.

N’Keal Harry follows J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (15) and A.J. Brown (19) to be the third receiver selected in this mock draft. Kelvin Harmon and Marquise Brown came off the board at #25 and #26 respectively.