Matt Ryan makes Indianapolis Colts AFC contenders; five perfect scheme fits in NFL roster reconstruction - Bucky Brooks
ROSTER REPAIR: Five perfect scheme fits
Safety · Age 25
Few organizations value safety play more than Baltimore. With an all-time roster that features the likes of Rod Woodson, Ed Reed, Eric Weddle and Earl Thomas, the Ravens clearly seek center fielders with range, anticipation and ball skills. Williams fits the bill, as a ball-hawking safety with outstanding movement skills and instincts as a deep-middle player. Emerging as one of the better defensive playmakers in the game over his first five seasons, Williams has racked up 15 interceptions and 38 passes defensed. As he joins a Ravens defense that is looking to reduce the explosive plays allowed in the passing game, Williams has a chance to become the next legend to hold down this job for Baltimore between the hashes.
Why Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens want to keep Marquise Brown - Jamison Hensley
“He’s a talent,” DeCosta said. “I love his personality and his competitiveness and his passion. Quite honestly, for his skill set, for what he brings to the table, the fifth-year option, in my mind, if you look at receivers and what they’re making now, it looks like a bargain.”
“He plays the game the right way,” DeCosta said of Brown. “I think he’s got a high-care factor, and I still think, I still believe there’s a lot of upside there, and I think he would say the same thing. He hasn’t played his best football, and I would say that about most of our guys. That’s why I’m excited — because I think we’re going to get that this year.”
In the first nine weeks, Brown had the sixth-most receiving yards (682) in the league, along with six touchdown catches. In the final nine weeks, he managed the 37th-most receiving yards (442) and failed to reach the end zone.
“I feel like I had a weak 1,000 yards, but I’m grateful, [I’m] thankful,” Brown said. “But [that was] definitely not how I wanted to end the season. We started the season off good. One of the key things I talked about was consistency, and I feel like the later half of the season wasn’t that consistent. So, for me, 1,000 yards is really just like a base. [I] really want to get in the playoffs, win Super Bowls and become a better player.”
Ricard followed Tucker’s advice. Ricard, Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta “figured out the final contract together, pretty much,” according to the fullback.
“[When] I talked to Harbaugh, the biggest thing he said to me was like, ‘Man, I’m just so happy that you truly want to be back and you really want to be back. It means a lot for us to reinvest in a guy for another three years.’ I think that was the biggest thing he took away from me calling him,” Ricard said.
“For us, for it to end the way it did, it was just a hard blow. I think we’re starting to rebuild our team. We’re starting to get healthy again. I think we’re almost going to be overlooked now,” Ricard said. “… I think we’re going to be the dark horse, honestly. I don’t think people are looking at the Ravens as like a top-five team in the AFC right now. I don’t really think they are. I’m excited to get back to work.”
I Think We Ain’t Done Yet - Ryan Mink
Marcus Peters’ classic “I think we ain’t done yet” line comes to mind when thinking about Ravens free agency. The Ravens burst out the gates with the Marcus Williams and Morgan Moses signings, then were on the cusp of a Za’Darius Smith deal that seemed too good to be true.
When the Smith deal fell through, Baltimore pivoted, and I like the direction. Veteran inside linebacker Bobby Wagner reportedly visited Friday. That would be a home run signing from not only a leadership perspective, but also as a tackling machine that would allow Patrick Queen to keep running free.
On one hand, seeing the Chiefs’ juggernaut offense lose a critical cog in Tyreek Hill is satisfying. One the other, Kansas City will still be very good with Patrick Mahomes under center and the Dolphins, who are on the Ravens’ 2022 schedule, just became a much more dangerous threat.
NFL Draft: Which general managers make the best draft-day trades? - Conor McQuiston
9. Eric DeCosta – Baltimore Ravens
Best Trade Down: Andre Dillard @ pick 22 (gained 803 points, 76th overall)
Worst Trade Up: Miles Boykin @ pick 93 (lost 624 points, 108th overall)
Explanation: DeCosta only barely made the threshold (five draft day trades) in his first three drafts leading Baltimore, indicating that trades are not a particularly large part of his draft0day strategy. Additionally, when he has traded down, he has shown the same “book balancing” tendency as Grier — in two of his three drafts, a trade down has been coupled with a trade-up of roughly equal value.
Momentum Builds for Ravens To Take Linderbaum With 14th Pick - Todd Karpovich
Both ESPN analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper contend the Ravens will select Linderbaum with the 14th overall pick.
“Tackle is the big question mark on the offensive line, with Ronnie Stanley missing 26 regular-season games over the past two years,” McShay wrote. “Maybe Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning is the pick? I instead opted for Linderbaum, who is one of the best 15 players in the class. ... Linderbaum anchors well and is effective as a combo blocker at the second level. He’d help a Baltimore front that allowed 57 sacks last season (second most).”
Linderbaum, 6-foot-3, 291 pounds, was a two-time all-Big Ten first-team selection, a unanimous All-American, Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, and the Rimington Trophy winner, which is awarded to the nation’s top center.