Baltimore Ravens 2020 season outlook: DeShon Elliott
DeShon Elliott didn’t enter the 2020 season with very high expectations, but after the Baltimore Ravens cut Earl Thomas he’ll need to be the next man up.
Earl Thomas is out in Baltimore and now is the time for the youngsters to step up. Third-year man DeShon Elliott will have a lot of eyes set on him to become that player.
Elliott has been a player clamored about by fans since he got drafted by Baltimore. Unfortunately, Elliott has missed all but six games due to various injuries. The little bit we’ve seen of him in preseason suggests he may be able to generate play up to par with his buzz, however.
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Back during his college days at Texas, DeShon Elliott was a bit of a turnover machine. In his junior season with the Longhorns, he recorded seven turnovers, including six interceptions, and forced another three fumbles. Still, Elliott fell in the draft due to his average athleticism and injury concerns.
Injuries aside, Elliott has been buried on the Ravens depth chart. In his time in Charm City, Elliott has sat behind Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, and Earl Thomas. All three of them are gone now and a spot is wide open for Elliott to seize.
The Ravens will be relying heavily on DeShon Elliott to become the player they think he can be. Elliott is one of the only safeties with above-average coverage play left on the team. Anthony Levine Sr. at this point in his career is better suited to be a safety near the LOS, while rookie Geno Stone is an incoming seventh-round pick with lesser upside than Elliott. If he can prove he belongs on the field, there’s little standing in Elliott’s way for starting time. In fact, it may only be injuries holding Elliott back at this point.
This is an incredibly exciting thought considering DeShon Elliott’s ball skills he displayed in coverage, but we have to remember how raw Elliott is. Elliott has very little NFL experience and will now be thrust into a starting position. That’s a steep learning curve for anyone, let alone Elliott. There are going to be some mistakes as he grasps the speed of the NFL, but his potential to create turnovers will make up for it. Thankfully, there’s a lot of talent in the secondary to help make sure he succeeds.
We can’t fairly expect DeShon Elliott to seamlessly replace Earl Thomas. After all, Thomas is still one of the league’s best safeties, despite his status as an individual. Elliott will have plenty of growing pains, especially since he’s got such little experience due to injuries. Look for Elliott to get more comfortable as the season moves on and perhaps play well thanks to the talent around him.
DeShon Elliott 2020 projected stats: 45 tackles, one interception, two forced fumbles