NFL 2021 free agency: 13 perfect player-team matches, including Kenny Golladay in the NFC East - Jason La Canfora
G Kevin Zeitler – Ravens
I have become increasingly convinced that the Ravens are moving by far their best guard – Bradley Bozeman – to center. He played it at Alabama at a high level and there is a strong feeling in that organization he could solve their center problem and they want to extend him. But guard is an issue, otherwise. They know Zeitler well from his time in the AFC North with Cincy, and he was just cut, which means there is no draft-pick compensation tied to signing him. He could step into leadership the role Marshal Yanda once held on what is now a very young offensive line and help stabilize the unit in front of Lamar Jackson.
OLB Melvin Ingram – Ravens
A year ago they paid Judon, Yannick Ngakoue and Derek Wolfe a combined (prorated) $32M to aid their pass rush. So, um, yeah, it’s a need. Ingram has been hurt a bunch the last few years, but has a great pedigree and is top 10 in QB hurries the last 10 years. He could give them much more than Ngakoue did a year ago for around $10M a year. Kinda reminds me of when they added Elvis Dumervil.
One Free Agent (or Trade Candidate) Fit For All 32 NFL Teams - Connor Orr
Curtis Samuel, wide receiver
There are few more obvious needs than the Ravens and a wide receiver. The team scraped the bottom of the barrel last season, considering Antonio Brown and ultimately signing Dez Bryant. If we would like Lamar Jackson to take a figurative next step (even though he has already shown us all the tools required of a long-term franchise quarterback), we must also give him the tools. Samuel would be an excellent addition to Baltimore’s already flummoxing offense.
Ravens can’t afford to lose Brandon Williams, not yet - Mike Preston
It makes sense for both parties to reach an agreement on a restructured deal. At the start of the upcoming season, Williams will be in the fifth year of a $52.5 million contract he signed in 2017 that will count $14.4 million against the salary cap.
As usual, those types of contracts are back-loaded because neither the player nor the team expected to see that type of payday, but it helped with the salary cap. But now that makes no sense for the Ravens to pay Williams that type of money, especially for a player who is in on less than 50% of the defensive snaps because he can’t get consistent quarterback pressure.
But the Ravens struggle to win without Williams.
He has been consistent during his eight years in Baltimore, starting 101 of 110 career games. He may have played in only 50% of the defensive snaps in 2018 compared to 54% in 2019 and 33% in 2020, but the Ravens aren’t as successful without him.
In the end, they will probably work out an agreement.
50 Words or Less - John Eisenberg
It was surprising, but quite instructive, to hear GM Eric DeCosta say this week that the Ravens probably spend more time discussing the character and personalities of potential additions than those players’ actual abilities. That wasn’t always so, but the Ravens have learned the hard way how important it is.
There are plenty of reasons why Gus Edwards is the ideal candidate for a contract extension. In addition to his being a tough-nosed runner and consistent producer, he is durable. He has played in 47 straight regular-season and postseason games since being elevated from the practice squad in October 2018.
Right after the 2018 draft, no one would have predicted that Edwards, who went unselected, would produce nearly as many yards in his first three seasons as Saquon Barkley, who went No. 2 overall. Edwards has 2,152 career yards. Barkley has 2,344 after missing most of 2020 with an injury.
2021 NFL Draft: Building the best offensive line from the 2021 draft class - Seth Galina
LATER-ROUND PASS-BLOCKING IOL: BEN CLEVELAND, GEORGIA
Cleveland is huge but surprisingly nimble for his size. The NFL will figure out a good playing weight for him, and if that happens, he could be the steal of the draft.
Teams will attack him with defensive line stunts and force him to use his feet quickly to pass off attacking threats. They’ll also try to use quicker linebackers on blitzes against his size, but he performed well in those situations at Georgia. He shows good hand usage, but he’s not going to stick on players and grind them, instead choosing to use his technique in pass protection. Cleveland is a very interesting player later on in the draft.
LATER-ROUND RUN-BLOCKING IOL: KENDRICK GREEN, ILLINOIS
Guard Kendrick Green played a ton of snaps in his college career, including at center, so you’re getting some versatility, too. He’s an explosive player who graded out very high among guards last season as a run blocker. Again, the theme is progression, and Green got better each season, going from 60.6 to 83.3 to 88.5 last season in run-blocking grade. That tells you he’s improved his technique each year, although it’s still a work in progress.
Seven-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Jaguars get Trevor Lawrence weapons, Titans trade up early for edge rusher - Chris Trapasso
Round 1 - Pick 27
Gregory Rousseau EDGE
MIAMI (FL) • SOPH • 6’7” / 265 LBS
PROSPECT RNK 36th
POSITION RNK 2nd
Rousseau has Ravens pick written all over him. Tall, long, decently athletic. With more strength, he can be a versatile penetrator for Wink Martindale.
Round 2 - Pick 26 (58)
OKLAHOMA STATE • SR • 6’0” / 185 LBS
PROSPECT RNK 51st
POSITION RNK 8th
The Ravens need more speed in their receiver room, and Wallace is one of the most accomplished vertical threats in the class.
Round 3 - Pick 40 (104)
Trey Hill OL
GEORGIA • JR • 6’4” / 330 LBS
Hill gives the Ravens a possible future starter at the center spot.
Round 4 - Pick 26 (131)
USC • SOPH • 6’1” / 220 LBS
Hufanga is a big, athletic safety who’ll love the Ravens blitz-happy offense.
Round 5 - Pick 24 (169)
FLORIDA STATE • JR • 6’7” / 265 LBS
Kaindoh has a lot of untapped potential and gives the Ravens more size in the trenches.
Round 5 - Pick 39 (184)
NOTRE DAME • SR • 6’3” / 244 LBS
More size and vertical ability for the Ravens receiving game.
Round 6 - Pick 25 (210)
DJ Daniel DB
GEORGIA • JR • 6’1” / 185 LBS
The Ravens love versatile, ultra-aggressive defensive backs and get one here in Daniel.