Ravens: 3 players whose roles will decrease in 2021

Ravens, Miles Boykin Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Miles Boykin Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jaylon Ferguson, Ravens
Jaylon Ferguson, Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

2. Jaylon Ferguson, OLB, Ravens

Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has gotten a lot better this summer. His teammates, coaches, and anybody’s who’s been watching his game can tell — that alone doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed playing time in 2021, though.

Once touted as a potential breakout star for Baltimore’s pass-rushing unit, Ferguson simply hasn’t done enough to earn a starting role.

When Justin Houston was signed this offseason, there was even talk that Ferguson could be on the roster bubble. The outside linebacker group consists of players who are either more reliable, more skilled, or have more potential than him.

Pernell McPhee has eight years of pro experience on Ferguson, Tyus Bowser is a versatile chess piece in Wink Martindale’s defense, and rookies Odafe Oweh and Daelin Hayes have cathedral-high ceilings compared to Ferguson’s current cave dwelling.

No one will say Ferguson didn’t have potential. In fact, most would say he had the most potential of all the outside linebackers who have joined the Ravens in recent history.

The lingering concern throughout his two middling seasons in Baltimore has been whether or not Ferguson would live up to it, and as it stands, he could be more of a bench body than a starter in 2021.

And all’s fair in the NFL offseason and preseason. Ferguson had so many chances to solidify his roster spot, but he couldn’t take advantage of any of them.

Ferguson’s spot on the depth chart has been in gradual decline since his underwhelming 2020 performance, so expect his playing time this season to decrease as well.