TE Mark Andrews
Baltimore Ravens · Age: 23
Andrews tore off the doors last season with 16 catches for 220 yards and two scores during Baltimore’s raucous 2-0 start to the year. His 64/852/10 line topped Ravens skill players across the board, as Andrews served as Lamar Jackson’s favorite weapon when Baltimore’s backfield wasn’t blasting front sevens into the dirt. From another angle: Andrews was explosive enough to allow the Ravens to trade away first-round tight end Hayden Hurst.
OT Orlando Brown
Baltimore Ravens · Age: 24
Speaking of last year’s Ravens, Brown started 16 games on the right side for Baltimore and finished as football’s 10th-best pass-blocking tackle, per PFF. His run-blocking could use a boost, but the Ravens have no questions about whether Brown belongs.
CB Marlon Humphrey
Baltimore Ravens · Age: 23
Today’s NFL is stocked with difference-making corners as teams regularly roll out a fifth and sixth defensive back to counter exploding air attacks. Denzel Ward, Jaire Alexander and Adoree’ Jackson are candidates for this list, but I’m sticking with Humphrey. Packed into a deep Ravens secondary, the 2017 first-rounder has logged 47 forced incompletions — fourth league-wide — over his first three seasons.
The Ravens brought J.K. Dobbins into a backfield that already has Mark Ingramas the lead back and a young player in Justice Hill pushing for time, so Edwards is likely going to get the short end of the stick in a crowded backfield. But Edwards has actually been a very effective runner the past few seasons. Over the last two years, his rushing grade of 83.6 ranks 13th at the position, sandwiched between Ezekiel Elliott and Joe Mixon. Thirty-one percent of his runs have gone for first downs or touchdowns — easily leading all running backs with 100 or more attempts over that same stretch. Baltimore has a luxury of riches at the position heading into the 2020 season.
Agent’s Take: Patriots, 49ers, Ravens, Titans, Chargers could have challenging contract negotiations ahead - Joel Corry
The Texans didn’t do the Ravens any favors by significantly raising the salary bar for offensive tackles by paying Laremy Tunsil $22 million per year on a three-year extension. Tunsil has an offensive-lineman record of $40 million fully guaranteed at signing. His overall guarantees are $50 million. Tunsil having a higher-than-expected average yearly salary on a shorter-than-anticipated term likely complicates Stanley’s negotiations.
Stanley, who is scheduled to play the 2020 season on a $12.866 million fifth-year option, was selected seven picks before Tunsil in the 2016 NFL Draft with the sixth overall pick. Both were named to the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, with Stanley also earning first-team All-Pro honors. Outside of cornerback Marcus Peters, the Ravens aren’t accustomed to doing high-end deals where players only give up three new years on extensions signed in the final year of rookie contracts or at their expiration. Unlike Tunsil, Peters had to sacrifice his average yearly salary to get the shorter term. It will be interesting to see how Stanley reaps the benefit of Tunsil dramatically resetting the offensive tackle market.
3) Terrell Suggs
Suggs was Smith’s teammate from 2014 to ‘16 with the Baltimore Ravens.
Suggs was my locker-mate when I went to Baltimore, and one of the things I learned about him was how dedicated he was to his passions, whether that’s football or the film industry. He always had a movie set up in his locker, and those films played throughout the day. He studied those films the way he studied the game: very detail-oriented and tirelessly. Suggs is a talented football player — you don’t make seven Pro Bowls if you’re not — but his playbook of quarterback tendencies put him at a whole other level. That playbook had everything, including how each QB audibles, so T-Sizzle was always one step ahead of his opponents. I mean, you don’t get to eighth all-time in sacks (139.0) by just guessing what guys are going to do.
Suggs also had a way of throwing people off, especially the media. He’d be loud and obnoxious on purpose to give a reporter a certain perspective of him, but the thing was, it wasn’t necessarily him. He wanted people to think a certain way about him, and you would leave thinking it. That’s the way he was on the field, too. Suggs always made quarterbacks think twice — sometimes three times — about what he might do on a play.