The Ravens are approaching a bit of a transition year under a young second-year quarterback and will be facing all the challenges (and reaping all the benefits) that their situation entails. A lot of new faces are either entering the mix or will be thrust into the spotlight, and, as a result, the chance for a breakout player to emerge definitely presents itself.
So, who could that guy be for this season? A few candidates immediately jump to mind, with a pretty interesting one coming from Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport in an article ranking each team’s potential breakout player for the coming season:
“Granted, on some level it’s difficult to label Mark Ingram as a breakout candidate. As recently as 2017, the veteran running back topped 1,500 total yards for the New Orleans Saints. So let’s go with “re-break out” instead. If that wasn’t a thing before, it is now. Because I said so. Ingram had a quiet 2018 campaign. The 29-year-old missed four games due to a suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs and posted his fewest rushing yards since 2013. By season’s end, he had taken more than just a back seat to Alvin Kamara—counting the postseason he didn’t have more than 12 touches in any of the Saints’ last four games. That quiet season and Ingram’s age hurt his value on the open market, and Ingram eventually settled for a relatively modest three-year, $15 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens.”
This certainly is an interesting choice and while it’s tough to categorize Ingram as a straight-up breakout type guy, Davenport’s logic does make some sense. He’s very much in line for a big time bounce back season with a new team so in that sense this is a point pick, however there are definitely other players who fit the billing just as well if not better.
Let’s take a look at who some of those guys may be, shall we?
Wide Receiver, Chris Moore
Here’s a fairly obvious one as John Harbaugh has as much said that it’s Moore’s “time.” Hopefully that means the front office will still bring in some young talent to compete for snaps via the draft as Moore’s ascension to a starting caliber player isn’t a sure thing just yet.
For now though, it appears he has the inside track to be a top target as training camp opens. If he’s able to capitalize on that by building off the momentum of three seasons in which he continuously improved his game, his trajectory would suggest he’s up to the task of a more significant workload for 2019.
Linebackers Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams
I opted to put these guys together because they’re both expected to step into some pretty big shoes. Replacing Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith doesn’t seem like something that’ll happen right off the rip, but for now, these two are the ones who are being tabbed to do so.
Williams’ draft profile projected him as an out-and-out pass rusher a-la Smith, while Bowser’s athletic ability suggested he would be a more all around front seven chess piece similar to Suggs in some respects. Both were relatively high picks in 2017 who haven’t shown a ton just yet, but with the right coaching and opportunity in front of them, they may just be breakout players this coming season.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson
Lamar may be a tough sell as a breakout candidate after a strong rookie season, but the fact remains that he still has more to prove as a passer. Many analysts seem stuck to the idea that he can’t/won’t improve in this respect, and shutting them up to at least some degree would represent yet another level of a breakout for number 8 in my book. More talent is going to need to be put in place around him between now and September to help facilitate that, but if that does take place to an even reasonable level, there’s no reason why Jackson can’t continue to build upon his first year success.
Who is your 2019 Ravens breakout candidate?
This poll is closed