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Ravens News 4/2: Positional Value Drafting and more

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GREEN BAY PACKERS VS. BALTIMORE RAVENS Doug Kapustin/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Ravens Have Four Rule Change Proposals. Here’s the Full List - Ryan Mink

Here are the proposals the Ravens are involved with:

By Competition Committee, Coaches Subcommittee, and Baltimore; to amend Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9, and Rule 19, Section 2, to permit the Replay Official and designated members of the Officiating department to provide certain objective information to the on-field officials.

By Baltimore and Philadelphia; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, to change the options for winner of an overtime coin toss, and create a true sudden death format.

By Baltimore; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, to change the options for winner of an overtime coin toss, eliminate sudden death format, and eliminate overtime in the preseason.

By Baltimore; to amend Rule 19, Section 1, Article 1, to add an eighth official who is positioned somewhere other than the playing field, with full communication to on-field officials and access to a television monitor.

Finding value in 2021 NFL Draft: How to utilize scouting, board value, positional value and more - Michael Renner

POSITIONAL/SALARY VALUE

This is how intelligent franchises can gain an edge without being any better at actual talent evaluation than the rest of the league. This is the kind of value that we at PFF bang the table for.

It’s a two-fold problem. The first is simply quantifying what kind of impact each position can make on the football field. PFF’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric tries to do exactly that, based on PFF’s play-by-play grading and the impact that has on results. While outliers at any position on the high end can still make major impacts at pretty much any position, WAR has the standard hit or quality starter broken down into the tiers shown below.

Tier 1: QB

Tier 2: WR, S, CB

Tier 3: ED, OT, IOL, TE, LB

Tier 4: RB, DI

PFF WAR suggests that Tier 1 is around four times more valuable than Tier 2. Tier 2 is approximately 1.5 to 2 times more valuable than tier 3. Finally, Tier 3 is around 1.25 to 1.5 times more valuable than Tier 4.

Now, even if you don’t put much stock into PFF’s wins above replacement metric, there is the very real consequence of salary-cap allocation when it comes to draft picks.

That means if you draft a top-10 edge defender with the 10th overall pick, you’re saving $15 million in cap space that you don’t have to pay to get elite talent at that position on the open market. If you draft a top-10 running back at 10th overall, you’re saving yourself only $5 million.

Once again, everyone is working with the same dollar resources in a capped league. Freeing up as much of those dollars as possible to use to find veterans in free agency to supplement your roster should be the goal.

That’s why the elite rookie quarterback is the Holy Grail in the NFL.

Ranking the best NFL draft picks of all time: Dan Marino, DeAndre Hopkins headline top five taken at No. 27 - Bryan DeArdo

In recent years, cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (2011), Byron Jones (2015), Tre’Davious White (2017) guard Kevin Zeitler (2012), and defensive tackle Kenny Clark (2016) were the 27th picks in their respective drafts.

4. DeAndre Hopkins, WR

2013 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 27 (Clemson)

Teams: Texans (2013-19); Cardinals (2020-present)

3. Devin McCourty, DB

2010 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 27 (Rutgers)

Team: Patriots (2010-present)

2. Roddy White, WR

2005 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 27 (UAB)

Team: Falcons (2005-15)

1. Dan Marino, QB

1983 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 27 (Pitt)

Team: Dolphins (1983-99)

Top five 2021 NFL Draft prospects by position 2.0 - Bucky Brooks

Defensive tackles

1 Levi Onwuzurike Washington

2 Christian Barmore Alabama

3 Daviyon Nixon Iowa

4 Osa Odighizuwa UCLA

5 Jay Tufele USC

Onwuzurike plays defensive tackle like Mr. Myagi, utilizing his extraordinary hand-to-hand combat skills to whip blockers at the point of attack. He combines his great hands with explosive athleticism and a non-stop motor to win against top competition.

Tufele is a stout defender at the point with some pass-rush ability. He mixes power with finesse (arm-over) to disrupt plays as a playmaker at the point of attack.

NFL Draft 2021 Sleepers: 5 Players Who Could Sneak Into Round 1 - Marcus Mosher

Richie Grant, FS, UCF

The safety class has a lot of depth but lacks a lot of high-end talent. It’s doubtful we see a safety drafted inside of the top 20, but we could see a few selected in the last few picks of the first round. One player who could make his way into the first-round conversation is Central Florida’s Richie Grant.

Grant isn’t the biggest safety you’ll see, measuring in at just 6-foot, 194 pounds at the Senior Bowl. He’s also not the most athletic safety either, and that could knock him down some boards.

However, what he does at an elite level is cover. Since the 2018 season, he’s totaled 10 interceptions to go along with 5 forced fumbles. He is the best free safety in this class, and with so many teams playing Cover-1 and Cover-3 defenses, teams would love to have a player like Grant despite the athletic shortcomings.

Grant is a lock top-50 selection, but he could be the first safety off the board at the end of Round 1. He’s just too special in coverage to not get picked early.