The NFL’s best rushing tandems ahead of the 2019 NFL season - Connor Price
This offseason, the Baltimore Ravens signed former Saint Mark Ingram in a move which pairs the bruiser with elusive quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson ranked tied for first among quarterbacks in forced missed tackles on rushing attempts (20), but he also led all non-quarterbacks in rushing attempts (130) by a large margin. According to ESPN, Ravens’ owner Steve Biscotti claimed the 6’2” 212-pound quarterback wouldn’t be running as much in 2019, but even a slight decrease will still place Jackson in the upper echelon of quarterbacks rushing attempts.
Ingram, on the other hand, set career-high marks in several rushing categories in 2018. His 83.3 rushing grade was his highest since 2013, and his 3.2 yards after contact per attempt also set a career-high after he increased it for the sixth straight season.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: Matt Judon, edge, fourth NFL season: The departure of Terrell Suggs and free-agency darling Za’Darius Smith strips the Ravens of 15.5 sacks from last year’s defense. Still, Baltimore’s track record of drafting and developing pass rushers speaks for itself. Enter Matt Judon, the 26-year-old enforcer who tied for second on the team with seven sacks last season after posting eight in 2017. The table is set for upped snaps and double-digit takedowns with Judon, in a contract campaign, leading the charge ahead of Shane Ray, Pernell McPhee, Tim Williams and rookie Jaylon Ferguson. Not bad for a guy drafted in the fifth round in 2016 out of Division II Grand Valley State.
The Ravens have a wide-open competition for the starting left guard spot and they’re giving Eluemunor every chance to win the job. He ran with the first-team offense throughout OTAs and minicamp.
“I was immature. I thought I had it made,” Eluemunor said. “I thought, ‘I got drafted, I’m in the NFL now. I wanted to make it and now I’m here.’ It took me getting cut last year to realize that getting here isn’t my dream. My dream is beinghere.”“I think each year, each practice, he’s had some good growth,” Offensive Line Coach Joe D’Alessandris said. “He played as a rookie. That’s tough. We put him in a very difficult situation, but he responded well. Last year, he played again at tackle.”
Eluemunor has the tools. He’s one of the Ravens’ biggest blockers overall, standing in at 6-foot-4 and 335 pounds. Only Orlando Brown Jr. is bigger on the offensive line. For a team that plans to run the ball a lot this upcoming season, having some more bulk in the trenches may not be a bad thing.
Ravens rookie QB Trace McSorley working as punt returner - Logan Reardon
While the comparisons to Hill are obvious, the Ravens are testing McSorley out at a position even Hill didn’t play in 2018 -- punt returner. McSorley took reps returning punts over the past several weeks at Ravens OTAs and minicamp practices.
”It’s something that’s a new challenge for me, something that I hadn’t really had never done,” McSorley said, via the Ravens’ Final Drive podcast. “So it’s just something interesting to be able to come in and learn an try and prove myself in a different way that I can be able to get on the field and make an impact.
”It’s been interesting. It’s had its ups and downs, obviously the first couple times doing it, but it’s going well. I’m looking forward to be able to come out and do anything that I can, especially in the special teams aspect for the team. I want to prove myself there.”