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Ravens News 1/24: Risky free agents and more

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NFL: NOV 17 Texans at Ravens Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson Make Plans to Train Together This Offseason - Ryan Mink

At the Pro Bowl, Jackson was asked which other NFL stars he’s been most excited to meet, and he mentioned Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

“I always see Deshaun, so that’s pretty good. That’s my guy,” Jackson said.

“Where you going to be at this offseason?” Watson asked.

”I’m going to be down here probably training,” Jackson said, referring to the Miami area.

Watson indicated he would be in Florida too.

”We should get some work in though,” Jackson said. “I’m gonna hit you up.”

The best, worst and most underrated moves of the 2019 NFL offseason - Dan Graziano

The Ravens’ offensive makeover

They won a bunch of games and made the playoffs when they threw Lamar Jackson into the starting job and retooled the offense around him on the fly in 2018. But offensive coordinator Greg Roman really took things to a new level with what he built for Jackson in the 2019 offseason.

Not only did the Baltimore coaching staff iron out Jackson’s rookie-year turnover issues, they made him the centerpiece of the league’s most dynamic scoring attack, earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs and almost certainly won Jackson the MVP award in his second NFL season. In a year with the usual number of head coach openings, Roman might have been snatched up by another team for the big job — and another season averaging 33 points per game with Jackson could make him the hottest candidate for 2021.

Free agents who carry the most risk for NFL teams in the 2020 offseason - Anthony Treash

EDGE ARIK ARMSTEAD

For the third time now, never trust the sack numbers. Armstead has had a career year in 2019, producing an elite 90.0 PFF grade that ranks third among edge defenders. His run defense has been admittingly great, as his grade in that facet is the fourth best. His pass-rushing has been good, but not quite as good as some may think. His 76.1 pass-rushing grade is a career-high and ranks 25th in the NFL. Similar to Dupree, his 13 sacks has him on his way to earning a projected five-year, $85 million contract with $45 million guaranteed per OverTheCap. Despite producing the ninth most sacks, Armstead ties for 33rd in pressure rate. He has won on 17.2% of his total pass-rush reps, which ranks 17th, but this shouldn’t justify making him the fifth highest-paid edge defender in the NFL. All this being said, Armstead is not on the same level of risk as Dupree — he has been one of the top 20 most valuable edge defenders in each of the past two seasons, but again, is not worth what he will be paid. If the cost is high for Armstead — like it’ll almost certainly be — stay away.

Top 50: 2020 NFL Draft prospect rankings 1.0 - Daniel Jeremiah

RANK 24

K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge

School: LSU | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Chaisson primarily lined up as a stand-up rusher in the Tigers’ defensive system. He is long, explosive and very athletic. As a pass rusher, he relies more on pure get-off speed and athletic ability than technical skill. He is at his best as a looper, where he can find a crease and explode through. He has yet to figure out how to use his length to his advantage on a consistent basis. Against the run, he flashes the ability to stack and hold the point, but he’s at his best slipping blocks and creating havoc. His speed and effort show up on the back side of plays. Overall, Chaisson is more athlete than football player right now, but he has all of the raw tools to be a dominant force at the next level.

RANK 30

Marlon Davidson, Edge

Davidson has average height and a thick/square build. He typically lined up at defensive end for the Tigers, but also possesses the ability to slide inside. As a pass rusher, he is devastating when he has a runway. He generates a lot of power in his bull rush and has an array of hand moves he can incorporate on the move. He doesn’t have an elite get-off, but he wins in the ways just mentioned. He destroys tight ends with his strength and power combination. Against the run, he uses his length to stack blocks, and his effort to pursue is outstanding. Overall, Davidson has some inside/outside flexibility and his production should carry over to the next level.

RANK 44

Zack Baun, LB

School: Wisconsin | Year: Senior (RS)

Baun is a slightly undersized outside linebacker with excellent athleticism and versatility. He spends a lot of time playing over tight ends and gets the best of them in the run and pass games. As a rusher, he has a good initial burst and can really bend at the top of his rush. He has a nifty inside counter move and he can get skinny before closing on the quarterback. He mixes in a stutter/bull rush, but usually stalls out after generating some push. He is very athletic as a dropper in coverage. He is very good as a back-side run defender because of his burst and effort. Teams will differ on where to play him at the next level. He reminds me of former USC LB Uchenna Nwosu, someone whose versatility the Chargers have tapped into. I’d do the same with Baun.