Baltimore Ravens, Def, Ravens
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2016 Outlook: Bye Week Fill-inLast updated on May-22-2016 by Shawn Childs
The Ravens ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (1661) with teams gaining 4.0 yards per attempts. They allowed ten rushing TDs. Baltimore allowed the 10th lowest amount of passing yards (3737) and 30 passing TDs. Their defense only had six Ints and 37 sacks.
NT Brandon Williams set a nice foundation in the center of the defense by offering strength against the run. His value as a pass rusher is limited at this point of his career (3.5 sacks in 39 games). DE Timmy Jernigan graded as about league average against the run and attacking the QB. The Ravens selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft. In his 27 games played, Jernigan has eight sacks. The other defensive end position looks like an open battle between Lawrence Guy and rookie Bronson Kaufusi.
Baltimore took a big hit on defense in 2015 when LB Terrell Suggs went down in Week 1 with a torn Achilles. The two previous seasons Suggs had 22 combined sacks. He'll start the year at age 33, so his game probably has more downside risk than upside. LB C.J. Mosley was a below average player for his position in 2015 with his best asset coming in the pass rush (four sacks). He did make 117 tackles, which was a drop off from 2014 (133). LB Elvis Dumervil is also getting other (32) while coming off a down season in sacks (six - 17 in 2014). He tends to struggle against the run due to his aggressive style of play. The last linebacking spot will most likely come from this season crop of rookies with LB Kamalei Correa having the most upside.
S Eric Weddle plays well in pass coverage, but he will be a huge downgrade against the run. Lardarius Webb was shifted to safety last year when he played about the league average in pass coverage and run defense. CB Jimmy Smith struggled badly in pass coverage in 2015 after playing at a high level before his 2014 injury. Hopefully, a full offseason of recovery will help him regain his top form. CB Shareece Wright was only a league average player at his position.
With Suggs back and improvement on the defensive line, the Ravens may be able to cover up some of their shortfalls in coverage in the secondary. This defense has some talent and question marks while adding plenty of help in this year's draft. I expect much better play, but they are no more than a backup defense in the Fantasy market with sacks being the key to growth in turnovers and possibly defensive TDs.
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