The success of both Jackson and the team has created the impression that the Ravens will do more of the same in 2019. But the Ravens have done a nice job of clouding the issue, from swapping out Marty Mornhinweg for Greg Roman at offensive coordinator to adding a pair of fleet-footed receivers in the draft (after being unable to attract any quality wideouts in free agency) to making it clear via owner Steve Bisciotti that Jackson won’t run the ball 20 times per game to strongly hinting via G.M. Eric DeCosta that a far more diverse attack will be used to, most recently, the vow from backup quarterback Robert Griffin III that the new offense will “shock some people.”
It’s still not clear what the Ravens will do, and that’s good news for the Ravens. Whether it’s the Dolphins in Week One or the Cardinals in Week Two or come Week Three a rematch of an epic 2018 regular-season battle in Kansas City with the Chiefs, those early-season foes may be on their heels as they try to figure out whether the pre-snap looks are hinting at a run or a pass.
Until the Ravens tip their hands by generating several games of film, opposing defenses would be wise to look at 49ers games played with Roman as the offensive coordinator. The Ravens in turn would be wise to use some of those 49ers games as the basis for making what once was a pass into a run, and vice versa.
Training Camp Position Breakdown: Running Back - Ryan Mink
The No. 3 running back will still get some decent snaps in the Ravens offense, and it could be a good competition between Dixon and Hill. A fourth-round pick this year, Hill will make the roster. The question is whether Dixon will prove in training camp that the Ravens need to keep four running backs and deserves a share of the running back rotation.
Dixon ran well at the end of last season, averaging a whopping 5.6 yards per carry. He’s always been an impressive runner, but he had too many fumbles last year and hasn’t been reliably available because of injuries and suspensions. Hill is a smaller, speed back who could be the home run hitter the Ravens have been looking for, but he’s still learning as a rookie.
2020 NFL Draft fits for AFC North teams - Chris Trapasso
Biggest need: Defensive tackle
The fit: Auburn DL Derrick Brown
Brown’s tackle-for-loss and sack statistics have increased in each of his three seasons at Auburn, and as a junior in 2018, he had 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Right now, the 21 year old is further ahead stopping the run than he is getting after the passer, but that doesn’t mean he can’t generate pressure. He was dominant as a run defender in 2018.
The Ravens love deploying larger, wider defensive linemen up front who can play multiple positions. In theory, Brown could man an end position in a traditional 3-4 base but would be best in the middle.
Nose tackle Brandon Williams floated with elite status at the position early in his career. He’ll be 31 in 2020 and his play as dipped of late. If he’s designated a post June 1 cut, Baltimore would save $9.2 million in cap space with $4.9M dead cap hits in 2020 and 2021. Even if Williams stays on the roster, the Ravens don’t have much interior defensive line depth behind him that can be routinely effective on pass plays.