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Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less


Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:

The price of quality is evident in the Ravens' league rankings in positional spending for 2020. According to Spotrac, they're No. 1 in salary for special teams (kickers and punters) and No. 2 in defensive backs. Pay up and you get Justin Tucker, Sam Koch and a Pro Bowl-laden pass defense.

Elsewhere, the Ravens rank No. 15 in paying for linebackers, defensive linemen and running backs, No. 16 in tight ends, No. 27 in wide receivers, No. 28 in quarterbacks and No. 31 in offensive linemen. Needless to say, the correlation between salary and quality isn't universal. (See: quarterbacks.)

I was surprised to discover that Pro Football Focus graded D.J. Fluker higher as a right tackle, where he spent his first two NFL seasons, than as a right guard, where he has spent the past five seasons. He'll be a guard here but probably could play anywhere but center.

Undrafted rookie Tyler Huntley had a truly stellar career at Utah, but he'll have a tough time becoming the Ravens' No. 3 quarterback. Although Trace McSorley barely saw the field last year, the Ravens really liked what they saw from him during training camp, the preseason and regular-season practices.

It isn't certain the Ravens will carry three quarterbacks in 2020, but I'm guessing they will. Lamar Jackson takes his share of hits. Robert Griffin III is the ideal backup, experienced and affordable. And McSorley likely would get claimed if the Ravens try to put him on the practice squad.

I'm also guessing the Ravens' best-case scenario would be to keep and develop both McSorley and Huntley. Griffin is in the final year of his contract and has said he wants to start somewhere, so the team could be in the market for a backup to Jackson after this year.

Although it seems the Ravens have been hitting Oklahoma hard for players in recent years, their 90-man roster actually has as many players from rival Texas as it does from Oklahoma – four apiece. Both trail (no surprise) Alabama as the school with the most players (6) on Baltimore's roster.

Interesting that linebacker Otaro Alaka and linemen Daylon Mack and Justin Madubuike lined up together as starters on Texas A&M's defense in 2018. That unit ranked No. 3 nationally against the run and No. 32 in overall defense (up from No. 78 the year before) during a nine-win season.

Some think Joe Flacco might be finished since he can't play until August as he recovers from a neck injury, raising doubts about his ability to contribute, even as a backup. But he'd be an ideal No. 2 if/when healthy, and my hunch is some team will sign him.

Checking out the online chatter about the Atlanta Falcons, it seems there's no doubt Hayden Hurst's playing time is going to soar. He is the No. 1 tight end, no questions asked, as part of a starry skill-position group that includes Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Todd Gurley.

Early prediction on that Baltimore-Atlanta trade is it works out well for both teams. Hurst should produce nicely with the extra playing time he wasn't going to get here, and the Ravens selected J.K. Dobbins, likely their future No. 1 running back, with the draft pick they received for Hurst.

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