Ravens Have Major Draft Positive Coming From Free Agency

John Harbaugh

Getty John Harbaugh during a game with the Ravens.

The Baltimore Ravens have had what some would admit is a strange offseason not making a splash and bringing back some of their own players, but in terms of the team, it’s fairly normal through the years.

Baltimore has been quiet for the most part outside signing wideout Sammy Watkins, and as a result of that and the players they lost, the team could figure to cash in with compensatory picks in the coming years.

When discussing the offeseason and some of the themes so far, a positive emerged for Baltimore in the form of being able to have a strong compensatory pick future for the team. Pro Football Focus writer Ben Linsey pointed that out as one of the more interesting, positive facts of this period.

He wrote:

“One could lament the fact that the Ravens lost their top two edge rushers in Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue. The truth is, Baltimore letting them go while re-signing Tyus Bowser — a younger player whose best football may be ahead of him — and Pernell McPhee to team-friendly deals is just another example of a smart organization doing good business.

The team will add at least two fourth-round compensatory picks thanks to the deals that Judon and Ngakoue signed with New England and Las Vegas, respectively. They were good players, but Baltimore’s defense relies more on its blitz-heavy scheme to generate quarterback pressure than it does one-on-one pass-rushing talent. That’s why Judon’s 39 unblocked pressures over the past three seasons are tied for the most in the NFL.

Baltimore also signed Kevin Zeitler, one of the better guards available this offseason — and one who won’t count against them in the compensatory pick formula because he was cut by the Giants. These are the kinds of small edges that smart teams find.”

Playing the compensatory system has worked for the Ravens before, so it will be interesting to see if they are able to pull it off once again. Reloading their roster in the draft has been a huge focus of the offseason in the past, and it will be that way again in 2021 and beyond.

Simply put, the team will just have to find the next wave of great players in the draft. It’s not been a challenge for them in the past, so they should have a good chance at duplicating that feat in 2022 and beyond.

Ravens 2021 Free Agency Reviews

Thus far, the Ravens have seen some up and down reviews for their approach in free agency. While others credit them for using the compensatory system to their advantage, many see the team as having lost a few too many pieces and not done nearly enough in order to shore up their team.

Last season, the Ravens had a similar approach and managed to make the playoffs and win a playoff game. Certainly, there is nothing to say the 2021 roster can’t accomplish the same feat, so it will be interesting to see the team chasing this goal moving forward.

Ravens 2021 Free Agency Approach Measured

The Ravens have had a free agency approach that has been very measured compared to a lot of their NFL rivals. Baltimore has not outspent anybody and has looked like a team that is more content to keep their own players happy rather than a team looking to make any sort of big splash from the outside. That’s been decent in many ways, but the team may not have improved dramatically enough in the mind of some to take huge steps forward.

Even though that is true, the Ravens still could be set to cash in thanks to the compensatory system. That’s a major positive for their franchise.

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