In 2019, the Ravens led the NFL in players voted to the Pro Bowl with a whopping 12 representatives. Last season, that number dropped to a still-respectable seven. How many Ravens could make the Pro Bowl this upcoming season?
By now, we have a conceived idea of who has the best shot. Guys like Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Ronnie Stanley, Calais Campbell and Justin Tucker are all top-tier at their position and are no stranger to the Pro Bowl.
With this in mind, it’s interesting to wonder which Ravens who have not yet made a Pro Bowl roster could have a good shot next season. Let’s take a look at a few players who fall into this category, as well as some honorable mentions.
Coming off a strong rookie season, expectations are high for J.K. Dobbins in Year 2. In 2020, Dobbins began the year in a backfield rotation with Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. By midseason, he was receiving the most carries of any running back and thrived.
Dobbins turned 134 rushing attempts into over 800 yards and nine touchdowns. More impressively, he averaged 6.0 yards per carry while also scoring four times as a receiver.
As the projected No. 1 on the depth chart heading into 2021, Dobbins will see a larger workload next season. Add in a presumably bigger role in the passing game, too, and the sky is the limit for the second-year pro.
Working against his potential Pro Bowl hopes: he likely see the same level of volume as other AFC running backs and the conference is loaded with talent. The 2020 Pro Bowl roster featured Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb and Josh Jacobs.
Dobbins’ combination of talent and potential, though, at a position where statistics are easily to compile, makes him a worthy first-time Pro Bowl candidate.
Another rising sophomore, 2020 first-round pick Patrick Queen is primed for improvement this upcoming season. While he finished in the Top-3 of voting for Defensive Rookie of the Year a few months ago, demonstrating his national profile, Queen’s debut campaign was more up-and-down than stellar.
There’s plenty of room for optimism for Year 2, though. Thus far in the offseason, Queen appears to be in much better physical shape and seems primed to clean up many of the mental mistakes that plagued him in Year 1.
Queen will once again assume a starting role on defense, so the opportunity for him to blossom is there for the taking. It’d be surprising if Queen didn’t fill up the box score in 2021 and often time Pro Bowl voting comes down to popularity and statistics.
Fortunately for Queen, he’s already a pretty well-known figure on the NFL stage. If he makes a sophomore jump and is a driving force on one of the better defenses and teams in the NFL, that could bring about Pro Bowl recognition.
DeShon Elliott is entering his fourth career season but only became a full-time starter last year. To Ravens fans, he’s been a known commodity for years now. In NFL circles, however, Elliott did not burst onto the scene until 2020.
Granted, it was a promising season for “The Joker.” Elliott filled the shoes left by Earl Thomas on the fly and was a key contributor for one of, if not the best secondary in the NFL. He racked up 80 combined tackles, forced two fumbles and recorded 2.5 sacks. Elliott was on the delivering end of some pass breakups and hit sticks throughout the season, most notably a hit stick tackle on Derrick Henry in Week 11.
Going from a quality starter to Pro Bowler would be quite the jump for Elliott, but it shouldn’t be ruled out as a possibility. Yes, the AFC does have a number of big-name players at the position and Elliott has not yet established himself to the same degree as Minkah Fitpatrick, Tyrann Mathieu, etc.
He has a full campaign of starting experience under his belt now, though, and is entering a contract year. 2021 is a big season for Elliott in more ways than one. Don’t be surprised if he shows out and earns himself recognition in the process.
Honorable mentions —
WR Marquise Brown: It’d be awesome to see “Hollywood’” put together a Pro Bowl season but seems unlikely given the lack of volume in comparison to other AFC wideouts.
DL Justin Madubuike: Coaches and teammates continue to rave about Maduibuike’s potential. A Pro Bowl nod in Year 2 might be a longshot though, given he’s set to play in a rotational role. Also, would he be classified as a defensive end or defensive tackle on the ballot?
S Chuck Clark: Like Elliott, Clark is an important piece in the Ravens’ secondary. He doesn’t garner much national attention though, unfortunately, given his low demeanor and lack of highlight-esque plays.
C Bradley Bozeman: Bozeman has established himself as a quality starter and has made more headlines than usual this offseason by switching positions. If Bozeman thrives at center for one of the top offensive lines in the NFL, perhaps he could be a Pro Bowl sleeper.