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Ravens News 2/7: Rookie Grades and more

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9th Annual NFL Honors - Arrivals Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The top 101 players from the 2019 NFL season - Sam Monson

7. QB LAMAR JACKSON, BALTIMORE RAVENS

It’s hard to overstate just how impressive Lamar Jackson was in 2019, even when you include the disappointment of his team’s playoff loss against Tennessee. He transformed his game this season, moving from arguably the league’s most inaccurate passer to one well capable of excelling while throwing the football, a fact backed up by him leading the league in passing touchdowns. Jackson’s passer rating when kept clean was 118.5 and it was an impressive 97.7 when pressured, as teams struggled to contain the playmaking ability he so obviously possesses. As a ball-carrier, Jackson averaged a monstrous 3.7 yards before contact per carry, making 42 players miss on his way to breaking the all-time single-season rushing record for quarterbacks.

16. T RONNIE STANLEY, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Ronnie Stanley had one of the greatest statistical pass-blocking seasons we have ever seen at PFF, surrendering just six total pressures and no sacks in the regular season before surrendering four more in the playoffs as the Ravens chased the game for 73 passing snaps. Any way you slice the numbers, Stanley’s pass protection was incredible, but there is no way of quantifying the effect that Lamar Jackson’s unique skill set, threat and the offense that it allowed the Ravens to run, on his numbers. Stanley has been an excellent pass blocker dating back to college and now looks like the gold standard at the position.

AFC North rookie grades: Steelers, Ravens, Browns found talent - Nick Shook

BALTIMORE RAVENS - B

Brown didn’t end up being the best receiver drafted with the last name Brown in 2019, but he was still a healthy contributor to the Ravens’ offensive efforts. Ferguson didn’t replicate the efforts that earned him the “Sack Daddy” nickname at Louisiana Tech, however he was able to carve out a role for himself, starting nine games for Baltimore. Boykin and Hill each played rotational roles, and Hill remains as a speedy option in the Ravens’ backfield to spell to Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. Powers, Marshall and Mack didn’t get many chances to contribute due to their lack of games played. McSorley could help another team as a dual-threat option, perhaps even filling a Taysom Hill-like role elsewhere, but he’s buried on the depth chart behind Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III.

Combine/free agency focus: Guard might be a position needing a long-term future starter if Marshal Yanda decides to call it a career. Linebacker includes the contributions of unheralded addition L.J. Fort, who earned himself a short contract extension during the season, but the team could still use another young addition after trading away Kenny Young. Baltimore is in the lower half of the league when it comes to projected salary cap space, but thanks to the trade for Marcus Peters, the roster has less holes to fill in the offseason, especially if the Ravens continue to get production from their first four picks of 2019.

Ravens Re-Sign Veteran Tackle Andre Smith to One-Year Deal - Clifton Brown

Smith started the first five games of last season at left tackle for the Bengals before being waived on Nov. 30. He has played 116 NFL games and has started 98, bringing experience to the offensive line.

Listed at 6-foot-4, 325 pounds, Smith was regarded as the country’s top offensive lineman when he left Alabama, and physical run-blocking has always been his forte, making him a good fit for the Ravens’ offense.

Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and the Biggest Story Lines of the NFL Offseason - Danny Heifetz

Will the NFL agree on a 17-game season?

The NFL’s owners are negotiating with the players union on a new collective bargaining agreement. One of the most contentious aspects is owners’ desire to add one game to the schedule, something players oppose.

Other aspects of the CBA negotiation could garner headlines, including lifetime healthcare for players and their families, retroactive increases to the NFL’s pension program, and a drug policy that would allow marijuana use. But while players have a number of issues that matter to them, owners are primarily concerned with the revenue split. Even issues that sound small, like allowing players to smoke weed, will be traded in exchange for a portion of the pie.

6-PACK THURSDAY: LET’S TALK 2020 NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS 4.0 - Joe Marino

CESAR RUIZ, IOL, MICHIGAN

With experience at both guard and center, he is a scheme-versatile prospect and offers positional flexibility. He’s a bigger interior blocker, but my goodness does he move well and thrive when connecting with moving targets in space. In the run game, Ruiz has all the tools to move bodies at the line of scrimmage and complements that with wonderful consistency executing longer pulls and releasing to the second level.

BRADLEE ANAE, EDGE, UTAH

Anae is a likable prospect. His hand technique, effort and competitive nature to fight for his gap against the run impress. He commanded a high volume of the snaps for Utah and was productive across three seasons. With that said, I just don’t see an overly dynamic player profile as an impact playmaker in the NFL.

JALEN REAGOR, WR, TCU

A dynamic playmaker, Reagor’s rapid acceleration and long speed make him a home-run threat after the catch, in the return game and stretching defenses vertically.

However, his hands are inconsistent and he has difficulty playing through contact. Reagor’s route tree has to be expanded, but what he does well should allow him to find opportunities to make plays early in his career.