ESPN+: NFL Roster Rankings

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#1 BSLChrisStoner



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Posted 14 July 2021 - 07:28 AM

ESPN+: NFL Roster Rankings


5. Baltimore Ravens


Biggest strength: There aren't many cornerbacks in the league who can seamlessly transition from an outside role to the slot and provide high-level play at both spots. Marlon Humphrey has done that better than anyone in recent years, spending more time inside due to a string of Tavon Young injuries. Humphrey is the only cornerback in the league with a PFF coverage grade of at least 80.0 both in the slot and out wide since 2017.


Biggest weakness: It's not difficult to see the reasoning behind Baltimore's decision to let Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue walk in free agency. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale does as good of a job as anyone at scheming up pressure with the blitz, reducing the need for elite edge rushers. But those departures do leave the Ravens thin at outside linebacker entering this season. Since Tyus Bowser was drafted in 2017, neither he nor Pernell McPhee have recorded 40 pressures in a season. Those are now Baltimore's two projected starters.


X factor for 2021: Rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman isn't listed above with the projected starters because of how often both Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle figure to be on the field, but he should factor heavily into the Ravens' offense. Bateman showed that he could win from primarily wide alignments (2019) and in the slot (2020) by earning grades north of 80.0 in each of the last two seasons at Minnesota. Bateman joined DeVonta Smith and new teammate Tylan Wallace as the only wide receivers in this draft class to average over 3.0 yards per route run in both 2019 and 2020.

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