Head Coach: John Harbaugh
2020 Record: 11-5
The Ravens went into 2020 with high hopes; hopes they partially reached. 11 wins, a sweet revenge playoff win over the Titans…. and that’s where it ended. One step closer but not there yet.
2021 Draft Picks
1-27 WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
1-31 LB Jayson Oweh, Jayson, Penn State
3-94 G Ben Cleveland, Georgia
3-104 DB Brandon Stephens, SMU
4-131 WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
5-160 DB Shaun Wade, Ohio State
5-171 LB Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame
5-184 TE Ben Mason, Michigan
The Ravens have drafted well in recent years, and that doesn’t appear to have changed this year. They desperately needed better receivers for Jackson, and Bateman will be an instant contributor. In fact, their first 4 picks could all see steady playing time in 2021. Shaun Wade was a steal in the 5th round.
Key Pick Ups
Sammy Watkins – WR (from Chiefs)
Alejandro Villanueva – OT (from Steelers)
Watkins is a huge pickup; the Ravens receiving corps was subpar at best. Villanueva will fill in nicely for the departed Orlando Brown.
Orlando Brown – OT (to Chiefs)
Yannick Ngakoue – DE (to Raiders)
Willie Snead – WR (to Raiders)
Matthew Judon – LB (to Patriots)
All of these will hurt. Brown was replaced, but it’s a step down. Snead was under rated and dependable. The two pass rushers lost could change the dynamic of the Ravens D.
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman
2020 Points Scored: 468 (7th)
The Ravens are the best running team in the NFL, and that wont change in 2021. The problem is… Coordinators know how to beat Lamar Jackson now. The problem is that as a running QB he’s unparalleled;; hel, he’s a top 10 RB in the NFL. As a passing QB, he’s just average. What success he does have stems on the ability to run and play action. You put the Ravens in a hole, put him in a situation where he has to throw, and you’re in good shape. Fortunately for the Ravens, there weren’t many teams who could do that against their D.
Defensive Coordinator: Don Martindale
2020 Points Allowed: 303 (2nd)
The Ravens D was dominant at times, and will be again in 2021. But like the offense, they may struggle against good offenses, and specifically teams with good QBs. The problem is that the they can’t get the amount of pressure they need to make the scheme work the way it’s designed to without blitzing any more. They blitzed almost 45% of the time, easily the most in the NFL. And with the departures this year that number may go up. There are some very good QBs on the schedule, and a bunch of them who will be waiting in the post season. Lesser QBs can’t exploit this weakness, but there are enough who can to keep the Ravens from being Super Bowl Favorites.
The Ravens had one of the better special teams units in 2020, ans should again in 2021 with the main pieces all back.
If Things Go Well
If the D can generate a pass rush, and Lamar takes that big step to the next level as a passer, this team could easily knock off the KC’s and Buffalo’s of the world.
If They Don’t
It’s just as possible that neither happens; in fact, with a whole off season to plan, Lamar will see a lot of new looks in 2021.
The most likely scenario is that the D will have to blitz constantly to put pressure on, and as said above, good QBs who have good WRs will take advantage. Everyone else will get run over. As far as Lamar, look for him to struggle early; the Ravens may lose a game or two they shouldn’t while he figures out whatever DCs throw at him this year.
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Categories: NFL Schedule