Ravens Week 1 Stock Report: Justin Madubuike shines, running backs disappoint

Ravens, Justin Madubuike (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ravens, Justin Madubuike (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Ravens, Isaiah Likely
Ravens, Isaiah Likely (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

Isaiah Likely, TE, Ravens (Trending Down)

Unfortunately, the laws of gravity say what comes up, must come down. Many players are extremely talented and have had a number of special performances, and sometimes they have a bad day. Unfortunately for the rookie fourth-round pick from Coastal Carolina, his impressive play from the preseason did not carry over.

In a game where the Ravens did not feature many receiver-heavy formations and utilized tight ends and fullbacks frequently, Isaiah Likely had an opportunity to continue displaying his potential.

Unlike his eight-catch, 100-yard, one-half performance in the preseason, Likely showed that he is human and had a rough game. He was featured a lot in the first half and had an early holding penalty as a run blocker. Although he had a few in the preseason, this is an area he still needs to improve upon so that the team can play him on run downs.

In addition to struggling with run blocking, his hands let him down. He was targeted four times, but came away with no catches. Lamar Jackson looked his way on an early third down and his drop stalled out the drive.

In addition, as the game progressed, the Ravens incorporated Josh Oliver into the offense instead of Likely. Oliver is a steady run blocker, although not great, and while Nick Boyle is sidelined, Oliver may steal some snaps from Likely in the interim.

It may not be that his stock is down necessarily, it may just be a regression to the mean, but look for Likely to take his lumps in the early going and find his niche as a pass catcher moving forward.