clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ravens News 3/10: WR Tendencies and more

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

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens LB Patrick Queen thinks film study will lead to Year 2 leap: ‘My game is going to transcend - Kevin Patra

“Once I nail down the route concepts, I feel like my game is going to transcend so much,” Queen told the “The Lounge” podcast for the team’s official website. “It’s so simple, but it’s so far away.”

“In college, playing the rover side, you wouldn’t get that many three-man route concepts,” Queen said. “You go to the NFL, you’re in the Mike position, you’ve got to be with the nickel all the time. The three-man route concepts are way harder than two-man route concepts. That experience and getting in the film room and learning everything, that’s probably going to be the biggest key.”

“Because I started off so hot, if I was to have a mediocre game, I started pressing,” Queen said. “I wanted to make this play, make that play. Then you start thinking too much, and when you start thinking too much, you start playing tense. I feel like I got out of my game because I was trying to do too much instead of letting the game come to me.”

Queen particularly struggled in space and missed 22 tackles, per Pro Football Focus, tied for most among linebackers with at least 550 snaps. To improve his coverage, the 21-year-old believes getting in the film room will help him raise his game in 2021.

Most overrated, underrated 2021 NFL free agents at every position: Dak Prescott, Shaquill Griffin, more - Sam Monson

UNDERRATED: NELSON AGHOLOR

2020 team: Raiders | Age entering 2021 season: 28

Agholor has had a strange NFL career but hits free agency at just 27 years old coming off one of the best seasons of his career. He became the deep threat in the Raiders’ offense that Henry Ruggs III was supposed to be, with only Tyreek Hill catching more touchdown passes on deep targets (20-plus air yards) than Agholor’s six. Derek Carr‘s passer rating when throwing his way this season was 113.7, and the rediscovery of the deep pass transformed the Raiders’ offense into an altogether more formidable threat this season.

Agholor has only two good seasons in five years in the NFL, and they were stylistically very different, but the version of his game we saw this season looked a lot like the version we saw in college that made him a first-round pick in 2015.

OVERRATED: JOE THUNEY

2020 team: Patriots | Age entering 2021 season: 28

Thuney is likely to be one of the most coveted linemen available this offseason, given the profusion of lineman-needy teams. But while he is undoubtedly a very good player, it’s fair to ask whether he is a great one. Thuney has never broken a PFF grade of 80.0 for a single season, coming closest in 2019.

His run blocking has typically been solid but unspectacular, and while his pass-blocking grades had been approaching elite levels, he dropped back down to 73.1 in 2020, allowing 17 total pressures and two sacks on the season. Thuney has an extremely high floor for any prospective team, but he could earn monster money on the open market, which is hard to justify given his career thus far.

Good, bad and Lee Evans: Ranking Ravens’ wide receiver acquisitions - Jamison Hensley

1. Steve Smith Sr.: Smith didn’t produce a 100-catch season like Derrick Mason or win a Super Bowl like Anquan Boldin, but Smith will be remembered as one of top free-agent wide receiver additions in Ravens history. After signing one of the team’s best bargain deals (three-year, $10.5 million), Smith brought a toughness and an edge to Baltimore’s offense. In 2015, he recorded seven catches for 137 yards after missing one game with four micro fractures in his back. John Harbaugh has said Smith is one of his all-time favorite players that he’s coached because of his competitiveness. In 37 games with the Ravens, Smith caught 195 passes for 2,534 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The need, the need for speed: Ravens tendencies at WR - James Ogden

Firstly they have missed the subtle change that the Steelers made to their strategy, signalled by the Juju pick in 2017. They stopped spending later third round picks on wide receivers and started regularly using their second round picks. They also stopped caring so much about speed at the position. They realised that a baseline of speed is necessary but that a 4.5 40 is enough for, and sometimes a better indicator of, success at the next level.

The Ravens are still obsessed with speed at the position, especially in the earlier rounds. The clearest tendency that they have in all of their receiver selections is their need for speed on day one and two of the NFL Draft. A 4.4 40 or faster highlights the profile of all of these selections.

I’d like to see the Ravens start consistently, maybe not as much as the Steelers as the position isn’t as important to our scheme, taking swings at wide receiver in the second round. I’d like to see the Ravens stop taking the same types of receiver over and over again. Take some different profiles and more consistently swing at guys who are more likely to be successful – 6”0 4.5 guys, if the height and speed is the most important thing to you.

For an analytically driven front office, its remarkable to see them be so wrong about a position even from a data perspective.

First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft - Tony Pauline

27. Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Carlos Basham was given serious consideration at this spot, but the Ravens’ eternal search for a receiver is answered in part by Rashod Bateman.