Best/worst-case projections for NFL’s notable offensive rookies - Daniel Jeremiah
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Drafted: Round 1, No. 25 overall, out of Oklahoma.
Best-case scenario: Brown emerges as the No. 1 receiver for quarterback Lamar Jackson, with the ground game setting up beautifully for him to cash in on the deep ball. He also creates excitement after the catch in the quick game and is used effectively on fly sweeps.
Worst-case scenario: Brown is slow to recover from his foot injury (he’s opening camp on the NFI list after undergoing Lisfranc surgery in February), and he’s an afterthought in the Ravens’ run-heavy scheme, with the tight ends eating up the majority of the production in the passing game. He provides a couple wow plays, but the limitations of the quarterback (Jackson completed just 58.2 percent of his passes in 2018) and the system are a problem.
Projected stats: 45 catches, 720 yards, six TDs.
Training Camp Position Breakdown: Cornerback - Ryan Mink
The final couple spots in the cornerback corps will be closely contested. Smith, Carr, Humphrey, Young, Averett and Lewis-Marshall (fourth-round picks from 2018 and 2019, respectively) are all seemingly locks. That’s six, and leaves only one or two more spots available.
Canady has always been a versatile and impressive player, but has struggled to stay healthy. Jean-Baptiste looked like he was destined to make the team last year before he suffered a broken arm in the preseason finale. Jones was the team’s best punt returner last season, but he missed all of OTAs and minicamp with an unspecified medical issue. The Ravens signed Bethel this offseason largely for his special teams expertise, but he still finds himself in a tight battle.
NFL fact check: Don’t be surprised if these 7 things happen - Bill Barnwell
Don’t be surprised if ... Lamar Jackson’s running workload is reduced
If you watched Jackson at Louisville, you knew the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner was going to threaten NFL teams with his feet. When Jackson took over for an injured Joe Flacco last season and led what had been a 4-5 Ravens team on a 6-1 ride to the postseason, it was no surprise to see him stretch opposing defenses as a runner.
Baltimore’s first-round pick carried the ball 119 times across his seven starts, averaging 17 carries per contest.
That’s not a sustainable workload for a quarterback.
I would expect Jackson to fall back to around 10 carries per game in 2019. The Ravens will still use Jackson as a threat to hold the ball on read-option looks, and he will still scramble for big plays, but they’ll hand the ball more to new starter Mark Ingram and count on Jackson to be a more effective passer in his first full season as a starter.
REDRAFTING THE 2015 NFL DRAFT - Kyle Crabbs
26TH OVERALL - LB BENARDRICK MCKINNEY, BALTIMORE RAVENS
Actual pick: WR Breshad Perriman
Want a better pick for the Ravens? How about literally anyone else? Perriman spent three seasons in Baltimore, started 4 games and caught 43 balls for 576 yards.
McKinney is low-key a big time Ravens player. Big, physical...a hammer between the tackles? McKinney has slowly taken strides in his all around game, too. The Texans used him as a blitzer in 2016 -- he logged 5 sacks and 11 QB hits. He logged an interception and 7 passes defensed in 2018.
The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams 2019 - Kurt Badenhausen
29 | Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
Value: $2.59 billion
1-Year % Change: 4%
Owner: Stephen Bisciotti
Operating Income: $107 million
The NFL is still the most dominant sports league when it comes to the worth of its franchises. More than half of the top 50 are football squads. Credit the monster media-rights deals with the likes of CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and DirecTV that paid out more than $260 million per team last year. The TV haul is a nice cushion to easily cover teams’ biggest expense item, player costs, before any tickets, sponsorships, beer or replica jerseys are sold. The cap on player salaries was $177 million last season (each team is also on the hook for $40 million annually in player benefit costs).