The Baltimore Ravens’ offense has explosive rookies. How long until they hit their stride? - Aaron Kasinitz
With running back Mark Ingram in the fold, for insurance, Dobbins doesn’t need to shoulder a heavy workload immediately. But he has the talent and diverse skill set to supply a new dynamic if he can shine from the outset of NFL career.
Third-round wide receiver Devin Duvernay and offensive linemen Tyre Phillips sit in similar spots. Sixth-round wideout James Proche does, too.
The Ravens aren’t dependent on these rookies. They are, however, hopeful that the young players can add depth, playmaking ability and energy to the offense.
What’s uncertain is how long it’ll take first-year players to provide those qualities after the coronavirus crisis wiped out the preseason and squeezed training camps.
“It’s probably going to be ‘to be determined’ across the league as far as the rookies without the extended offseason or the [preseason] games,” coach John Harbaugh said.
News & Notes: Rookie Devin Duvernay Will Have an Offensive Role - Clifton Brown
“He’s earning more and more every day,” Harbaugh said when asked about Duvernay’s possible role. “He’s done a really good job. He’s a hard worker. He doesn’t say a lot, but he works a lot. He’s been especially good downfield tracking balls in terms of the deep ball. I think he’s going to have a role.”
Duvernay could also have a role on special teams returning punts and kicks. He wasn’t a returner at Texas, but Duvernay has embraced his practice reps on special teams.
In a league that has trended away from man coverage, Humphrey has some of the best coverage numbers when playing man-to-man of any corner in the league. Over the last three seasons in single coverage, only Gilmore has a higher PFF grade than Humphrey’s 91.8, and Humphrey has allowed a better completion rate (39.4%) and passer rating (59.6) on those targets. In zone coverage, he slips a little behind other players, but his ability to play sticky man coverage is truly elite.
Marcus Peters is, in some ways, the opposite skill set from his teammate in Baltimore, Marlon Humphrey. While Humphrey excels in man coverage, Peters is at his best when he can keep his eyes on the quarterback and make plays on the football. Peters is tied for the league lead in interceptions with 13 over the last three years, and his numbers were markedly better in Baltimore than they were with the Rams. Peters has always gambled a little too much, and the plays he loses on are costly, which is what separates him from the best players at the position. He has never had a season in which he allowed fewer than three touchdowns and has only surrendered fewer than 500 yards once.
2020 NFL win total odds, picks: Cowboys a popular best bet, big Broncos split in our staff predictions - R.J. White
Over 11.5 (+100) | Under 11.5 (-120)
Breech: Under 11.5. Betting against the Ravens might sound crazy, but here’s the fact of the matter: 14-win teams always get worse the following season. Since 2000, there have been a total of 12 teams that have won 14 games or more, and those 12 teams combined to win just 10.4 games the following season. That’s a steep drop from 14, and it’s a drop I see the Ravens making. Baltimore might get to 11, but that still won’t hit the Over.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
T-3. Lamar Jackson (2 votes: Burleson, Goodbread)
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
T-4. Lamar Jackson (3 votes: Goodbread, Pioli, Ross)
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
T-7. J.K. Dobbins (1 vote: O’Hara)
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
3. Patrick Queen (4 votes: Battista, Bhanpuri, Blair, Warner)