Why a Julio Jones-Ravens deal seems unlikely, OTA attendance and roster comings and goings - Jeff Zrebiec
The Ravens had roughly 60 players, including Jackson, at their team facility at different parts of last week, which foreshadows decent attendance for the start of organized team activities this week. Last month, Ravens players put out a statement through the NFLPA, saying they would exercise their right not to attend voluntary offseason workouts. However, the tenor around the league has changed, and some teams have had more than 70 players in the house for workouts.
Don’t know what kind of money veteran offensive tackle Morgan Moses, who was cut by Washington late last week, is looking at on the open market, but if the Ravens have any concerns about Stanley’s readiness for the 2021 season, it makes sense for them to put in a call. Moses has started every game for six consecutive seasons, and he’s a solid player. The Ravens’ options behind starting tackles Stanley and Villanueva right now are 34-year-old journeyman Andre Smith; second-year player Tyre Phillips, whom the organization drafted with designs on playing at guard; and undrafted rookie free agents Adrian Ealy and Foster Sarell. Moses will probably be a pricey insurance policy, but the thought of Stanley not being ready for the season or having to miss a chunk of the year has to at least be on the minds of the team’s decision-makers.
Stanley was his usual self prior to going down with a season-ending injury in Week 8 of 2020, virtually never losing in pass protection. He earned a 91.0 pass-blocking grade over his six outings, which at the time was the best in the NFL. In 2019, Stanley led all tackles in pass-blocking grade by over four grading points with a 93.3 mark.
While Baltimore’s offense helps, Stanley maintains his strong ranking when isolating the data set to true pass sets. He ranks fourth among all tackles in true pass set grade since entering the league in 2016, and he jumps to first when looking at just the past two seasons.
Baltimore smartly avoided having to pay Orlando Brown Jr., offloaded him for major draft capital and then signed an average, veteran offensive lineman to replace him. Over the past three years, Villanueva ranks 12th among left tackles in pass-blocking grade and has routinely done his job in the ground game, producing a negatively graded run-block rate that sits in the 82nd percentile at the position. He has just four career snaps at right tackle (all of which came in his first season in 2014), but he should hold up just fine there for Baltimore.
This coming season may serve as a case study for how important scheme can be for offensive linemen. Zeitler was released by the Giants after struggling through the worst season of his NFL career — albeit one still good enough to rank among the top 32 guards in the NFL — but was quickly picked up by the Ravens, who have one of the most friendly schemes in the league for offensive linemen. You don’t need to go back far to find Zeitler posting grades among the best in the NFL, and we could see that again for the Ravens this year.
Bozeman has yet to start a game at center over his first three seasons with Baltimore. However, that is where he played (and excelled) while at Alabama, and there is a good chance he makes the switch heading into 2021. Bozeman has given the Ravens average play as their starter at left guard over the past two seasons on a whopping 2,357 snaps, including the postseason (fourth among all offensive players). That snap count is part of the reason he’s been one of the 10 most valuable guards in the league since 2019, per PFF WAR.
FMIA: NFL Power Rankings Feature Rising Browns, 49ers, Bolts; Middling Pats, Steelers; Falling Vikes, Broncos - Peter King
7. Baltimore (11-5, lost divisional game to Buffalo)
John Harbaugh might long for the early days of his tenure, when a quarter of his schedule was played in Palookaville; in his first five seasons, the Ravens went 16-4 against Cleveland and Cincinnati. But the Browns have arrived, and the Bengals might be the modern-day Dan Fouts Chargers, with Joe Burrow throwing to three premier wideouts. So Baltimore could be an excellent team and still go 3-3 in the souped-up AFC North. Add to that this factoid: Seven of the Ravens’ last eight games this year are against 2020 playoff teams. Baltimore will have its customary strong running game, but GM Eric DeCosta’s focus in the offseason was to get more explosive on offense, adding oft-injured speed threat Sammy Watkins and first-round (Rashod Bateman) and fourth-round (Tylan Wallace) to producers Devin Duvernay and Hollywood Brown. Baltimore’s season could well rest on Lamar Jackson’s ability to make sweet music with three or four of those wideouts.