Ravens news: Pro Football Focus names Mark Andrews No. 5 tight end

Tight end Mark Andrews #89 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tight end Mark Andrews #89 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

While tight end like George Kittle and Travis Kelce get a lot of attention, the Ravens’ Mark Andrews is also climbing the ladder heading into 2020.

2019 was a breakout season for the Baltimore Ravens in a number of areas, yet one of the key reasons why head coach John Harbaugh’s offense ranked No. 1 in scoring last season was because of the play from tight end Mark Andrews.

Andrews, Baltimore’s third-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, broke out in his own way last year, hitting 852 receiving yards on 64 receptions and 10 touchdowns en route to his first Pro Bowl nod and the Ravens’ upstart 14-2 regular-season finish.

Those 852 receiving yards ranked fifth for all tight ends last season, and no other player at Andrews’ position had as many touchdowns.

So it’s no surprise Andrews ended up finishing in the top five of Pro Football Focus’ recent top-15 ranking of the league’s best tight ends entering 2020.

Andrews came in at No. 5, too:

"Efficiency isn’t all that matters. The ability to draw targets is a skill in itself, and no tight end drew targets on a higher percentage of their routes (32%) than Andrews this past season. Part of that had to do with the fact that Baltimore lacked pass-catching weapons, but a lot of credit should go to Andrews for his ability to create open throws for Lamar Jackson and take advantage of the passes that came his way. His 2.89 receiving yards per route run ranked behind only George Kittle on the year, and he was dominant out of the slot. Andrews’ 47 receptions, 698 yards and five receiving touchdowns out of the slot led all tight ends in 2019.He’s a big target who routinely plucks balls out of the air in the middle of the field. With his 24th birthday coming in September, he’s part of a young offensive core with a bright future in Baltimore."

Understandably, the San Francisco 49ers‘ George Kittle and Kansas City Chiefs‘ Travis Kelce warrant the most attention when considering tight ends heading into the upcoming season. But it’s good to see Andrews receiving some of the credit he deserves.

Granted, Baltimore’s pass offense leaned heavily in favor of its tight ends, meaning Andrews and fellow tight end Nick Boyle both received and will likely continue to receive a lot of the credit and attention for what the Ravens do through the air this season. True, perhaps Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman look to involve second-year wide receiver Marquise Brown in the passing game a bit more, potentially involving rookie wideout Devin Duvernay as another big-play piece as he develops.

But as PFF pointed out, Andrews and the vast majority of Baltimore’s offensive playmakers are young and on the rise, which spells trouble for the rest of the AFC North. This core group already showed its potency over the course of 2019 without having the sizable impact of a true No. 1 wide receiver, as those numbers were divvied up between the ground game and the Ravens’ crop of productive tight ends.

Andrews could see a small hit in production this season, assuming Brown and Duvernay ascend. But with Hayden Hurst signing this offseason with the Atlanta Falcons, Andrews could stay on pace for another top-tier season.

Perhaps one in which he eclipses that rare 1,000-yard plateau, which is exceptional for tight ends and typically only achieved by the perennial Pro Bowlers.

As far as PFF’s top 15, here they are:

  1. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
  2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  4. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders
  5. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
  6. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
  7. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
  8. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
  9. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
  10. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
  11. Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns
  12. Evan Engram, New York Giants
  13. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
  14. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams
  15. Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans

Side note, let’s just assume Gronkowski makes the list at No. 3 based solely on name recognition and not what kind of impact he’ll have in 2020.

Ravens' top 5 game-winning plays in franchise history. dark. Next

Should that be the case, it wouldn’t be too shocking to see Andrews wind up climbing into that No. 3 spot behind Kittle and Kelce once 2020 is in the books.