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Ravens News 9/1: Win share leaders and more

Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Projecting NFL win share leaders on offense, defense in 2020 - Cynthia Frelund

2 . Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens · 5.3 wins

The reigning MVP’s 36 passing touchdowns led the NFL last season, and 24 of those came against the blitz (10 more than anyone else had vs. the blitz), per NGS. Jackson set a single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,206) and his 6.9 yards per rush paced the league. In other words, teams had to pick their poison against Jackson. The Ravens’ defense improved this offseason with the addition of Calais Campbell, and their corners rank as the league’s third-best unit at the position in my model. This means it’s possible a little less will be required of Jackson in 2020. I should point out that the more complementary the team is as a whole, the more wins it earns. So it’s not a knock on Jackson that he ranks second among QBs; it’s more a reflection of the Ravens’ overall strength as a team.

News & Notes: Lamar Jackson’s Designed Runs Aren’t Going Away - Clifton Brown

“I think we’ll all have to wait and find out,” Roman said Monday. “That’s just something that we can have available every week. [We’ll] do a little bit more of it this week [and] a little less of it the next week. That’s always on the table.”

“I also think it’s an in-game feel, how the defense is playing, all those different things,” Roman said. “We have a pretty good menu when we go into a game, and we can kind of see how the game is going. It’s something that we can definitely hang our hat on at times, and other times we won’t.”

Chris Moore Still Expected to be Key on Special Teams

“I understand how valuable of a player he is to me, and really to our team,” Special Teams Coach Chris Horton said. “I don’t have any reservations about where Chris is when the time’s right and he’s ready to play. Because I know what type of player he is and I think this league has known what type of player Chris Moore is.”

Ravens cut three, put one on IR - Darin Gantt

The team announced that they had waived three players — defensive end John Daka, wide receiver Michael Dereus, and center Sean Pollard.

They also placed wide receiver DeAndrew White on injured reserve. White was just signed last week, after he was released by the Panthers.

Teams have to get from the current 80-man roster limit to 53 by Saturday afternoon.

Baltimore Ravens 53-man roster projection: A guess five days before the cutdown deadline - Aaron Kasinitz

Offensive line (9)

Ronnie Stanley

Orlando Brown Jr.

Matt Skura

Bradley Bozeman

D.J. Fluker

Patrick Mekari

Ben Bredeson

Tyre Phillips

Will Holden

Skura’s return to the field after tearing his ACL and two other ligaments in November gives the Ravens flexibility on the offensive line. If Skura’s able to start Week 1, Baltimore could activate Mekari as the game-day backup on the interior of the line, use Holden as a swing tackle and keep rookies Bredeson and Phillips on the bench. The Ravens could cut Holden and cross-train Fluker or Phillips at tackle — that’s just a bit risky for a team that plans to run the ball often behind its offensive line.

Safety (5)

Chuck Clark

DeShon Elliott

Anthony Levine

Geno Stone

Nigel Warrior

After releasing Earl Thomas, the Ravens lack a bona fide star in this group. They hope Clark and Elliott can shine as a young starting duo, though, and Levine remains in place as a special teams leader and versatile defensive piece. Baltimore also has high hopes for Stone, a seventh-rounder, and Warrior, an undrafted rookie. I thought undrafted cornerback Josh Nurse might edge out one of those two for a roster spot before Nurse suffered an injury last week and both safeties played well in Saturday’s scrimmage.

20 contenders for the 2020 NFL season, 20 big weaknesses: Ranking the Achilles’ heels - Bill Barnwell

6. Baltimore Ravens

Achilles’ heel: safety

Projected starter: DeShon Elliott

Earl Thomas’ former team, of course, suddenly has a hole at free safety. The Ravens would have let things slide and wouldn’t have cut Thomas if they thought his production was irreplaceable, but on a team that blitzes as frequently as they do, having a reliable last link of defense is absolutely critical. Baltimore is arguably the league’s deepest team at cornerback, and there was some talk of moving Jimmy Smith to safety, but you’re not going to take a cornerback and turn him into even a lesser version of a Hall of Fame safety.

Few teams are as confident in their ability to draft and develop talent as the Ravens, so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that their plan would be to find a solution from within. Elliott is a 2018 sixth-round pick who has played just 40 defensive snaps over two seasons, owing to a fractured forearm and a knee injury. Baltimore has seen more of Elliott in practice than we have, but he didn’t have a significant pedigree coming out of college, doesn’t have much pro experience and has two season-ending injuries in as many seasons. Keeping Thomas was a risk, but relying on the unheralded Elliott is one, too.