The 2021 NFL Draft has been completed. The Ravens’ Flock is full of questions. I have the answers:
@Laxpup asks: What stat OTHER THAN WR yards will be the best determiner of Ravens pass game “evolution” as G. Roman commented yesterday. My guess is: Passer rating outside the numbers, and % of pass plays vs runs on 3rd downs (and their % of success).
Answer: Lamar Jackson‘s average yards per attempt may be the thing to look out for, though you’re on a great track there. One thing the Baltimore Ravens didn’t do enough in the 2020 season is taking a plethora of shots down the field.
One thing the Ravens did too much last year is that they attacked the middle of the field much more than the outside. That’s something you eluded to in your hunch about the passing game. When the Ravens put those two limits onto their offense they got Lamar Jackson making a lot of quicker throws.
In Jackson’s rookie season, where the Ravens were just asking him to do enough in the passing game to get by, he averaged 7.1 yards per attempt. In his MVP season, Jackson averaged 7.8 yards per attempt. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s a big difference. Do you know what Jackson averaged in the 2020 season in yards per attempt? The answer is 7.3 yards.
Having Sammy Watkins and Rashod Bateman should give the Ravens a player or two that can win one-on-one against a defensive back, opposite of Marquise Brown. That should mean more shots down the field, and more plays outside the numbers.
If the Ravens can get Jackson’s yards per attempt over eight yards, you will see a big change in this offense. It may be the most simple statistic I could have chosen from, though there is no way the average gets up without changing the approach.