In retooling their roster this offseason, the Ravens utilized both of these lessons. Baltimore’s main weakness in 2019 was an inability to create pressure without sending extra rushers after the quarterback.
Edge rusher Matt Judon (who’s set to earn $16.8 million this season playing on the franchise tag) was the only Ravens defender to tally more than 31 pressures. Baltimore’s defense is built to blitz more than most teams. Sending extra heat is a trademark of respected defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, and the Ravens’ stellar secondary can hold up in man-to-man coverage better than nearly any other group in the league. But an inability to get after the quarterback with four (and sometimes five) rushers was still an issue, even for a team constructed to get away with blitzing. Enter Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe.
Along with their new pair of defensive linemen, the Ravens also added LSU linebacker Patrick Queen with the 21st overall pick.
He should step in as a day-one starter who can stay on the field for all three downs—and even if he’s slow to develop as a coverage linebacker (which is the case for most rookies), he should give Baltimore’s pressure packages even more explosiveness.
Baltimore’s offensive approach has generated a bit more criticism this spring, but it’s not hard to trace DeCosta’s thinking there either. The Ravens used the additional second-round pick they acquired in the Hayden Hurst deal on Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins. DeCosta’s decision to take a running back that high was likely met with some dissent in the analytically forward Ravens front office, especially considering Baltimore had other needs to fill (at receiver, edge rusher, and along the interior of the offensive line) and was already set to return the entirety of a backfield that finished first in rushing DVOA last season.
Drafted by Jamison Hensley, Ravens reporter
Round 1 (28): Matthew Stafford, QB
Round 2 (37): Julio Jones, WR
Round 3 (92): J.J. Watt, DE
Round 4 (101): Stefon Diggs, WR
As one team official said long ago, you need a strong-armed quarterback to compete in the AFC North. Stafford was too obvious. The only other worthy quarterbacks available were either too young (Tua Tagovailoa) or too risky because of health (Cam Newton).
The Ravens’ mindset is to take a running back next, but Jones was sitting there at the No. 37 overall pick. As Baltimore showed time and time again in the 2020 NFL draft, you take the best player available. The Ravens have traditionally had vocal leaders on defense, so it made perfect sense to take someone like J.J. Watt. For the wild-card spot, the targets were running back Nick Chubb and kicker Justin Tucker. But both were selected in the five picks before I was on the clock. The top player left at the No. 101 pick, in my opinion, was Diggs.
Drafted by Michael Rothstein, Lions reporter
Round 1 (3): Lamar Jackson, QB
Drafted by Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer
Round 1 (6): Ronnie Stanley, OT
Drafted by Marcel Louis-Jacques, Bills reporter
Round 3 (86): Matthew Judon, OLB
Drafted by Rob Demovsky, Packers reporter
Round 4 (99): Justin Tucker, K
Willie Snead IV Is An Unsung Hero for Ravens, Analytics Show - Todd Karpovich
The Pro Football Network recently released its list for the NFL’s most valuable receivers using a pair of key metrics — Offensive Share Metric (OSM) and the Relative Athletic Score (RAS).
The OSM measures how much influence players have over their own statistics, and how much impact they had on the offense overall. The RAS measures the athleticism of NFL prospects by combining their pre-draft measurements, such as their height and weight, and their 40-yard dash times, into a single score.
Snead ranked 10th among all NFL receivers using those metrics, which underscore how the league’s most valuable wide receivers in the NFL are often not the most athletic.
Report: Baltimore Ravens to start training camp on July 28th - Quinton Mayo
According to details in the new NFL CBA, the Baltimore Ravens amongst 29 other teams now must report to training camp on July 28th — 47 days before week one of the regular season.
“Under the terms of the new CBA, players are allowed to practice full speed in ‘spiders and shells’ on the fourth and fifth days of camp,” Schefter said. “but they are not allowed to have a padded practice as they were under the old CBA.”
“Day 6 in the new CBA is a mandatory day off before Day 7, the first day in pads — which used to be Day 4 under the old CBA.”