The best way to deal with interior offensive lines

Ryan Mink & Garrett Downing

mink: Ravens clarifies their desire to improve Lamar Jackson’s pass protection. That said, this is a situation where there is no clear hole to plug in, but rather an opportunity to upgrade.

Ravens has a lot of candidates at the center, including Patrick Mechaly, Tristan Colon Castillo, and Greg Mann, a veteran former starter who signed Future / Reserve this offseason. Matt Skura is a pending free agent. Bradley Boseman can play in the center if needed. When Orlando Brown Jr. was traded, Ravens remained vigilant and growing younger with Ben Powers, Ben Bredeson and Tire Phillips, unless he saw Phillips as a potential righteous effort. I will.

My point here is that Ravens has a lot of young, developing players who have already received valuable play time. There is reason to believe that those players will continue to improve next season. Therefore, if Baltimore wants to upgrade, it will take a significant commitment to acquire a player that clearly outperforms one of those young players.

On a free agent, it would sign someone like Corey Linsley or Alex Mack at the center, or Joe Tony or Brandon Scherff on the right guard. All four are very good players, but not cheap. Baltimore must be wise in years when salary cap space is limited. Is there a greater need for veterans, for example, in aggressive lines or wide receivers?

If Ravens drafts a center or light guard, I think they will commit their first or second pick, as the third day pick is not an obvious immediate upgrade. The top draft centers are Landon Dickerson, Alabama, Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma, and Josh Myers, The Ohio State University. It all depends on how the board falls, but I also see Ravens choose one of those internal spots to secure one of them at a cheaper price for years. I’m not surprised.

Downing: I think there are monsters in the second season in Dobins. During the 2020 season, it became clear that he deserved a larger part of the pie, and he made the most of his opportunity in the final stretch of the regular season. He finished the rookie campaign with 134 carries in 805 rush yards, 9 touchdowns and added 18 receptions in 120 yards. If Dobins could take on a bigger workload next season and get an additional 70 carry (which is a realistic expectation as Mark Ingram had 202 carry in 2019), he’s sure. May be in its 1,200-1,300 rushyard range. I think Dobbins has the ability to put himself in the mix for the league’s rushing titles, but it’s still difficult with attacks where Lamar Jackson and (probably) Gus Edwards have a large yard on the ground. Probably.

The area where Dobins can continue to improve is as a receiver. He flashed good hands from time to time throughout the season, but it wasn’t translated into major production in the air. Since Dobbins has been an integral part of the attack since the beginning of the year, he has the opportunity to develop his early chemistry with Jackson and establish himself as a credible option for pass games. I don’t expect him to reach the level of Ray Rice production-Ravens doesn’t throw as much ball as his 2011 team-but I get him 300-400 You won’t be surprised to see it in the yard.

mink: The simple answer is yes. Ravens will definitely look to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. for this year’s class of wide receivers, which he called the strongest position group in the draft. Ravens has selected six wide receivers over the last three years. The four are still on the team. Eric DeCosta is committed to swinging on the plate to help solve Baltimore’s long-standing problem with the growing impact of the draft, so Baltimore hopes to choose at least one again this year. doing. The other good news is that many of the draft wide receivers that should be available in the first two days are better than what Ravens needs-someone definitely makes a contested catch and after the catch. Post the yard and move the chain outwards.

Downing: This is a good question. Ravens was high on both players as an undrafted free agent, but neither panned out as a rookie. The Breeland season ended before it began as he was on the team’s reserve / non-football injury list at a training camp due to a college injury. As a player on the practice team, Wolf suffered his injuries and eventually landed on the injured list. The two athletes are talented, but they need to prove that they can stay healthy. This off-season is important for them to be healthy and ready for the NFL season’s grind. If they prove they can stay on the field, they could open up a role for themselves in Baltimore’s tight-end friendly attacks.

The best way to deal with interior offensive lines

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