Projected Lineups: Baltimore Ravens

Gordon McGuinness looks over the Ravens' lineup as they head into the 2014 season looking to bounce back from their post-title let down.

| 3 years ago
32-lineups-BAL

Projected Lineups: Baltimore Ravens


32-lineups-BALBe it the result of a Super Bowl hangover, a mass of roster changes, or just down to an offense that failed to deliver much in 2013, the Baltimore Ravens trundled their way to an 8-8 record that left fans disappointed.

The team hired Gary Kubiak to be their new offensive coordinator recently and, given his track record there is cause for optimism there. They do have  holes at key positions, however, and will have to take a sensible approach to fill those needs without putting themselves in a tough spot cap wise.

Here’s where they currently stand with unrestricted free agents removed from the lineup:

Key:
–  Player markers are colored per class on a six-step ‘Poor’ to ‘High Quality’ scale based on their overall performance and the league’s elite are marked separately in blue.
–  Colored outlines suggest a potential change in class.
–  Underlined players will be 30+ years old for the 2014 season.
–  Red player names suggest injury risks.
–  Click on the image to enlarge.

Lineup BAL

Roster Notes

–  Joe Flacco was an interesting player to debate in that his overall play balances out as average without him often being average. More likely to look either poor or good, he has shown that he can be a very good quarterback, last season’s Super Bowl run proves that, but far too often he just isn’t that player.

–  Given how often Kubiak likes to run two tight end sets, it’s concerning that the only player at the position currently on the roster is Matt Furstenburg. Dennis Pitta is likely to be one of their top priorities, but even if they are able to bring him back, they’ll still need more help at the position.

– It’s going to be interesting to see what they do on the offensive line, with starting tackles Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher as free-agents-to-be. That would leave Ricky Wagner and Kelechi Osemele as the starters, which is less than ideal. What they’ll want to do is bring in two players at tackle, allowing Osemele to slide back in to guard, though Monroe’s play after arriving in Baltimore will have driven his price up.

– With Daryl Smith slated to become a free agent it leaves the team with some questions at inside linebacker. Jameel McClain isn’t a capable starter at this point in his career while Arthur Brown didn’t see enough of the field to get a true reading on him in his rookie season.

– Lardarius Webb took his lumps in a comeback season from yet another knee injury, at this point he is a capable starter but if he can comeback as well as he did last time there’s little to stop him forcing himself into that elite bracket.

2014 Cap Situation

Healthy enough. With $11.9million available they are right in the middle of the pack and, while it’s not enough for them to be plotting some huge moves, they do have enough room to sign their own draft picks and have some wiggle room to create more space.

Potential Casualties

Cutting McClain would leave them with some dead money, but would net them $3.2m in savings, something that seems too good to pass up on given his level of play at this stage. Terrell Suggs would be a controversial cut, but they have already indicated that they won’t keep him at his current contract and saving $7.8m would allow them to plug some holes elsewhere. Cutting punter Sam Koch and full back Vonta Leach would save $1.6m and $1.75m respectively but outside of that there aren’t many more logical savings to be made.

Opportunities from the Roster

Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson (+1.8) is the next man up at defensive end and showed himself to be solid against the run on limited snaps in 2013. Fellow defensive lineman Brandon Williams (+4.0) was also stout against the run in limited duty, and should see an increase in snaps next year. Inside linebacker Josh Bynes (+2.3) was decent against the run, and could fit in a two-down role again next year. Wide Receiver Marlon Brown (-0.9) had a solid rookie campaign and, while the offense would benefit from improving at the position, he should still have an important role going forward. On the offensive line, Wagner had a solid season and his development this offseason will likely determine if he gets the opportunity to start in 2014.

 

Projected lineups by team:

ARZ ATL | BAL | BUF CAR CHI | CIN | CLE | DAL DEN DET
GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC MIA MIN NE NO NYG NYJ
OAK PHI PIT STL SD | SF | SEA TB TEN WAS

 

Follow Gordon on Twitter.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • Joe

    I like the idea, but just knowing the names of the “unknown” players isn’t really helpful, especially when teams are very likely to resign their own FAs at those positions. For example, I’d much rather know Pitta’s rating and characteristics than that Matt Furstenburg is his backup. Just put a little asterisk next to FAs.

  • Didacts

    Flacco isnt a solid starter? He won the Ravens a SB and is a Franchise QB isnt he?

