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Ravens News 3/23: Best remaining free agents and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Ranking the 100 best available NFL free agents remaining in 2020 - PFF

18. CB JIMMY SMITH

After posting a career-high PFF coverage grade in 2017 that ranked 10th among corners, Smith has dipped down the past couple of years but still produced grades above the league average in each season. Smith was limited to only 10 games in 2019 due to injury and will turn 32 years old prior to the start of the year. As said, though, Smith was still an above-average player — his catch rate allowed was under 50% and he allowed 40 yards or fewer in all but one of those 10 games.

22. LB JOSH BYNES

He doesn’t bring any value as a blitzer, but Josh Bynes has proven to be a run-stuffer in his career. In all but one of his eight seasons, Bynes produced a run-defense grade above 70.0 and has produced run-defense grades above 79.9 in each of the last three years. Bynes was rather poor in coverage but has taken steps towards improvement late in his career. Over the last two seasons, he’s had two of his highest coverage grades in his career — in 2019 he was the 12thbest linebacker in coverage.

43. EDGE PERNELL MCPHEE

Pernell McPhee has had a brutal injury history, leading to a limited role over the last few years. Prior to the injury pile-up, McPhee was beginning to look like one of the top edge defenders in the NFL. In 2014 with Baltimore and 2015 with Chicago, McPhee produced PFF grades in the mid-80s leading to ranks that were among the five best at his position each season. McPhee isn’t a liability when on the field, but the injuries and age are a massive concern.

50 Words Or Less - John Eisenberg

— With their defensive interior rebuilt, the Ravens will focus on their pass rush. Some wonder if they should deal franchised outside linebacker Matthew Judon, but he ranked No. 4 in the league in quarterback hits in 2019. He had 33. No other Baltimore player had more than 10. Deal at your peril.

— That the Ravens traded Chris Wormley isn’t a surprise after they overhauled their defensive line with Calais Campbell and reportedly Michael Brockers. That they traded Wormley to the Pittsburgh Steelers is surprising. Hate to say but it doesn’t suggest too much concern over the trade coming back to bite them.

— The Ravens have done a masterful job of coaching up offensive linemen who came in as undrafted free agents (James Hurst, Matt Skura, Patrick Mekari) or lower-round draft picks (Bradley Bozeman). But after Marshal Yanda’s retirement, it might be time to add a higher-round pick to the interior O-line mix.

NFL Draft Rankings: Top 10 safety prospects (with pro comparisons) - Ben Natan

2. Antoine Winfield Junior, Minnesota

Admittedly higher on Antoine Winfield this draft and have been a fan of his since the season started. Winfield is a very good athlete with rare instincts and ball skills as an over the top defender. Winfield’s size and injury history is a knock on him, but there is nothing small or careful about the way he plays. He is as high-impact as tackler/run defender as he is as a pure cover defender. Healthy Winfield will be dangerous deep safety who can come up and cover the slot in a pinch.

NFL Comparison: Lamarcus Joyner

1 . Grant Delpit, LSU

I think Delpit is getting over thought due to his sustained stardom. Delpit lined up everywhere for the Tigers during the last two years. He covered deep, in the slot, as a linebacker… He has good ball skills, can defend the run and make an impact as a blitzer from anywhere on the field. Delpit is a decent but not spectacular athlete and has a tendency to let his hunger for big plays lead to missed tackles and bad angles in coverage. However, Delpit can do it all at a very high level and could be even better as a strong safety who can cover the slot and play big nickel.

NFL Comparison: Malcolm Jenkins

5 FRINGE FIRST-ROUNDERS WHO MAY CRASH THE PARTY ON DAY 1 OF THE 2020 DRAFT - Kyle Crabbs

Cesar Ruiz

IOL, Michigan

Very few people at this point will debate Ruiz’s merits as the top interior offensive lineman in the 2020 NFL Draft. But with so many good offensive tackle prospects and diminished positional value at playing inside, Ruiz typically resides on the fringe of the top 32 on most big boards across the space. But with the scarcity of plug and play guard types in the draft, Ruiz’s value as a prospect who can play either center or guard is boosted to the point where he’s likely to crash the party as a selection in the 20s when the actual draft rolls around next month.

Possible team fits: Miami (18 & 26), Minnesota (22 & 25), New England (23), Baltimore (28), Tennessee (29)