2020 NFL free agency frenzy: 3 good moves, 3 head-scratchers - Cynthia Frelund
2) Baltimore Ravens’ trade for DL Calais Campbell
Next Gen Stats show that he’s one of just three defensive linemen with 100 quarterback pressures to make a tackle on at least eight percent of snaps over the last three seasons (along with Joey Bosa and DeMarcus Lawrence). His ability to defend both the pass and the run is beneficial in ways that the regular stats don’t fully capture. Tracking his value in terms of stopping rushing attempts over the past three seasons, Campbell ranked third-best among defensive linemen in helping to create three-and-outs for his team.
The additions of Campbell and fellow free-agent signee Michael Brockers significantly improve Baltimore’s defensive front in all aspects. First, this gives the Ravens’ pressure and sack potential a boost. For example, franchise-tagged edge rusher Matt Judon’s sack projection instantly jumps from 9.5 to 11-plus. Campbell and Brockers also help drive increased win probabilities for games where the Ravens are not playing with a lead, thanks to increased run-stopping potential.
Exactly What the Ravens Needed - John Eisenberg
You can expect the Ravens to start pushing opponents around now instead of getting pushed around now and then.
They’ll certainly operate differently. For years, they’ve rotated as many as six D-linemen during games, hoping to squeeze solid overall production from their “pieces.” But Campbell and Brockers are three-down performers. They don’t come off the field much.
There’ll still be a rotation, likely with Chris Wormley and Justin Ellis, the latter another reported signing pending a physical. But the rotation won’t feature nearly as much coming and going.
Campbell, a five-time Pro Bowler, played 79.7 percent of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive snaps in 2019. Brockers played 67.8 percent of the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive snaps.
They wanted to solidify their rushing defense AND bolster their pass rush, and Campbell and Brockers address both issues.
“Calais is a player we have long admired, even going back to the draft when he came out of college,” general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “He’s a natural fit for our defense and a versatile player who plays like a Raven. Even better, he is a leader on the field and in the community. We are so excited to add Calais and can’t wait to welcome the Campbell family to Baltimore in person.”
DeCosta confirmed the trade that sent tight end Hayden Hurst and a 2020 fourth-round draft choice to the Atlanta Falcons for the second- and fifth-round selections in the draft.
“We are grateful for the contributions he made to our team and for the role he played in our success the past two seasons,” DeCosta said. “We feel this is a mutually beneficial deal.”
Top 5 2020 NFL Draft prospects by position 2.0 - Bucky Brooks
The interior blockers in the 2020 class skew heavily toward the center position at the top of the board. Teams looking for excellent communication at the pivot will find this class loaded with experienced traffic cops.
Cushenberry is a tough, hard-nosed pivot with quick hands and outstanding balance. He consistently stalemates defensive tackles at the point of attack while showing good anticipation on short sets in pass protection.
Biadasz is a rock-solid interior blocker with limited athleticism. He moves defenders off the ball in the running game, but lacks the balance and body control to be effective in space.
Ruiz is a talented interior blocker with a versatile game that suits any scheme. He moves well and flashes some strength while battling monsters at the point of attack, but needs to develop better finishing skills as a pro.
Hennessy is a scrappy interior blocker with outstanding toughness and technical skills. He is at his best playing center, but has shown the capacity to excel at guard, as well.