    • Derrick Jiggles

      Adequate is correct. Sure, he won a SB (with a lot of luck and getting on a streak at the right time) but look what happened the season after. If he was a solid starter he wouldn’t have posted those awful numbers.

      • Bakes

        what an asinine post, adequate is far from correct. When he has a functional offense he’s a record setter.

        Look what happened the season after?
        Are you talking about BOTH of his go-to targets going to the hospital and to San Francisco?

        or maybe his o line turning into toilet paper at the stroke of midnight?

        or maybe it was his running game leaving the building completely that you meant.

        None of that is Joe’s fault. To go 8-8 with an offense that sorry is an accomplishment in itself.

        • Jeff

          Record setter? That’s quite a bit of hyperbolic praise there.

          I would call Flacco an average to solid starter, even before last year. Are we going to start calling Eli Manning “elite” because of 2 improbable superbowl runs? Of course not.

          The only elite quarterbacks are: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers… then Philip Rivers and Drew Brees round out the top 5.

          Sure Flacco is getting paid like those top-5 quarterbacks and actually more. Though an elite contract does not make one an elite QB.

          • Bakes

            Elite is the most meaningless word in the sports world at this point so you can call him whatever you like, i care not. Especially if Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers are your idea of “elite.” Brady has been garbage against every top 15 defense he’s seen in the past 3 years or so and Rivers just won comeback player of the year because he was playing terrible before.

            and what is hyperbolic about facts:

            Joe Flacco’s NFL records
            First rookie quarterback to start all sixteen games and make the playoffs (shared with Matt Ryan)
            First rookie quarterback to win two playoff games[38]
            Most starts by a quarterback in first season: 19
            Most starts by a quarterback in first two seasons: 37
            Most starts by a quarterback in first three seasons: 55
            Most starts by a quarterback in first four seasons: 73
            Most starts by a quarterback in first five seasons: 93
            Most starts by a quarterback in first six seasons: 109
            Most wins by a quarterback in first six seasons: 62 (regular season only)[39]
            Most combined regular and postseason wins in first three years as a quarterback: 36 (tied with Dan Marino)[40]
            Only quarterback to start and win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons[41]
            Most road playoff wins by a quarterback: 6
            Most playoff wins by a quarterback in first five seasons: 9 (tied with Tom Brady)
            Most touchdowns in a postseason: 11 (tied with Joe Montana and Kurt Warner)[33]
            Most touchdowns without an interception in a postseason: 11 (tied with Joe Montana)[34]
            First quarterback to have a passer rating over 100 in all four games of a single postseason[3]
            Most consecutive playoff games with three passing touchdowns: 3 (tied with Bernie Kosar, Kurt Warner, and Aaron Rodgers)

            actually knowing things is better than throwing around big words (the meanings of which you are not aware) and acting like you know things.

          • Derrick Jiggles

            Those wins were mostly from the defense and handing the ball to Rice. What happened when the run game was bad and the team had to rely on the QB? Nothing.

          • Bakes

            oh look, an ignorant “those wins are from the defense” card from somebody who doesnt even watch the team, how original..*rolls eyes*

            Which defense is it that supposedly won everything for them…the 17th ranked one from 2012 that got blown out 3 times? or maybe you mean the 2010 one that dropped 11 4th quarter leads? Ray Lewis mustve been a hell of a quarterback if the D could drop 11 4th quarter leads and still finish 12-4 anyway. smh next.

            over simplifying a situation to suit your argument doesnt make you right. the “run game was bad” because the o line sucked, which obviouly meansn bad news for Joe also, who relies on them for protection while his no name (marlon brown, tandon doss, deonte thompson) or over the hill (Brandon Stokley, Dallas Clark) receivers that change every year take all day to get open and drop the ball or bat it to a defender on the rare occasion Joe does get to throw it.

            please learn the game before you comment.

          • Derrick Jiggles

            Answer this simple question.

            What do you expect from a player who signs a $100+ million dollar contract?

            Results.

            Did Flacco deliver?

            Absolutely not.

            Why?

            Because he is a mediocre player. Make all the excuses you want, a player who gets paid that amount of money has to play at a higher level. He didn’t.

            You can bring out any stat you want. This is the one that tells the true story:

            -13.2 PFF overall rating. (19th out 21 QBs to play at least 75% of the snaps in 2013.)

