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Ravens Roster Evaluation: Bluechip Theory

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NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ravens scout turned NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah described his roster construction theory on episode 355 of the ‘Move the Sticks’ podcast:

Building a championship nucleus, I believe 12 bluechip players is the number.

Recently, on episode 500, Jeremiah explained further:

The formula is one quarterback, two pass rushers, three offensive playmakers, three defensive playmakers and three quality offensive lineman.

As the Ravens enter the offseason tied for the second best odds to win Super Bowl LV, along with the pressure of maximizing perhaps the final season of Lamar Jackson’s rookie contract, how does their roster compare to Jeremiah’s criteria?

Quarterback

Fresh off an MVP season, Lamar Jackson emphatically checks this box. Along with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, Jackson will lead the NFL’s new generation of franchise quarterbacks.

Two Pass Rushers

With Pro Bowler Matthew Judon set to become an unrestricted free agent, the Ravens do not currently roster any consistent pass rushers. If Judon is not retained, either with a long-term deal or the use of the franchise tag, pass rusher will become a massive offseason need.

Teams are forced to pay a premium for pass rushers in both the draft and free agency. Rookie pass rusher selected beyond the top-15 picks often require development. Ideally, general manager Eric DeCosta can secure a proven edge rusher and a disruptive defensive lineman through free agency.

Three Offensive Playmakers

In matchup tight end Mark Andrews and speedy receiver Marquise Brown, the Ravens have drafted a pair of bonafide weapons.

Still, the offense would benefit from a third playmaker. Many rookie receivers have made instant impacts lately. The 2020 receiver class boasts exceptional talent and depth, Jeremiah included six first round wideouts in his initial mock draft.

Three Defensive Playmakers

Baltimore remains well stocked in the secondary with ballhawks Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Earl Thomas III all under contract through at least the 2021 season.

Three Quality Offensive Lineman

Pro Bowlers Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. form an excellent pair of bookend tackles. Marshal Yanda would certainly be considered a quality offensive lineman if he returns for his 14th season in 2020.

If Yanda elects to retire, the front office will likely aim to bolster their blocking unit during the early rounds of the draft.


The Ravens currently employ eight of the 12 top-level talents recommended by this roster foundation blueprint, 10 of the 12 if both Judon and Yanda return.

According to Jeremiah’s theory, Baltimore will be poised to compete for the championship if DeCosta acquires a couple more bluechip players this offseason.