Ravens Safety Recap: Pre-Draft Edition

Ravens safety Earl Thomas
Baltimore Ravens Earl Thomas III reacts during NFL football training camp Saturday, July 27, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

In each installment of this series, we will take a look at a Baltimore Ravens position group and review it in preparation for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Coming up next in this series will be the Ravens’ safety group.

Check out the other Ravens position group recaps. Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End and Fullback | Offensive Line | Defensive Line | Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Special Teams

Ravens Safety Recap: The Players

Ravens safety Chuck Clark celebrating.
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 01: Chuck Clark #36 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates during the first half against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Earl Thomas III 5’10”, 202 pounds, 15 games
2019– 15 starts in 2019. 49 tackles, two sacks, four passes defended, two interceptions, one forced fumbles, one fumble recoveries.

Chuck Clark 6’0″, 205 pounds, 16 games
2019– 12 starts in 2019. 73 tackles, one sack, nine passes defended, one interception, two forced fumbles.

Anthony Levine Sr. 5’11”, 207 pounds, 16 games
2019- Zero starts in 2019. Special teams ace. 14 tackles.

Jordan Richards 5’11”, 215 pounds, 12 games
2019- Zero starts in 2019. Seven tackles, one fumble recovery, one touchdown.

DeShon Elliott 6’1″, 210 pounds, six games
2019– Zero starts in 2019. Six tackles, one passes defended.

Group Overview

The Ravens’ safety group is one of the best in the NFL. This group pairs perfectly with their elite cornerbacking unit to form the best secondary in the NFL.

The Starters

Earl Thomas has been one of the best safeties in the NFL over the past decade. Thomas was an amazing addition to the Ravens in 2019. He is a punishing tackler that has a nose for the football. Thomas fits in perfectly with the culture that the Ravens have created on defense. In the past Thomas hasn’t been used to blitz the quarterback as much, but in the Ravens’ system he was able to log his first two career sacks. Thomas will be looking to build on a strong 2019 season with an even better 2020 season.

Chuck Clark has been an outstanding young safety for the Ravens. Quickly earning a starting role as the season progressed, Clark also was given the green dot helmet for the Ravens defense. This means Clark was in charge of relaying the Ravens’ play selection to the rest of the defense and making sure everyone is aligned properly. Once Clark grew into this role, the Ravens defense took their game to the next level, finishing as one of the best in the league after a shaky start. Clark’s strong 2019 play earned him a three-year contract extension this offseason. Going into just his fourth season, Clark has the chance to take a massive leap in 2020 and become one of the best safeties in the NFL.

The Supporting Cast

Anthony Levine is one of the Ravens’ leaders on special teams. He became a captain on the Ravens’ special teams unit, earning the nickname Co-Cap. In addition to seeing plenty of special teams action, Levine is also used as a joker on defense. Able to line up at both safety and linebacker, Levine is a very versatile defender.

Jordan Richards is another strong special teams contributor that also has the potential to see snaps on defense. Richards recently started 12 games for the Falcons in 2018. He was able to score a touchdown on a botched punt attempt by the Steelers in week 17 of 2019.

DeShon Elliott is an intriguing prospect for the Ravens. Flashing immense potential, Elliott has been plagued with injuries thus far in his young career. Elliott possesses the size and toughness you want from a top safety. If he can put it all together, the Ravens will have another beast at safety.

Ravens safety stat comparison between Earl Thomas, Chuck Clark, Anthony Levine, Jordan Richards, and DeShon Elliott.
Via Pro Football Reference’s Stat Comparison Finder

Draft Expectations

2020 NFL Draft image


Safety could be considered one of the Ravens’ minor needs. While their overall unit is great, they could use more depth as two of their backups are better suited for special teams. The Ravens are set at safety in terms of starters, but if a top safety is available when they are on the clock, the Ravens will still take that player if he is at the top of their board.

What To Expect

You should expect the Ravens to target a developmental safety at some point in the draft. However, this could be another position that the Ravens choose not to address with any of the draft picks. At the very least, look for the Ravens to add an undrafted free agent or two to compete during the preseason for a roster spot. You shouldn’t completely rule out an early selection, as the Ravens are known for selecting the best player available even if it doesn’t match a position of great need.

Early round targets: Antoine Winfield Jr., Jeremy Chinn, Ashtyn Davis
Developmental targets: Julian Blackmon, Antoine Brooks Jr., Geno Stone

Ravens Safety Group Grade

Overall Grade: A-

This is another outstanding group for the Ravens. They have two very good starters in Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark. In addition to them, they also have two great special teams players in Anthony Levine and Jordan Richards. DeShon Elliott’s injury history and the depth behind the Ravens’ starters are the biggest question marks of this group. If not for that, this group would have received an A+ for their outstanding 2019 season and their potential going forward.

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