clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ravens News 2/23: Safety Depth and more

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: AUG 02 Hall of Fame Game - Bears v Ravens

Who Are Extension Candidates For Ravens Beyond Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews? - Bo Smolka

G Bradley Bozeman

The former sixth-round pick will be entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2021 and has become a reliable starter for one of the best running attacks in NFL history. Among guards this year, Pro Football Focus ranked Bozeman No. 40 overall and No. 32 in run blocking.

With the Proven Performance Escalator — a CBA-crafted salary-bump for lower-round draft picks who have seen significant playing time in their first three years — Bozeman is expected to have a salary and cap charge of roughly $2.2 million this coming season.

The Ravens face a lot of uncertainty in the interior of their offensive line, with questions at center and at right guard. At center, Matt Skura is a pending free agent and is not expected to return. Patrick Mekari and Trystan Colon-Castillo, an undrafted rookie this past year, are in the mix, but the Ravens might look to upgrade via free agency. Bozeman had played center at Alabama, and he could be a candidate to shift from left guard to center if the Ravens find a guard in free agency or the draft.

Regardless, Bozeman has shown to be a capable starter and is a known quantity on a line that — especially given Brown’s situation — faces a lot of uncertainty. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also the Ravens’ reigning NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for his civic contributions.

How did Ravens safeties stack up to rest of NFL in 2020? - Luke Jones

2021 positional outlook

After years of volatility and underwhelming returns on substantial investments at the safety position in the wake of Hall of Famer Ed Reed’s departure, the Ravens shouldn’t take for granted the high floor provided by Clark and Elliott at a very affordable rate.

Still, desiring more playmaking ability on the back end of the defense is understandable after the duo combined for just one interception and eight pass breakups in 2020. At the very least, the organization needs to add more depth with long-term upside as the only other young safety on the current roster is 2020 undrafted free agent Nigel Warrior, who spent his rookie season on the practice squad. The Ravens could also revisit using Jimmy Smith — who will turn 33 in late July — at safety after injuries at cornerback sunk those plans early in the 2020 season, but he wouldn’t be a long-term answer, of course.

Safety may not be the organization’s greatest need since both starters are returning after combining to play 2,100 snaps, but not adding an attractive No. 3 option to use in sub packages and develop into a starting option would be asking for problems.

2021 NFL Free Agency: Top 100 NFL Free Agents of 2021 - AJ Schulte

30. WR Corey Davis

The Corey Davis breakout season seemed like it was never going to happen — until 2020 with Ryan Tannehill at QB. Corey Davis posted career highs in every category but targets this season and seemed to flourish with the quarterback upgrade. However, this was his best season, in a contract year no less.

It’s tough to discount his performance in previous seasons, but he also didn’t have the newly reformed Tannehill throwing him the ball for most of those. A tricky proposition, but if Davis remains the 2020 Davis, he’ll be an excellent addition to the team that signs him.

65. WR Nelson Agholor

Agholor’s career has been marred by inconsistency, but he evolved into one of the better deep threats in the league last year with the Raiders. Agholor was second among all receivers with 18.7 yards per reception, with an Average Targeted Air Yards of 15, good for sixth among all WRs.

He still struggles with drops, but he improved in true catch rate from 2019 to 2020. Was his improvement a result of leaving Carson Wentz or an aberration? Either way, a team looking for an explosive field stretcher will likely put Agholor high on their list this offseason.

2021 Two-Round Mock Draft: Atlanta Falcons trade up for QB Justin Fields, Denver Broncos acquire Deshaun Watson - Anthony Treash

27. BALTIMORE RAVENS: EDGE GREGORY ROUSSEAU, MIAMI (FL)

Rousseau is one of the several edge prospects in this class who are physically gifted physically but carry some risk due to lackadaisical production in college. Size, length, athleticism, bend and versatility are all boxes the 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive linemen checks, but consistency and production are not.

Yes, he notched 16 sacks in 2019, but that’s a noisy number. Over half of those sacks were charted as either unblocked or cleanup, and Rousseau ranked outside the top 50 in the FBS in pass-rush grade and win rate.

58. BALTIMORE RAVENS: WR JAELON DARDEN, NORTH TEXAS

Adding a dynamic slot receiver like Darden to this Baltimore offense would be dangerous. Darden finished the season as the fourth-highest-graded wide receiver in all of college football. The 5-foot-9, 174-pound wide receiver has been among the most elusive in the game, breaking an FBS-high 23 tackles and averaging 7.7 yards after the catch. Darden was clearly a threat on screens, but he was even more so on vertical routes with his deep speed. His receiving grade on such routes was the fourth-best in the FBS, and his 11 receiving touchdowns were two more than anyone else.

NFL mock draft 2021: What could unfold if New York Jets acquire Deshaun Watson from Houston Texans - Nate Davis

27. Baltimore Ravens – Joe Tryon, Edge, Washington: He seems capable of Matt Judon-level production for a team that could lose free agents Judon, Pernell McPhee, Yannick Ngakoue, Tyus Bowser and Derek Wolfe.