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Ravens News 5/6: Roster Projection and more

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NCAA Football: Idaho at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

How Will Ravens Offense Change With Added Playmakers? - Ryan Fowler

It’s more of a tribute to what Jackson is as a dual-threat quarterback, and the diversified skill set he offers for offensive coordinator Greg Roman to deploy. It’s not as if Roman is stuck on lining up in pistol—don’t forget that Jackson ran a pro-style drop back offense at Louisville—rather, it’s half bulldozer, half Lamborghini, in that the forward-thinking Roman is able to use Jackson in space as both a passer and thrower while accruing the necessary carries to the 212-pound bowling ball in Dobbins to take opposing defenses’ lunch money. With 2021 selections Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace now in the building, a progressing, more traditional style of offense—similar to Louisville—could be used to further create mismatches for Baltimore’s one-of-a-kind offense, and Jackson’s all-world skill set.

As prior mentioned, the narrative of Jackson as simply a run-first quarterback is, well, lazy. If you have the ability to run, run—and for the sake of Baltimore’s offense, his tape at Louisville offers a small glimpse into what he can truly become as a thrower of the football. Whether he’s lined up in empty stretching the seam, or hitting the running back off play-action on a wheel route out of the backfield, Jackson has the arm talent to make every throw in the book. Is his motion a tad unconventional? Sure, so was Peyton Manning’s, but it doesn’t mean No. 8 can’t sling it around the yard.

Most improved receiving corps following free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft - Ben Linsey

3. BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Ravens’ WR2 in 2020 was some combination of Willie Snead IV and Miles Boykin. Lamar Jackson hasn’t been the most accurate quarterback in the world, and Baltimore’s passing offense has been unimaginative at times, but the receiving corps hasn’t exactly been bursting with talent. The Ravens have set out to change that this offseason.

Baltimore’s 2021 NFL Draft yielded Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman and Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace. Both of those receivers were highly productive over the past two seasons at their respective schools. In fact, Bateman and Wallace joined Alabama’s DeVonta Smith as the only three wide receivers in this class to average at least 3.0 receiving yards per route run in each of the past two seasons.

Bateman, a top-20 player on PFF’s Big Board, is particularly interesting in this offense. He has the catch radius that you want to pair with Jackson and is one of the better technicians in this class when it comes to his release package and route running. He can make an early impact both in the slot and out wide.

The Ravens also added Sammy Watkins in free agency, a somewhat forgotten man after several underwhelming and injury-impacted seasons in Kansas City. When healthy, he has shown he can be a No. 1 option in the passing game. Watkins was an important part of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run in 2019, with over 200 receiving yards across the AFC championship game and Super Bowl. It just all comes down to whether he can stay healthy.

It’s shaping up to be a much more well-rounded receiving corps in 2021 that isn’t so reliant on Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews.

Ravens roster projection: With draft over and Alejandro Villanueva signed, depth chart comes into focus - Jonas Shaffer

Wide receiver

Starters: Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Sammy Watkins, Rashod Bateman

Backups: Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, Tylan Wallace

On the bubble: James Proche II, Deon Cain, Jaylon Moore, Binjimen Victor

The Ravens could have two new Week 1 starters next to Brown. Watkins and Wallace project as outside receivers, like Boykin, while Brown and Bateman can fit in anywhere. Duvernay and Proche are better off inside. Beyond the team’s top four or five receivers, special teams value can’t be overlooked. The Ravens typically enter the season with six wide receivers on their roster, meaning Proche, who lost his punt return job to Duvernay late last season, could have a tough road ahead. It’s a young group overall, and with wide receivers coach Tee Martin taking over, everyone gets a clean slate.

The 10 best player fits of the 2021 NFL Draft: Ja’Marr Chase to the Bengals, Alijah Vera-Tucker to the Jets and more - Michael Renner

PICK 31: EDGE ODAFE OWEH, BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Ravens’ track record of developing edge talent has been second to none in the NFL over the past decade. Pernell McPhee (fifth round), Za’Darius Smith (fourth round) and Matt Judon (fifth round) have all become quality starters and have garnered considerable second contracts over that span. Oweh possesses far more physical talent than any of those guys, though he quite obviously needs further development. We’ve already seen him improve mightily at Penn State, going from a 74.6 overall grade in 2019 to 85.3 this past season. If that trajectory can continue, they may have gotten something special.

Way-Too-Early 2022 NFL Mock Draft - Derrik Klassen

27. Baltimore Ravens - DL Tyler Davis, Clemson

A team can never be too deep in the trenches, especially not in the AFC North. Defensive linemen Calais Campbell will also see his deal expire after 2021, so it’s possible the Ravens will have a legitimate hole to fill along the DL anyway. Davis was a stud for the Tigers as a freshman, ripping off 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. An ankle injury put a damper on Davis’ 2020 season a bit, however, and he was not quite able to continue his upward trajectory. Expect Davis, a powerful DT with a red-hot motor, to get back on track in 2021 with a cleaner bill of health.

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Lions, Washington, Raiders target passers in a wide-open quarterback class - Ryan Wilson

Round 1 - Pick 29

Baltimore Ravens

Jordan Davis DL

GEORGIA • SOPH • 6’6” / 330 LBS

Davis is an enormous human being who can clog running lanes all day long, but he’ll need to expand his pass-rush repertoire (mostly because he’s only needed brute strength to beat most of the O-linemen that lined up in front of him).