            The original point was if he deserves his “Adequate” grade from PFF. His play last year is indicative of the designation. Personally, I believe he should be “Adequate” bordering on “Below Average” but I’m not worried because he’ll earn that grade this season and PFF will confirm it with the next projected lineups.

          • Bakes

            if youre an idiot who actually thinks a quarterback can just win all by himself without a functional offense around him, then i could see how the paragraph you just wrote makes sense to you.

            The rest of us who arent blind or retarded know better though. Even Giselle Bundchen knows Tom Brady (whose stat line is pretty much identical to Joe’s except for interceptions, incidentally) cant throw and catch the ball at the same time. You really gotta sit down and do some soul searching when a victoria’s secret lingerie model knows more about football than you do.

            but until you find the answer, go ahead and keep ripping random grades out of context and using that as an argument since you cant form any other valid ones, lol.

          • Derrick Jiggles

            Again with the excuses. You’re trying to make it sound like he lined up with pee wee players. This is the nfl everyone can play.

            Flacco doesn’t deserve to be in the same sentence, let alone same post as Brady. Flacco had 10 more turnovers than Brady. That’s a huge difference. Don’t compare the two.

            Random grade? It’s PFFs overall grade of his 2013 performance. That’s entirely pertinent to this discussion.

            No. I don’t agree with PFF. That’s a big difference.

            PFF knows he’s an “Adequate” player but they also gave him a “Solid Starter” ring. I disagree. I believe it should be a “Below Average” ring. And like I said previously, he’ll show it this coming season.

            Flacco is a grossly overpaid player who is merely “Adequate” at best.

          • Bakes

            blah blah blah [more evidence the dunce knows nothing about football] blah blah blah.

            i really hate when dumb people over use the word “excuse.” its like you dont even know what it means. Its a team game ass hat, if the rest of the team doesnt play very well, there’s nothing he can do, thats not an excuse, its a fact. smh…one thing that sucks about the internet: lazy unathletic people who have clearly never played a sport in their life running around acting like they know anything about them. so annoying

          • Derrick Jiggles

            I obviously know more about football because I know a mediocre player from a hall of famer. You don’t.

            Answer this question.

            Was Flacco’s performance last season deserving of his outrageous contract?

            No. Not even a quarter of that.

            He isn’t a good QB. He had his run and got grossly overpaid.

            Flacco is an Adequate QB at best.

            PS. “Tomelina doesnt deserve to be in Joe’s sentence, not the other way around.”

            Only a Ravens fan would say that.

          • Bakes

            lol you MIGHT know how to spell football and thats about it. You know what kind of people ignore every other player on the field and blame everything on the quarterback? teenage girls who have no idea what they’re looking at. Flacco’s performance was fine, its the rest of the offense that’s problematic.

            and the only Hall of Famer within a 50 mile radius of Tom Brady is Bill Belichick; the one responsible for building the system that makes an average system QB like Tom Brady look so good. But even that’s questionable after spygate and that ridiculous tuck rule not to mention playing against easily the weakest division in football year in and year out.

            Put your skirt on and go practice with your cheerleader friends; we’re done here, you dont even have anything intelligent to say. you’re obviously just made because Baltimore owns Hienz Field and the Steelers cant get past .500. lol.

          • Derrick Jiggles

            “this is stupid. youre stupid. i dont even know why youre writing on a thread a month+ old anyway, find something to do with your life. ”

            You are a hypocrite.

            I won this argument.

            How?

            Because you’re attacking me and fail to respond to my questions on topic.

            Enjoy your grossly overpaid, Adequate QB.

          • Bakes

            you “won this argument?” lmao, wow, sorry i gave you too much credit, youre actually a Kindergarten girl, smh.

            im definitely not a hypocrite, look up big words before you try and use them.

            You havent asked me any question i didnt answer, but if pretending that’s the case makes you feel better because you have no rebuttal, i suppose i’ll play along lol.

            but like i said, this is stupid. youre far too comfortable with your own ignorance of the sport to bother talking to, youre going to continue believing retarded things like QBs not being affected by the poor play of the rest of the offense no matter what anybody says to you, so i’ll leave you to it.
            Besides wouldnt want you to slit your wrist or anything over this, “winning” this argument is apparently very important to you, lmao.

          • Derrick Jiggles

            You call his 2013 performance fine?
            What an ignorant comment.

            He was awful last season.

            He is going to be awful again.