Baltimore Ravens at the bye: Picking MVP, most improved, biggest disappointment and more - Aaron Kasinitz
Most improved: G Bradley Bozeman
Through the offseason, fans and media members wondered who would start for the Ravens at left guard and whether that player could hold up against stiff competition. Bozeman’s risen to the challenge. The second-year player out of Alabama won the job in the preseason and has fared well while squaring off against Pro Bowl interior pass rushers like Chris Jones and Geno Atkins.
Most pleasant surprise: S Chuck Clark
While several startling midseason additions have helped the Ravens win three straight games, Clark’s also stepped into a large role and delivered top-notch play during his third season with the team. What’s especially surprising is that Clark, who entered the year as a backup, has spent the past two game wearing the defensive headset and relaying play calls.
Here’s How Lamar Jackson Has Taken the Year 2 Leap - Clifton Brown
Great players do impressive things, but in a team sport the ability to inspire others with your actions is important. Jackson clearly has that ability. Even accomplished, laser-focused veterans like guard Marshal Yanda and safety Earl Thomas show their exuberance when Jackson makes a big play. When Jackson is driving the bus, everyone is on board.
NFL trade deadline: One buy/sell proposal for each AFC team - Marc Sessler
BALTIMORE RAVENS: Buy wide receiver DeVante Parker. Ravens play-caller Greg Roman landed on my list of candidates for Assistant Coach of the Year because of his next-level creativity and willingness to cut against the grain of today’s pass-happy NFL. The Ravens are ripping through defenses with 200-plus ground yards per game, unleashing uber-athletic signal-caller Lamar Jackson and a flock of backs. With rookie deep-threat Marquise Brown in and out of the lineup, the Ravens could use another reliable wideout for those Sunday tussles that require more balance. Potential compensation: 2020 fourth-round pick.
I know Melvin Gordon has been bad this year. I also know that the Chargers could very well hold onto their former first-round pick since they’re not going to get the return that would make the compensatory formula irrelevant. Still, I love the idea of Baltimore doubling down on their punishing run game by adding a back who, in the past, has been a relatively efficient north-south runner with the potential to break games open. Running back is such a fickle position and layering eager superstars in an advantageous statistical situation only makes sense.