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Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

GM Erica DeCosta
GM Erica DeCosta

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

The Ravens are so deep at certain positions that it wouldn't surprise me to see a trade. But don't expect a major return. Teams have gotten smart about playing hardball when a potential trade partner wants to deal a player. I mean, Julio Jones didn't even fetch a first-round pick.  

Cornerback, interior offensive line and wide receiver are the positions where the Ravens are deep enough in talent that they seemingly could afford to subtract certain players and carry on without significant consequence. Defensive line, outside linebacker and offensive tackle are where they might want to add someone. 

At the top of the Ravens' list of Unanswered Important Questions sits this whopper: Will Ronnie Stanley be ready for Game 1? We've heard the favorable reports about his progress, but we've neither seen nor heard from Stanley since November 2020. The state of his ankle is a big deal. 

For what it's worth, I recently went behind enemy lines and appeared on a popular podcast about the Steelers, and even they're conceding that the Browns and Ravens look like the top dogs in the AFC North in 2021. But they aren't giving up on their defending division champs, either. 

If you think running the ball in the pass-happy NFL is a strategy doomed to fail, consider this: Of the 12 teams that gained the most yardage on the ground in 2020, eight made the playoffs – (in order) Ravens, Titans, Browns, Saints, Packers, Rams, Colts and Seahawks. 

The Ravens are facing tough roster calls at inside linebacker, where they usually keep four guys. Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort and Malik Harrison are locks and Chris Board is close. But Kristian Welch has potential and the organization has kept Otaro Alaka around for two years for a reason.

If you haven't yet, please make time to read my colleague Ryan Mink's amazing story about Gus Edwards' childhood in war-ravaged Liberia and his journey to America and, eventually, the Ravens' backfield. If anything, it emphasizes that there's way more to NFL players than what you see on Sundays. 

The last time rookie receiver Rashod Bateman played a full season at full health (at Minnesota in 2019, before COVID-19 shortened his 2020 season), he averaged a staggering 20.3 yards per reception. That under-the-radar stat suggests he might be a larger-than-imagined factor in the Ravens' deep passing game. 

Watching OTA and minicamp practices, it was easy to forget that the Ravens have made a change at long snapper. Nick Moore, the second-year player who has replaced Morgan Cox, did absolutely nothing to attract attention, i.e., botched zero snaps. It's early, but so far, he looks like Cox 2.0.

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