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Ravens News 2/15: Mulling the Franchise Tag and more

Jacksonville Jaguars v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

2020 NFL rookie grades, AFC North: Bengals, Browns see big returns - Nick Shook

Baltimore Ravens

Grade B-

Queen didn’t play up to the level of a first-rounder out the gate, scoring one of the worst PFF grades among all qualifying linebackers, though he did have his moments, especially in pass-rushing situations He did, however, earn a selection to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. He’ll need to improve in coverage and become a more consistent tackler in order to fulfill his draft billing.

Dobbins was an excellent pick and fit perfectly in Baltimore’s offense. In fact, veteran Mark Ingram ended up inactive down the stretch in favor of Dobbins, who ripped up 805 yards on the ground, averaging 6.0 yards per carry and scoring nine touchdowns. Madubuike recorded 19 tackles (two for loss) and a sack, but his play outside of traditional stats didn’t go unnoticed, as PFF gave him a grade that put him alongside the likes of teammate Brandon Williams and Washington’s Daron Payne.

Duvernay was a marginal contributor in Baltimore’s passing game, which is still struggling to find a bona fide No. 1 receiver. Harrison played a near equal amount of defensive and special teams snaps as a rotational linebacker. His best game came against a playoff team, Indianapolis, in a 24-10 win over the Colts in Week 9.

Though he saw a healthy amount of offensive snaps, Phillips failed to make a significant impact on the offensive line. Bredeson only saw the field in small amounts, playing a total of 78 snaps, with 44 of them coming on offense. Washington registered two tackles in eight games. Proche caught one pass in 2020, playing primarily on special teams. Stone appeared in two games before he was waived at the end of the regular season, landing in Houston in late December. Huntley played admirably in place of Lamar Jackson at the end of Baltimore’s playoff loss to Buffalo.

Lamar Jackson’s Personal Coach Discusses His Offseason Plan - Clifton Brown

“We’re still working on mechanics,” Harris said in a recent interview for Episode 9 of “Black in the NFL.” “That’s the thing that you just have to constantly be working on in the offseason.

“We’ll be working on footwork and getting the elbow through (on throws). He loves it, the sidearm (throw). I don’t love the sidearm. I’m not going to get too mad at it, but I do try to tell him, ‘Hey, have it be a tool in your toolbox, but not the main tool,’ so we’ll have a discussion about that.”

The work on improving Jackson’s accuracy when throwing outside the numbers will continue, along with emphasis on the mental aspects of playing quarterback. As they review tape of Jackson’s 2020 season, Harris and Jackson will discuss the various coverages he faced and why he made certain reads correctly or incorrectly.

Analytics: Ravens Receivers Need to Better Catching the Ball - Todd Karpovich

As the Ravens focus on improving the passing attack, they should turn their attention to the group of wide receivers and tight ends on the current roster.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson needs to get more support from his teammates. Last season, 7.5% of Jackson’s passes were dropped, the most in the league, according to QB Data Line.

Baltimore also attempted the least passes in the league with 406. As a result, the Ravens were ranked in the bottom third of the NFL with a total of 16 dropped passes, according to NBC Sports.

Ranking 13 NFL players’ 2021 franchise tag chances by tiers, from sure things to playing a hunch - Jason La Canfora

Matt Judon

Carrying him at over $20M seems extreme and a second tag would mean about $38M for just two years of service. But Baltimore’s devoid of any edge talent right now with all hitting the market, the Yannick Ngakoue trade was a flop, and Judon remains one of the vital players to Wink Martindale’s scheme. He may not be a $20M player overall, but for the Ravens right now, perhaps he is. They have some cap wiggle room, and it could also be the precursor to a trade as well, with coaches and execs on ready-to-spend teams around the NFL very high on Judon from having worked with him before (Jets, Jags, Texans, for starters). A few rival execs believe the Ravens are at least mulling this as an internal option. The money might ultimately rule this out, but it’s worth considering.

Texans release J.J. Watt: 5 possible landing spots for three-time Defensive Player of Year - Bryan DeArdo

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore edges out New England for the final spot for a few reasons. One, it would give Watt the chance to face his brothers at least twice per year. More importantly, the Ravens are coming off a third-consecutive playoff season, while the Patriots are somewhat in limbo entering Year 2 of the post-Tom Brady era. Like Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh has a history of success signing veteran players.

In Baltimore, Watt would help a Ravens’ pass rush that finished outside of the top 10 in the league in sacks in 2020. Watt would also create a pretty formidable defensive line that would include Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell and possibly pending free agent Yannick Ngakoue.