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Ravens News 1/28: Top free agent targets and more

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NFL: OCT 20 Ravens at Seahawks Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

PFF Rankings: The NFL’s top quarterbacks heading into Super Bowl LIV - Steve Palazzolo

5. LAMAR JACKSON, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Outside of Tannehill, Jackson made the league’s biggest stride as a passer, as he improved from a second-to-last ranking in catchable pass rate to 15th. The Ravens have built a perfect system to take advantage of Jackson’s unique skill set, and he subsequently led the league with 776 yards on designed runs and another 430 on scrambles. But it was Jackson’s improvement as a passer that turned the offense into the league’s best during the regular season. The threat Jackson presents as a runner creates better pass-blocking situations while also putting defenders’ heads on a swivel when trying to find the ball in the designed run game. It all adds up to an efficient run game and more open throws in the passing game. Jackson also cut down on his turnover-worthy plays, which is even more impressive given how often he handles the ball.

Key Stat from QB Annual: Jackson worked to his “next” read (second side of the field) 18% of the time, five percentage points higher than the league average. His 0.025 EPA per play was well above the league average of -0.06.

Ravens Final Grades - Todd Karpovich

Special Teams: Justin Tucker had another spectacular season, converting 28 of 29 field-goal attempts. He hit the game-winning field goal in overtime against Pittsburgh and also had the game-winning kick as time expired against San Francisco. Sam Koch has a quiet season, averaging 46.4 yards on 40 punts, including 21 that landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. The Ravens, however, were hampered by penalties and will look to find more production from their returners this offseason. Coverage was spotty. Grade C

Coaching: Ravens coach John Harbaugh was named Coach of the Year by the Maxwell Football Club Harbaugh and the Professional Football Writers of America. He is the winningest head coach in Ravens franchise history and has the highest winning percentage since taking over in 2008. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman oversaw an explosive Ravens offensive unit that set NFL records for rushing yards and featured three PFWA All-NFL selections was selected as the 2019 NFL Assistant Coach of the Year. Defensive coordinator Don Martindale had his unit consistently playing at a high level. Roman and Martindale were each considered for head-coaching positions. Grade A

Baltimore Ravens free agency 2020: Top 5 targets - William Schneiderhan

2. Jadeveon Clowney

Pro Football Focus awarded him with a overall player grade of 87.3, which is a very high mark. Even more impressive about Clowney’s 2019 season is the fact it was one of his down years.

Whenever a large contract is given out, there is always the concern that the player receiving the deal may get complacent. However, with John Harbaugh and the team coaching staff keeping him concentrated, this shouldn’t deter the Ravens from offering Clowney a big contract.

When you’re this close like the Ravens current roster is, you can gamble in free agency in order to fill out your largest needs. So, Clowney should be high on Eric DeCosta’s list.

2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0 - Joe Marino

28.

Ravens

Yetur Gross-Matos

EDGE, Penn State

The Baltimore Ravens are extremely reliant on the blitz, so adding pass rushers that don’t require scheme to apply heat makes sense. Yetur Gross-Matos features a loaded toolbox of traits and has racked up 33.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks over the last two seasons for Penn State.

60.

Ravens

Donovan Peoples-Jones

WR, Michigan