Baltimore Ravens player spotlight: Ravens on the mind

I wanted to know what was on the minds of the Baltimore Ravens fan. Instead of asking for questions for a Q&A, I got an idea. I asked on Twitter for people to submit a random Raven they wanted me to write about. Here are the five submissions.

Anthony Averett:

@cancelpennies wants to hear a little about Anthony Averett:

The Baltimore Ravens drafted Anthony Averett in 2018. This makes the 2021 season the last year on his rookie contract. Averett has had his ups and downs and he needs to prove his worth in the 2021 season.

You may not think too much about Averett. He’s a role player in a star-studded secondary. He shouldn’t be brushed off though. Averett played a lot for the Ravens in the 2020 season. According to Pro Football Focus, Averett played 355 total snaps.

In 2020 the Ravens played Averett a bit more than they probably intended. Averett was used as an extra defensive back. In the second game of the season, Tavon Young went down. Most of the back half of the season the Ravens were without Jimmy Smith.

The Ravens got to see a good bit of what Averett can do. At the same time, the Ravens may not really know what to think about Averett. He’s been awful and good and everything in between in the past few seasons. This is a prove-it year for the Ravens, if not a showcase for the rest of the league.

Pat Ricard:

@RigginsX33 wants some Pat Ricard talk:

Pat Ricard played one of the most underrated roles in the Ravens playoff victory against the Tennessee Titans. Ricard made them pay by catching passes out of the flat that propelled the Ravens in the third quarter.

Ricard showed that the opposing team has to at least respect him as a play-maker in the flat. Having to account for the fullback in the passing game, especially on play-action makes Ricard even more valued.

Ricard is never going to be the most prolific pass catcher. It’s not like he’s really a third tight end. That being said, the best blocking fullback in the league can catch and do a little something with it. The Ravens have to make this a more common staple of their offense.

Tyler Huntley:

@TruzzTheBank wants to know about Tyler Huntley:

You would have to think that the stock of Tyler Huntley went up in his rookie season. Huntley looked unpolished, but that’s exactly what you would expect him to look like. Huntley was an undrafted free agent, who was originally behind Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley.

Football is a brutal game and sometimes bad news for one player is good news for another. When Griffin III and McSorley both got hurt, Huntley got a shot as the understudy to Jackson. Huntley showed himself to be an electric scrambler. Including the playoffs, we’ve only seen Huntley have 18 passing attempts.

In the playoff game, Huntley was just a bit off on a deep shot to Marquise Brown. The Ravens probably still would have lost that game against the Bills. You still have to wonder how much differently we’d see Huntley if he completed that big pass.

Justin Madubuike:

@TCS37 is hoping to hear about Justin Madubuike:

The thing that strikes me about Madubuike is his potential. A big year two jump for Madubuike could be huge for the Ravens in the way of an interior pass rush. His rookie season was solid, considering he was really just used for fresh legs on the defensive line.

Madubuike had 19 total tackles. 11 of those tackles were solo tackles. That tells me that he does a good job of penetrating through his gap and being free to get the running back. Madubuike is a tough player to handle for the offensive line. We’re talking about a 6-3 player who weighs about 300 pounds.

Madubuike has a quick burst. He only got one sack in his rookie season, though four or five could be coming his way in 2021. That would mean a lot of pressure would be generated by Madubuike next season.

DeShon Elliott:

@JohnniBoi11 wants me to talk about DeShon Elliott

One thing that surprises me about this offseason for the Ravens is that some pundits are listing safety as one of the top needs of the Ravens. One reason for that though, is that the Ravens don’t have a ball-hawking safety on their roster.

Despite being the free safety, the statistics for Elliott are very similar to those of Chuck Clark. The one trait the Ravens could use more of in the secondary is range. They have two safeties who probably fit the strong safety position more than anything.

Personally, I don’t think you need a ball hawk at free safety when you have Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey at cornerback. They are turnover specialists, each in their own way. Peters is Mr. Pick six, while Humphrey is mister forced fumble.

Elliott was the proverbial ballhawk at Texas though, so you wonder if the interceptions are actually in his skill-set at the NFL level. Elliott had six interceptions in his last year at Texas. If Elliott can pick up that part of the position a little bit, he could be the answer at free safety.