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Ravens News 7/14: Field stretchers and more

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Oakland Raiders v Baltimore Ravens Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens position preview: Defensive line welcomes new faces, vets and rookies alike - Aaron Kasinitz

Mack’s dash

After appearing in just one game as a fifth-round rookie last season, Mack needs to show coaches he belongs on an NFL roster, because the team now has plenty of options to replace him.

Roster projection

In my latest projection, I guessed that seven defensive lineman would begin the season on the 53-man roster: Williams, Campbell, Wolfe, Ward, Madubuike, Ellis and Washington. The Ravens don’t typically carry that many players on the D-line, but Ellis provides veteran insurance at nose tackle and Ward’s a versatile player who can line up as an outside linebacker.

NFL wide receiver rankings: All 32 units entering the 2020 NFL season - Steve Palazzolo

26. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Speed is the name of the game for the Ravens’ receivers, starting with 2019 first-rounder Marquise Brown. A true downfield weapon from the slot, Brown showed his big-play ability right away with an 83-yard touchdown in Week 1. Brown averaged 1.83 yards per route last season — 29th out of 129 qualifiers — and he should have even more big-play opportunities this season.

On the other side, Miles Boykin has 4.42 speed to go with a 6-foot-4 frame, and he showed flashes as a rookie despite grading at just 58.9 overall. The Ravens added even more speed in the third round of the draft with Texas wideout Devin Duvernay, who ran a 4.39 at the scouting combine. Duvernay projects to the slot due to his strong hands and after-the-catch skills, and he gives Baltimore another explosive weapon for defenses to worry about.

Willie Snead IV may still see time in the slot, but Duvernay will see as much time as the gameplan dictates. Baltimore may not have the best all-around receiving corps, but they have a group of field-stretchers and mismatch-creators who fit their big-play offensive style.

Ranking all 32 RB1s heading into 2020: Saquon Barkley at No. 6 - Maurice Jones-Drew

14. Mark Ingram

The Ravens’ backfield is absolutely loaded, with the addition of rookie J.K. Dobbins. Just like last season, MVP Lamar Jackson will open up running lanes to allow the backs to run the ball right down the defense’s throat. Dobbins will get some love, but Ingram’s experience and ability to run through contact and close out games will keep this team moving forward.

Predicting one future first-time Pro Bowler for each AFC team - Marc Sessler

BALTIMORE RAVENS: Patrick Queen, LB, first NFL season: It goes beyond Lamar Jackson tabbing the former LSU star as “Ray Lewis Junior.” The Ravens are proven developers of young linebackers, with Bart Scott and C.J. Mosley part of a lineage that welcomes Queen into the fold. An asset in coverage, the rookie is a lock to play a core role out of the gate for a front seven now stocked with Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe up front. Queen shined against the top teams in college football a season ago. “It’s something we look at very closely,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta told ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley in discussing LSU’s ability to produce NFL stars. “We think Patrick is going to be the next great LSU defensive player.” I’ll go one step farther: Queen is my pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Every NFL team’s best player who is not enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, yet - Bryan DeArdo

Baltimore Ravens - Jamal Lewis, RB

Lewis’ career is a little bizarre. The fifth overall pick in the 2000 draft, Lewis rushed for 1,364 yards as a rookie while helping the Ravens reach their first Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XXXV, Lewis rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore’s 34-7 win over the Giants. Three years later, Lewis earned Offensive Player of the Year honors after rushing for 2,066 yards, the third-highest total in NFL history. Lewis, who played his final three seasons for the Browns (helping Cleveland post a 10-6 record in 2007), compiled four other 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His 10,607 career rushing yards are 25th in league history.

Despite his success, the only time Lewis earned All Pro/Pro Bowl honors was during his monster 2003 season. Lewis also did not have a terribly long career, as he hung up his cleats for good before his 31st birthday. He also missed the entire 2001 season after suffering a knee injury. But despite his lack of longevity and Pro Bowl nods, Lewis’ body of work should render him future consideration for Canton.