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Ravens News 3/16: Ingram quotes, WR comparisons and more

South Carolina v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Mark Ingram II Says He and Lamar Jackson Will ‘Change the Game’ - Ryan Mink

Asked whether playing with Jackson in the Ravens’ anticipated run-heavy offense was appealing, Ingram said “1000 percent.”

“That was very interesting and something that really caught my attention,” Ingram said in Friday’s introductory press conference.

“Just to have the opportunity to be in an offense that runs the ball and have Lamar with his run-pass option abilities. To bring my game to this offense and help this team, I’m excited about it.”

“I think it’s going to be dangerous; I think we’re going to be explosive,” Ingram said. “I think we’re going to change the game.”

“I’m here to help him excel, take some pressure off him,” Ingram said. “I think we’re going to do great things together.

“We’re going to work to have the best running game in the league year in and year out, the best backfield in the league year in and year out.”

Mark Ingram’s powerful, downhill running style will be a terrific complement to Lamar Jackson’s escapability and speed on read-option plays.

After Baltimore Ravens’ free agent moves, here’s how their starting lineups looks - Aaron Kasinitz


QB: Lamar Jackson

RB: Mark Ingram

WR: Chris Moore

WR: Jordan Lasley

SWR: Willie Snead

TE: Nick Boyle/Mark Andrews/Hayden Hurst

RT: Orlando Brown

RG: Marshal Yanda

C: Matt Skura

LG: James Hurst/Alex Lewis/Bradley Bozeman

LT: Ronnie Stanley

Notable backups: RBs Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon, G/T Jermaine Eluemunor, WR Jaleel Scott

The wide receivers jump out as a blatant weak spot. Snead’s a dependable slot receiver, but Moore didn’t start a regular-season game last year and Lasley’s never played in one. He was a healthy scratch for all 16 games of his rookie season.

Wide receiver is currently the most inexperienced position group on the roster. With an underwhelming free agent class already picked through, Eric DeCosta may turn to the early rounds of the draft to bring additional playmakers to the unit.

2019 NFL Draft: Who’s like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mike Evans and other wide receiver comparisons - Chris Trapasso

A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

NFL comparison: JuJu Smith-Schuster

Smith-Schuster received the second-most targets from the slot in football last season (112) per Sports Info Solutions, and like the young Steelers’ star, Brown should land as a big (athletic) slot option in the NFL, no longer a part-time gadget or novelty item. Brown has 4.49 speed but specializes after the catch, when he instantly morphs into a running back. He’s also reliable in contested-catch situations. Brown is the most NFL-ready receiver in this class.

N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

NFL comparison: Marques Colston

Here’s a quote from Drew Brees, featured in an ESPN article, after Colston’s first game with the Saints. “He’s a big-play receiver. He’s a possession receiver, he’s a throw-it-up-and-let-him-jump and-get-it receiver.” That is precisely the type of pass catcher Harry is, and while he isn’t a dazzling, separation creator as a route runner, he is surprisingly nimble after the catch and plays with powerful leg churn to carry defenders for extra yardage as he’s finally being tackled. Colston is still the Saints all-time leading receiver and quietly crushed it from his rookie season all the way through his prime with six 1,000-yard campaigns. The big high-pointer finished with an average seasonal stat line of 71 catches, 975 yards, and 7.2 touchdowns in his 10 NFL seasons.

D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

NFL comparison: Demaryius Thomas

Let me start by writing Metcalf has more juice than Thomas, but the latter was certainly not a plodder in his prime. Thomas began his career as a large, athletic specimen with a raw game, and it showed. His first two seasons in Denver were pedestrian at their very best. As he learned the intricacies of running routes, Thomas erupted with five-consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Even as he matured in the NFL, Thomas was best used as a bubble screen, slant, and go-route wideout, and that’s precisely how Metcalf needs to be featured to tap into every ounce of his massive talent. Like Thomas too, Metcalf will have the occasional bad drop but come down with circus grabs downfield.

Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

NFL comparison: Davante Adams

Adams was a super-productive wideout at Fresno State with Derek Carr, landed in the second round of the 2014 draft, and following some early-career flashes in Green Bay, has become one of the finest young targets in football. He can make the spectacular grab in the red zone, repeatedly turns defenders before and after the catch, and can hit some big-gainers thanks to impressive speed. All of the same is true for Samuel, who arguably possesses the best combination of route-running savvy and yards-after-the-catch skills of any wideout in this class. He boasts strong hands too.

From a collegiate production standpoint, as well as skillset, the Metcalf - Thomas comparison is apt. Brown and/or Samuel could be plug-and-play additions to Baltimore’s receiver room.