clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ravens News 6/2: Seamless Versatility and more

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback Rankings: The 32 best outside cornerbacks entering the 2021 NFL season - Ben Linsey

3. MARLON HUMPHREY, BALTIMORE RAVENS

We considered putting Humphrey atop the list of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL, given that he has spent the majority of his snaps lined up in the slot over the past two seasons filling the void left by an injured Tavon Young. Humphrey’s seamless inside-outside versatility is a big reason why he ranks so highly here.

The fifth-year cornerback out of Alabama has recorded at least 800 coverage snaps in the slot and out wide throughout his NFL career. He also ranks in at least the 87th percentile in coverage grades at both alignments. The most impressive part is that it all comes in a man-heavy Baltimore defense — few cornerbacks in the league possess that kind of ability.

10. MARCUS PETERS, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Peters and Humphrey are the only top-10 duo on this list and a big reason why Baltimore’s secondary has had the success that it has over the past two seasons. It’s impossible to discuss what Peters brings to the table and not start with his knack for getting his hands on the football, as his 31 interceptions since entering the league in 2015 are nine more than any other cornerback. And Peters ranks tied for fifth at the position in pass breakups (52) over that same time frame.

His aggression will burn him on occasion, but you can’t say that Peters doesn’t make up for it with the positives he brings to the table.

Safety Rankings: The 32 best safeties entering the 2021 NFL season - Sam Monson

29. CHUCK CLARK, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Clark is a player the Baltimore Ravens love to deploy all over the formation and can use him in pretty much every way, including rushing the passer. Over the past two seasons, he has 177 pass-rushing snaps on the blitz and has racked up 27 total pressures on those rushes. Clark is good enough at everything to be the kind of versatility player the Ravens covet in their secondary.

NFL’s most underappreciated players: Jordan Poyer, Courtland Sutton, Alex Highsmith among AFC picks - Cynthia Frelund

Baltimore Ravens

J.K. Dobbins

RB · 22 years old

I am guessing I won’t be able to include Dobbins on this list after the coming season, so I am going for it now. Next Gen Stats credit Dobbins with the fourth-most rushing yards over expected last season (222), and his 7.0 yards per rush outside the tackles was not only the highest average but he was also the only running back to have an average over 6.0 yards on such runs (min. 50 attempts). His seven rushing touchdowns against stacked boxes were tied for fifth in the NFL. If that weren’t enough, when he wasn’t the subject of a play (ball carrier or target), Dobbins was still extremely productive. To approximate a measurement for pass-protection impact, I counted all running backs making contact and at least holding their defender for one second. Dobbins ranked 10th-best at holding his defender for at least a second by percentage last season and got better in each game he played.

My models also love safety Chuck Clark, who had 10 QB pressures — third-most among defensive backs, per NGS. Jamal Adams (25) and Malcolm Jenkins (13) were the only other two to hit double-digits; this is some elite company to be in.

Ravens film study: As game ‘slows down,’ these 4 contributors could step up in Year 2 - Jonas Shaffer

Malik Harrison

What he did well: Tackle

Harrison’s defensive role grew and shrunk throughout the Ravens’ season — 21 snaps in the season opener, 49 in Week 11, a combined 24 over the final three weeks of the regular season — but his tackling never wavered. A solid tackler at Ohio State (12.1% missed-tackle rate in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus), Harrison was an ever-reliable rookie, missing just two of his 46 tackle attempts (4.3% miss rate), according to PFR.

What’s next: Hone passing-down skill set

Harrison averaged about 11 first-down snaps per game last season — and just over one third-down snap per game. If the Ravens weren’t lining up with some combination of seven defensive linemen and linebackers, Harrison probably wasn’t playing. In obvious passing situations, Chris Board was the Ravens’ preferred third-down partner for Queen, even more so than L.J. Fort.

For a bigger role, Harrison has to build on the blitzing ability he showed at Ohio State or be more reliable in pass defense. He allowed 111 yards, 14 completions on 18 targets and a passer rating of 110.9 when targeted in coverage last season, according to PFR. Too often, Harrison was overaggressive against the run, costing him on play-action passes. He also could be a liability in space against shifty running backs.

Ravens Have Intriguing Battle for Third Tight End Behind Andrews and Boyle - Todd Karpovich

The Ravens open their second round of voluntary workouts this week and there is already an intriguing battle for a third tight end.

Second-year tight Eli Wolf looked solid last week and will fight for that final roster spot. He has good hands, especially in traffic in the middle of the field.

Josh Oliver, who was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a conditional draft pick, also flashed during team drills,

Wolf and Oliver will compete with Eric Tomlinson and Jacob Breeland for a spot on the depth chart behind Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle.

The Ravens also have fullback Pat Ricard, who has also lined up at tight end, and rookie Ben Mason vying for snaps.