The Baltimore Ravens have a ton to think about in the coming weeks, and one of the biggest things to monitor is how busy the team feels they need to be during the impending trade deadline.
This season, the Ravens have a few needs they could choose to look at, one of which us on the defensive side of the ball at pass rusher. Interestingly enough, a big name could be available in the form of J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. If the Texans elected to trade Watt, where would he fit?
According to Fox Sports analyst Colin Cowherd, the Ravens are an answer considering their need at pass rusher.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 6, 2020
“There’s like 4 really good teams in the NFL, they don’t have a pass rush. He’s about $15 million dollars this year, $17 million dollars next year. He’s wildly popular in Houston and will be forever. If you don’t have draft picks and cap space moving forward, you can get both. He’s perfect for Baltimore. There’s a lot of good teams that could use him. Most teams in this league in the a salary cap era, they get to the trade deadline and there’s one thing they know they need and can’t afford it. Honestly, he feels like he would be a great fit for the Ravens.”
Watt has been one of the most dominant edge rushers in football during his career with 492 combined tackles and 98 sacks to go with 5 time All-Pro selections, but he’s also been injury prone during his time in the league meaning this potential move would not come without some risk for the Ravens. Still, given Watt’s insane production and work at rushing the passer, the team would be foolish to not at least consider the potential for this move.
Peter Schrager: Ravens Defense Determines Season
According to Peter Schrager of the NFL Network, Baltimore’s defense is going to be what determines how good the Ravens are this coming season. Speaking after an early season blowout, Schrager said that in his mind, Baltimore’s defense is looking much improved and could be pushing the team toward greatness this season as evidence of their attacking mindset all over the field.
"With Lamar at QB, the @Ravens defense is always going to get overlooked. But the performance Wink Martindale's D put on yesterday can't be minimized. Both @CalaisCampbell and @Patrickqueen_ were magnificent in their debuts." – @PSchrags pic.twitter.com/Kbo5ZRpZJK
— GMFB (@gmfb) September 14, 2020
“I’d like to talk about Wink Martindale’s defense because they keep on getting better and better every season. The Browns were 3-12 on third down and 0-3 on fourth down. Baker (Mayfield) was running like a chicken with his head cut off because the Ravens defense was all over the field. Lamar (Jackson’s) great, we know that. It’s going to be the defense that gets them to that next level. Calais (Campbell) was fantastic in his debut. Patrick Queen was fantastic as a rookie. I’m so excited to see the Ravens progress because this could have gone one of two ways. It went the right way.”
All told, Schrager is right. If the Ravens defense can put up some lopsided numbers the rest of the way, the team might blow plenty of teams out this season given how well their offense has played and how consistent that group figures to remain.
It’s a very scary thought for the opposition, and so too would be adding Watt to an already potent defense.
Ravens Defense Called NFL’s Best
Everyone knows the Ravens defense is good. Are they the best group in the NFL, though? That might be the case according to Fox Sports analyst Mark Schlereth. As Schlereth said in a recent video entering the 2020 season, he is picking the Ravens as the best defensive group in the conference thanks to what they can do in terms of personnel.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 6, 2020
“There’s a bunch of ’em, but I’m going to go with the Ravens because they match their defensive personnel with what they do so well on the offensive side.”
The Ravens defense also quietly plays a huge role in the team’s success even though the offense generates more headlines. It was the team’s defense which helped play a huge role in both of the Super Bowl titles the franchise has claimed, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see the squad getting back to their elite ways. Thus far this season, the Ravens are 3-1 and the defense has been a big reason why.
Adding a player the caliber of Watt would only help this to be more of the case.
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