5 Baltimore Ravens on the outside looking in for 2020
There was once a time where De’Anthony Thomas looked to be one of the league’s next-best special teams players. Coming out of the University of Oregon, Thomas, better known then as the “Black Mamba,” was all the rage and the Kansas City Chiefs spent a fourth-round pick on the speedster’s services. Thomas never panned out into the player Kansas City believed it was getting and subsequently cut him. It was in Baltimore that Thomas would get a second chance.
Thomas made the most of his opportunity that came after the Ravens let go of the turnover-prone Cyrus Jones. In eight games last year, Thomas returned 13 punts for 93-yards (7.3 YPR). He was far from flashy, but he was an upgrade to Jones.
While Thomas was resigned for the 2020 season he’s far from a lock to make the team. Baltimore did spend a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on receiver James Proche, who happens to be a solid return man. Proche could snipe Thomas’s chances to make the team as the return specialist. If he can’t cut it there, it seems unreasonable to expect he can cling on anywhere else.
Many still have faith that DeShon Elliott can become the versatile secondary piece he looked like he could become coming out of the University of Texas back in 2018. However, Elliott has struggled to stay healthy and on the field in his two NFL seasons and has yet to record a tackle in his career. That does not bode well for his odds to make the roster in 2020.
Baltimore has always fancied defensive backs that play multiple roles with examples such as Tony Jefferson and Anthony Levine, Sr. Elliott looked like he could follow in their footsteps and become a player of their skillset. Elliott now enters his third season in the league and will have to compete with the aforementioned Levine and youngsters like Iman Marshall. It doesn’t look good for the 23-year old.
With how loaded the Ravens secondary is there are going to be a few difficult decisions to be made in terms of who stays and goes and Elliott is one of them. If he could find a way to stay healthy he could make his case, but that’s a huge “if” and his lack of production will only worsen his case.