The Baltimore Ravens enter the 2020 season in a strong position. They are coming off an NFL best 14-2 record in 2019, and have made improvements in the off-season. Their team is a blend of experience, and young players filled with potential.
Baltimore has drafted well in recent years, with the majority playing a role in 2019. On the flip side, for those who have so far failed to impress, their future hangs in the balance. Here are six players who need a big 2020 season.
Trace McSorley The Young Option At Quarterback
Trace McSorley was a sixth-round pick by the Ravens in the 2019 NFL Draft. He impressed in pre-season, playing in all four games and posting a quarterback rating of 79.5. Into the regular season, McSorley only played one snap.
McSorley was drafted for his dual-threat abilities. Baltimore did, however, sign Tyler Huntley as an undrafted free agent this year. Both have similar dual-threat speed, but McSorley is more polished as a passer. Huntley will need a big pre-season to unseat McSorley for the third quarterback role.
Justice Hill The Odd Man Out?
Justice Hill was a fourth-round Ravens draft pick in 2019 and flashed potential in his rookie campaign. Hill proved versatile in a minimal role, with 225 rushing yards, 70 receiving yards, and 227 kick-return yards.
The issue for Hill going forward is the crowded backfield in Baltimore. They added J.K Dobbins to the trio of Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Hill. He’s a talented player, but Ingram and Edwards have more experience, and Dobbins has a ton of hype surrounding him. It’s going to be tough for him to establish himself long-term in Baltimore with so many other talented backs.
Jaleel Scott Lost in Young Receiver Group
Since being drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 2018 Draft, it’s been tough for Jaleel Scott. He has one reception in two years, having been ravaged by injuries. He missed his entire rookie season with a hamstring injury and only played in three games for 2019.
This has dropped him in the pecking order, as Baltimore has invested a lot of recent draft capital in the position. They selected Hollywood Brown and Miles Boykin in 2019, along with Devin Duvernay and James Proche this year.
Standing at 6-5, Scott provides a great contested catch target. His only problem is Boykin is a very similar prospect. Boykin is more experienced, faster, and a better athlete. It’s likely Scott plays a reserve role this year if he can remain healthy.
Time For Tyus Bowser To Step Up
2020 is a big year for pass rusher Tyus Bowser. He’s been a rotational piece since being drafted by the Ravens in the second round of the 2017 Draft. 2019 saw career bests for sacks (five) and tackles (23), but Baltimore needs to see an increase in production this year.
Bowser is undersized for the position at 6-3 242 pounds, his skill being his speed and burst. With Matt Judon’s long-term future unclear and Pernell McPhee getting older, now is the time for Bowser to step up. He’s set to become a free agent in 2021, and with the likes of Jaylon Ferguson behind him, he needs a career year to remain in Baltimore.
Daylon Mack The Young One on Defensive Line
Daylon Mack was a fifth-round draft pick last year but had his rookie season cut short, going on IR ahead of week ten with a knee injury. Mack suits Baltimore’s physical defensive style, weighing in at 6-1 340 pounds.
The Ravens covet size on their defensive line, especially in the interior. Between Mack and Brandon Williams (6-1 336 pounds), opponents find it hard to gash them in the run game. Mack can help Williams anchor the interior defensive line, opening it up for their pass rushers to make plays.
With Michael Pierce departing in free agency, Mack has an excellent opportunity to earn a starting role alongside Williams. He needs to be wary however, after Baltimore drafted Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington this year. Both are talented young players that can push him for playing time this year.
DeShon Elliot Needs To Earn Role in 2020
DeShon Elliott was a sixth-round draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft but has struggled with injuries in the NFL. He’s only played in six games across two years, losing his rookie year to a broken forearm. His 2019 season was also cut short, going on IR ahead of week six with a knee injury.
Injuries have held Elliott back, and he is now fighting for a role in 2020. He has ideal size at 6-1 210 pounds along with great 4.58 speed. Baltimore has lost a lot of experience at safety with Tony Jefferson, Brandon Carr, and Brynden Trawick. Elliott can earn a role in sub-packages. However, he will have to fight off competition from the young 2020 draftee Geno Stone. He needs to impress heading into his third season.
That wraps this articles, have any thoughts on the players included here? Let us know in the comments section below. For the latest sports news follow the home page here and the NFL home page here. Also, be sure to check out the site forum pages here for more sports discussion.