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Ravens News 1/30: Aggressiveness Index and more

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NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Aggressiveness Index 2019 - Aaron Schatz

John Harbaugh set an all-time record for fourth-down aggressiveness in 2019. If you’ve paid any attention to the NFL this year, this fact will not surprise you.

John Harbaugh’s AI in 2019 was 3.95.

Harbaugh also set a record by going for it on 23% of qualifying fourth downs. AI is different than purely measuring go-for-it rate because coaches around the league are more likely to go for it in certain situations than in others. But Harbaugh set a record in both categories. He was one of four head coaches to put up AI above 2.0 in 2019.

Harbaugh has always been one of the more aggressive head coaches in the league on fourth downs, but nothing like what we’ve seen the past two seasons and especially in 2019. He had a career AI of 1.04 through 2017.

Like the Marines, the Ravens are looking for a few more good, tough men - Mike Preston

During his postgame interview after the Ravens’ divisional-round loss to the Tennessee Titans, guard Marshal Yanda accused defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons of spitting in his face.

Some form of retaliation was expected, but as time wore on and Yanda kept talking, there was none.

And that seemed to be a major problem with the 2019 Ravens.

They had team chemistry. They had talent. They had impact players. But they were missing enforcers, players who could intimidate opponents.

So, as the Ravens attempt to put together their 2020 roster during the offseason, they need to get some guys with that physical, butt-kicking attitude.

They need somebody mean.

During the past two years, the Ravens have come out flat in the playoffs and under-performed. The postseason is where great players take over, especially quarterbacks, and peaking teams take their games to the next level.

The Ravens haven’t had that kind of fire and energy. There are some things missing from this team, and it might be a few players who have that strong, physical presence.

Ones who can also create some fear.

Baltimore Ravens position review: Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark offer short-term stability at safety - Aaron Kasinitz

How can the Ravens set themselves up well at safety beyond 2020?

In the short term, the Ravens must decide whether to exercise Carr’s contract option and will need to rebuild depth at safety if they cut Jefferson. And general manager Eric DeCosta might also consider bolstering the long-term strength of the position group as the offseason trickles along.

Thomas will turn 31 in May and Clark’s contract expires after the 2020 season. Carr is 33.

The Ravens have shown they can shuffle pieces around to get their best defensive backs onto the field, so even if Thomas and Clark hold down the starting spots next season, Baltimore could find a use for an additional talented young safety. An early-round draft choice, for instance, could play a limited role in the secondary in 2020 and then give the Ravens a starting option for the future.

It’s difficult to classify safety as a position of need for Baltimore this offseason. That doesn’t mean DeCosta would pass up the chance to bring more youth and potential into the fold.

2020 NFL Mock Draft - Walter Cherepinsky

28. Baltimore Ravens: A.J. Epenesa, DE/OLB, Iowa

The Ravens selected Marquise Brown in the opening round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but I get the sense that they were hoping Clelin Ferrell would fall to them. They need to find replacements for Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith.

A.J. Epenesa was a five-star recruit who showed some major promise as a freshman, registering 4.5 sacks. He was excellent in 2018.

60. Baltimore Ravens: K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State

The Ravens hit a home run with Marquise Brown, but they need to add a second receiver to play across from the former Sooner.

K.J. Hamler is an absolutely electric play-maker who caught 41 passes for Penn State as a freshman. He can go the distance whenever he gets his hands on the ball.

92. Baltimore Ravens: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State

The Ravens could stand to add more than one talented receiver in the draft.

K.J. Hill runs good routes and has great run-after-catch skills.