Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

Pernell McPhee, Jacob Breeland and Gus Edwards

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

Does the J.K. Dobbins pick have you wondering how there's room for four running backs in an offense? Check out the 2018 Patriots. Four players had at least 42 carries. Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead and Cordarelle Patterson combined to average 136.2 rushing yards per game.

It's way early, but I can envision quite a battle between impressive undrafted rookies Jacob Breeland (Oregon) and Eli Wolf (Georgia) for the No. 3 tight end spot, with incumbent Charles Scarff also in the mix. One will get the job and the others could land on the practice squad.

Smart money is on Pernell McPhee staying healthy in 2020. With all the new blood on defense, he should be more of a rotational piece. He'll also probably line up more on the edge now that Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe are inside. All of that helps.

Pass interference replay review isn't returning in 2020 and I say good riddance. It didn't work when it could/should have in most cases, and succeeded mostly in slowing down games. I'm all for getting calls right, but there are already too many delays in games.

Five prime-time games in 2020 ties the Ravens' all-time high for a season and places them squarely in the first rank of high-profile teams. The seven other teams playing five games under the lights in 2020 are the Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, 49ers and Bucs.

Why is the Ravens' 2020 strength of schedule the easiest? One reason: They're playing the NFC East. The Eagles, Cowboys, Giants and Redskins went a combined 12-28 against non-divisional opponents in 2019. That's the worst record for any division since the league adopted its current format in 2002.

Encouraging comment from GM Eric DeCosta on his conference call with PSL holders earlier this week. Asked generally about the state of the roster and the team's prospects for 2020, he said, "We feel very good about where we are."

Interesting breakdown of the Ravens' 2020 draft class: four guys from schools in Texas (Justin Madubuike, Devin Duvernay, Broderick Washington, James Proche); four guys from Big 10 schools (Dobbins, Malik Harrison, Ben Bredeson, Geno Stone); two guys from the Southeastern Conference (Patrick Queen, Tyre Phillips).

Veteran inside linebacker Jake Ryan was looking at a wide-open depth chart when he agreed to terms with the Ravens before the draft. The additions of Queen and Harrison have changed his prospects, but if healthy, he could still have a role in 2020 as a depth piece and special-teamer.

Historical note: Don Shula retired in 1995, the year before Art Modell moved his franchise to Baltimore, so the Ravens never faced the NFL's all-time winningest coach, who died Monday. (Footnote: the Ravens are 1-0 against Shula's son, Mike, having faced him as the Panthers' offensive coordinator in 2014).

Speaking of Shula, I'm guessing some fans were surprised to learn he had a decent career as a player, mostly in Baltimore, before turning to coaching. A defensive back, he made 43 of his 60 career starts for the Colts and registered 14 of his 21 career interceptions (not bad).

Related Content