Whole Nine Sports

Baltimore Ravens Offseason Grade

Baltimore Ravens
Justin Rochat
Follow him on Twitter @WNS_Rochat
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Re-Signings

Tavon Young

CB Tavon Young – A Impact 9/10

TE Nick Boyle – B+ Impact 7/10

QB Robert Griffin III – B Impact 5/10

I love the decision to bring these guys back. Tavon Young is one of the best nickel corners in the game and the Ravens locked him up to a three year deal. With the increasing impact slot receivers have in today’s game, it is very important to have a capable slot corner.

Nick Boyle is a savvy tight end who could block and continue to work on his rapport with Lamar Jackson. Last season everything I read about RG3 was about how much he has been helping Lamar understand the NFL and how to be a professional quarterback. This was a very smart decision to keep him in Lamar’s ear.

Released/Lost in Free Agency

Terrell Suggs

S Eric Weddle – Impact 7/10

OLB Terrell Suggs – Impact 9/10

OLB Za’Darius Smith – Impact 8/10

LB CJ Mosley – Impact 10/10

WR John Brown – Impact 6/10

The Ravens lost a lot of veteran leadership early on in the offseason. They first parted ways with Eric Weddle, who then quickly signed a two year deal with the Rams. Weddle is at the end of his hall of fame career, but he is still a top safety in this league, so this was definitely a tough decision for the Ravens. Probably the toughest loss for the Ravens and their fans was hearing that long time Raven great Terrell Suggs moved on and signed with the Cardinals. If it wasn’t yet clear that there is a new era of Ravens football when Lamar Jackson took over for Joe Flacco; the loss of Suggs should make it abundantly clear. From a pure impact stance on this team, the loss of inside linebacker CJ Mosley was the biggest. Mosley was the quarterback of the defense and most importantly, one of the leaders in the locker room. Za’Darius Smith was very productive for the Ravens defense getting 8.5 sacks this year. The Packers signed him to a big time deal so I understand why the Ravens wouldn’t match the offer. John Brown is a nice compliment receiver who could stretch the field, however he could be replaced in the draft.

Free Agency

Earl Thomas

S Earl Thomas – A+ Impact 10/10

RB Mark Ingram – A Impact 9/10

CB Justin Bethel – B Impact 6/10

WR Seth Roberts – B- Impact 5/10


The hole that Eric Weddle left was quickly filled after the news broke that the Ravens agreed to a 4 year deal with the best safety in the league (when healthy) Earl Thomas. The injuries don’t worry me as much as it should because Thomas’ work ethic and desire to be great trumps that fear. Thomas brings a lot to the table and could make this secondary very lethal. The Ravens missed out on Le’Veon Bell, however they made a very smart signing bringing in Mark Ingram to take the load of the carries. I could see a nice dynamic with Lamar and Ingram in the same backfield. Justin Bethel and Seth Roberts probably will have the most on field impact with the special teams unit, but they both bring other things to the table. Bethel has a ton of experience and brings veteran leadership into the locker room that was stripped with the departures of Suggs and Mosley. Seth Roberts could be a solid rotational receiver and has been impressively clutch in the red zone for the Raiders in the past.

Trade

Joe Flacco

Ravens get: 2019 4th round pick – A Impact 6/10

Broncos get: QB Joe Flacco


It was clear when the Ravens traded into the back end of last year’s draft to take Lamar Jackson that the Joe Flacco era was over in Baltimore. The Ravens got a solid pick in return for Flacco, who could be a solid placeholder for the Broncos, so to me this was a fair trade.

Draft

Hollywood Brown

Pick 1.25 – WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Oklahoma – A Impact 9/10
Pick 3.85 – EDGE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech – A+ Impact 8/10
Pick 3.93 – WR Miles Boykin, Notre Dame – B+ Impact 7/10
Pick 4.113 – RB Justice Hill, Oklahoma State – B Impact 7/10
Pick 4.123 – IOL Ben Powers, Oklahoma – B Impact 7/10
Pick 4.127 – CB Iman Lewis-Marshall, USC – B+ Impact 6/10

Pick 5.160 – DT Daylon Mack, Texas A&M – B Impact 6/10
Pick 6.197 – QB Trace McSorley, Penn State – A Impact 5/10

Jaylon Ferguson

Boy, do I LOVE the Ravens draft. In the first round they select my number one rated wide receiver in Hollywood Brown, who is a game recker with the ball in his hands. Hopefully he can develop a nice connection with Lamar Jackson. With no picks in the second round, Baltimore didn’t pick until the third round where somehow Jaylon Ferguson was still available. Ferguson is a disruptive pass rusher who I graded out as a borderline 1st round talent. Baltimore’s next pick in the third round was on the offensive side of the ball where the selected the big bodied 6’4 220 pound wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin could be a big security blanket for Lamar in those 50/50 situations. The Ravens plan seems clear in this draft so far: Get Lamar help! The next two picks definitely could help Jackson as they went with running back Justice Hill, who could be for Mark Ingram what Alvin Kamara was. In addition, they then took offensive guard Ben Powers from Oklahoma, who has experience blocking for a shifty/innovative QB like Lamar Jackson. Ravens then addressed the defensive side of the ball taking Lewis-Marshall, who could have an impact in the secondary early on and defensive tackle Daylon Mack. Mack probably needs a little more work so don’t expect to see him on the field often, but he should be able to come in on goal line plays as an extra big body. We’ve all seen what Sean Payton has done with Taysom Hill. The role Hill plays in the Saints offense and special teams is exactly the type of role I see McSorley having for the Ravens. He is shifty and athletic but just doesn’t seem like an NFL quarterback. I gave this pick an “A” simply because of the Taysom Hill role McSorley should be able to play for John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens.

Overall

Eric DeCosta

Although Ozzie Newsome is no longer in charge, the Ravens continued his draft philosophy: Drafting solid players. I absolutely love what the Ravens did in all phases of the offseason, the only thing may have hurt them was letting go of some veteran leadership. They replaced Eric Weddle with probably an upgrade, if Earl Thomas can prove to be healthy. They provided some weapons for Lamar Jackson in free agency (Ingram) and the draft (Hollywood Brown, Boykin, and Hill). For all the talk that the Browns are getting, people cannot turn their backs on what the Ravens did this offseason. John Harbaugh is a very good coach and could definitely make a run for the division. This season should be very fun!

Grade: B+