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Baltimore Ravens Offensive Preview
Joe Flacco - Quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
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Baltimore Ravens: Offensive Preview – Can new additions breed success?

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The Baltimore Ravens were ranked 17th in the league in total yards on offense after going 8-8 in 2016. The Ravens were 12th in the league in passing and 28th in rushing last year. The Ravens lost a few key players on the offensive line, tight end, and wide receiver but they made many good additions at running back offensive line and wide receiver specifically. Overall, I think the offense will improve in terms of receiving options and run game. The only questions I have are the offensive line starters and if Joe Flacco can improve his play in 2017 with the additions on offense.

The quarterback position stayed relatively the same but the Ravens signed undrafted free agent Zach Terell to compete with Ryan Mallett and Dustin Vaughn for the backup quarterback spot. The Western Michigan quarterback Terell was the most accurate quarterback with the highest adjusted completion percentage at 81% in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus (https://twitter.com/PFF/status/858714678511489025). They have also signed Arena League quarterback David Olson and have talked about upgrading at the backup quart back position with Flacco out for a few weeks with a back injury.

At the fullback position, replacing Juszczyk will be difficult but here are a few candidates that could be his replacement. Lorenzo Taliaferro has a good chance to be the starter after switching to fullback after being on injured reserve for the past 3 seasons. Undrafted rookie Ricky Ortiz out of Oregon State could also compete with Taliaferro for the job. If both these options do not work out, Nick Boyle (TE) out of Delaware is a possibility or using less of the fullback on offense might be something that the Ravens will have to incorporate into the playbook this year.

The running game has to improve from 2016. With the signing of Danny Woodhead (Chargers), this makes this running back group interesting. The starter will most likely start out as Terrance West with Woodhead at the scat back role. Kenneth Dixon would have had a bigger role later on in the season with his 4-game suspension, but now he is out for the rest of the season with a torn meniscus. With the loss of Dixon, the Baltimore Ravens signed Bobby Rainey for more depth and competition. They also have Javorius “Buck” Allen and undrafted rookie Taquan “Smoke” Mizzell (Virginia) for depth as both pass catching running backs. With a large number of targets to the running backs in 2016, Woodhead should thrive as the pass catching option in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Ravens needed to add talent to the wide receiving core, through either free agency or the draft. While they did not add a wide receiver through the draft, they did pick up a nice veteran receiver who still has pro bowl potential in Jeremy Maclin (Chiefs). Maclin ideally would be the slot while Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman are the outside targets. Adding Maclin to replace the retired Steve Smith Sr. was a move needed to help the offense in 2017. The Ravens have Chris Moore, Chris Matthews, Kenny Bell, Keenan Reynolds, and Vince Mayle as competition from last year. They also signed a few undrafted receivers like Quincy Adeboyejo (Ole Miss), Tim White (ASU), and C.J. Board (Tennessee-Chattanooga) to compete for a roster spot or for the practice squad. With Michael Campanaro dealing with a turf toe, the Ravens signed Griff Whalen for depth and competition. I think the trio with Maclin, Wallace, and Perriman could be better than previous wide receiver trios Flacco has played with if Perriman develops into a consistent starter.

While the Baltimore Ravens have depth at tight end, it seems the position that takes the most hits in consistency. The league suspended Darren Waller for the year so I am not sure he makes it on the roster. Benjamin Watson, Crockett Gilmore, and Maxx Williams are all coming off injury riddled seasons. In addition, the Ravens did sign Ryan Malleck for depth and Nick Boyle has been the healthiest out of all the tight ends. Unfortunately, Gilmore suffered a meniscus injury during training camp so his status for 2017 is unknown. They signed Larry Donnell (Giants) for depth and competition due to Gilmoreā€™s injury. If all of them were healthy, I think Watson is the starter but anyone consistent and healthy will get the best chance to start.

Ronnie Stanley (LT) and Marshal Yanda (RG) are locks as starters on the offensive line. The question is the center, right tackle, and left guard starter positions. At center, John Urschel will most likely compete with Ryan Jensen for the spot with Matt Skura and undrafted free agent Brandon Kublanow (Georgia) for depth. If the Ravens are not happy with both, they could sign Nick Mangold off free agency before the start of the season. At offensive tackle, they have James Hurst most likely start with tackle depth like Stephane Nembot, undrafted rookie Joseph Roubbens (Buffalo), De’Ondre Wesley, and undrafted rookie Maurquice Shakir (Middle Tennessee). Alex Lewis has the edge on the guard position but rookies Jermaine Eluemenor and Nico Siragusa could challenge him with Jarell Broxton and Jarrod Pughsley for depth. Overall, a veteran signing to the offensive line like what Steve Bisciotti said after signing Maclin is what the Baltimore Ravens need to improve the offense so they can compete for a playoff spot in 2017. Whether it is a center, guard, or tackle will depend on how the rest of the players competing do in training camp and releases by teams before the start of the season.

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Andrew Kim
A contributor for INSC NFL and Fansided NFL Mocks. Baltimore Ravens fan. Love doing Mock drafts and scouting reports.

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