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Ravens News 1/27: Prospect Rankings and more

Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

NFL playoffs 2021: Ranking the 12 losing playoff teams’ chances of reaching the Super Bowl in 2022 - Cody Benjamin

2. Baltimore Ravens

We can gripe all we want about Greg Roman’s insistence on making Lamar Jackson the centerpiece of a ground game rather than a bona fide passer. Those gripes are justified. But if the Ravens smartly refocus in 2021, building around Jackson’s strengths but also beefing up his ability to throw downfield with better protection and targets, there’s no reason they can’t make a run for it all.

Ravens, Earl Thomas continue grievance process - Michael David Smith

That’s ongoing. There are some different moving parts. So, I’ll sort of answer that question like that, and just say that it’s ongoing,” DeCosta said, via the Baltimore Sun.

For the purposes of salary cap accounting, the Ravens were charged half of Thomas’s salary on last year’s cap and will be charged the other half if they lose the grievance. If the Ravens win the grievance, they get that money credited back to their cap. So winning the grievance will give the Ravens additional cap space, while losing it will make it that much harder for them to squeeze free agents under their cap.

“There are always a lot of different things, and there are all these different elements to an offseason,” DeCosta said. “We don’t even know what the salary cap is going to be yet. It’s hard to build a football team without a salary cap — not knowing what the salary cap is going to be. So, the Earl Thomas situation is just one part of that. But there are a lot of unknowns, and as we begin to get information when checking off all these different boxes, we’ll have a much better idea for how to proceed this offseason.”

At outside linebacker, Ravens expect turnover but see ‘opportunities to bring some guys back’ - Aaron Kasinitz

“We were fortunate; we were six-deep this year” at outside linebacker, DeCosta said during a news conference Monday. “We may not have that [next] year. We may have some turnover on the roster; we understand that. Again, the salary cap sometimes dictates the players that you can have on the team, but we do see some opportunities to bring some guys back.”

However things shake out, salary cap considerations will force the Ravens to be picky about which in-house edge defenders they approach for talks about new contracts.

But the current depth at outside linebacker also creates some urgency for DeCosta. He can’t afford to let all his players walk without finding suitable replacements.

“There are certainly some guys we want to target out of the gates,” DeCosta said. “We do feel that we have some younger players that have a lot of potential to help us. We also have, again, the draft. We see that the draft looks pretty good this year in terms of outside linebackers and pass rush-type guys. There are also some guys in free agency on other teams that would be of interest if we can’t bring some of our guys back.”

WHO WON THE 2021 SENIOR BOWL WEIGH-INS? - Kyle Crabbs

FLORIDA STATE EDGE JANARIUS ROBINSON

Height: 6050

Weight: 266

Arm: 35.75”

Hand: 11.00”

Why does Robinson’s weigh-in matter? It is, top to bottom, the most prototypical weigh-in of any prospect in attendance at this year’s event. If you built a pass rusher in a laboratory, they’d come out looking like Robinson. The icing on the cake? Joe Marino did his formal evaluation of Robinson over the weekend and his tape is pretty good, too. The Seminoles defense was about as big of a disappointment as any unit in college football this past season but Robinson’s pro prospects appear no worse for wear, especially after checking in with a prototypical build.

Top 50: 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings 1.0 - Daniel Jeremiah

14) Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT

School: USC | Year: Junior (RS)

Vera-Tucker is one of the safest players in this draft class. He played guard at a very high level in 2019 before producing an outstanding campaign at tackle in 2020. He plays with excellent strength, balance and awareness in pass protection. He is quick out of his stance and has a sharp/quick punch. He can bend and does a good job of staying connected. He will underset at times, allowing defenders on his edge, but he is quick to recover and run them around the pocket. He squats down versus power rushers and quickly stops their charge. In the run game, he can latch, control and create movement on down blocks. He takes excellent angles to the second level and has a good feel on combo blocks. He isn’t the most dynamic athlete, but he’s always under control and rarely in bad position. Overall, I think he has a chance to stick at tackle, but he’s ideally suited to play guard. He is ready to start on Day 1.

44) Landon Dickerson, interior O-line

School: Alabama | Year: Senior (RS)

Dickerson is an enormous interior offensive lineman. The Florida State transfer has experience at center and guard. He has very quick feet in pass protection. He keeps his hands tight and plays with a wide base. He does have some issues when redirecting, but he uses his upper-body strength to wrestle his way back into position. In the run game, he uncoils on defenders over his nose, creating movement at the point of attack. He has enough quickness to reach/cut off. I love his tenacity to finish. The only issue I see is his durability. He suffered an assortment of injuries at FSU and tore his ACL in the SEC Championship Game this past season. Dickerson has first-round ability, but will likely fall to the second round based on injury concerns.