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Ravens News 7/15: OLB opportunity and more

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NFL: New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tyus Bowser Eyes Double-Digit Sacks in 2020 - Clifton Brown

Terrell Suggs had 12 sacks in 2014, making him the last Raven to enjoy a double-digit sack season.

“I definitely want to get into the 10-sack club this year,” Bowser said on Facebook Live. “I want to be a Pro Bowler this year and ultimately win a championship. Those are the main three goals I want to accomplish.”

“Consistency,” Bowser said. “Just being able to be reliable, any downs. And my pass rush being able to get to the quarterback consistently, whether it’s hits, pressures, sacks, whatever it is.

“It’s going to be a good year,” Bowser said. “You’ve got guys who want it, guys who are hungry. Their mindset is on another level. They know the pieces, the know what we have on this team to make something happen this year.

Derek Wolfe coming in, Calais, you’ve got guys who are adding on to what we already have. Being able to be around them and see the potential of what we can actually do this season, it’s all exciting. I just want to help this team win. Whatever way I have to do it, I’m going to do it.”

Baltimore Ravens position preview: It’s not just Matthew Judon at outside linebacker - Aaron Kasinitz

Real opportunity

Though Ferguson is the only experienced outside linebacker signed with the Ravens beyond the 2020 season, the team did not draft a player at the position in April. That means if an undrafted rookie like Daka or Rivers impresses in training camp, Baltimore would have reason to consider keeping them around.

Roster projection

In my latest projection, I guessed five outside linebackers would begin the season on the 53-man roster: Judon, McPhee, Ferguson, Bowser and Daka.

Agent’s Take: Sizing up the situation for unsigned franchise-tagged players as July 15 deadline nears - Joel Correy

Matthew Judon, EDGE, Ravens

The Ravens learned from letting Za’Darius Smith hit the open market in 2019. Judon didn’t get the chance to test free agency after earning his first Pro Bowl berth last season while setting a career-high with 9.5 sacks. He isn’t stressing about his franchise player status because he and the Ravens agreed to a compromise tag of $16.808 million, which is the midpoint between the linebacker and defensive end numbers. Judon won’t get tagged again in 2021 if both he and All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley aren’t under long term contracts by next March. The salary floor for a long term deal with Judon is probably the deal Smith got from the Packers in free agency last year. Smith signed a four-year deal averaging $16.5 million per year.

Ranking offensive weapons for all 32 NFL teams in 2020 - Bill Barnwell

20. Baltimore Ravens

2019 rank: 26 | 2018 rank: 24

The Ravens finished 2019 as the league’s best offense by DVOA, of course, but so much of the credit for that success has to go to the offensive line and league MVP Lamar Jackson, who aren’t a part of this discussion. Jackson makes life easier for his running backs, and that led to Mark Ingram averaging 5.0 yards per carry and leading all backs in success rate. Gus Edwards was sixth. And the Ravens added to their collection of riches in the backfield by drafting J.K. Dobbins in the second round.

Jackson was an efficient passer, but I’m not sure how much of that was due to great work from his receivers. Tight end Mark Andrews took a leap forward and averaged a whopping 3.17 yards per route run last season, but there was no consistent production at wide receiver. Rookie first-rounder Marquise Brown racked up 233 yards and two touchdowns across the first two weeks of the regular season and then produced 351 receiving yards over the remainder of the season, with an ankle issue costing him both games and effectiveness. He then finished with a 126-yard performance against the Titans in a game in which Jackson threw 59 passes. With all due respect to pieces such as Miles Boykin, Willie Snead and Devin Duvernay, a breakout from Brown is the most likely path for the Ravens to impress further in 2020.

NFL tight end rankings: All 32 units entering the 2020 NFL season - Steve Palazzolo

6. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Only Philadelphia’s tight ends caught more passes than Baltimore’s group, as the Ravens featured the position heavily and got 30-plus catches from three different players.

Mark Andrews broke out to post the position’s second-best receiving grade during the regular season (90.2), and he’s now averaged an impressive 14.0 yards per reception in his two years in the league.

While Andrews established himself as one of the best receiving weapons at the position, Nick Boyle also set career highs with 31 catches for 321 yards and posted the fifth-best run-blocking grade in the league, at 75.4.

With Hayden Hurst and his 500 snaps moving on to Atlanta, there’s room for a third tight end to emerge from a remaining group that contains Charles Scarff, Eli Wolf and Jacob Breeland, though these three players have yet to take an NFL snap.