Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less


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

You could have won good money in 2016 by wagering that the Ravens' fifth-round draft pick that year would be their highest-paid player in 2020. Talk about long odds. But after engineering that climb, Matthew Judon has every right to be "proud," as he said in a media Zoom event.

No one wants this, but who would replace Ronnie Stanley or Orlando Brown Jr. if either tackle missed a game due to injury? I'm sure the Ravens' decision-makers are asking that question with James Hurst gone. The top candidates are rookie Tyre Phillips and veterans D.J. Fluker and Andre Smith.

Phillips, by the way, is labeled a guard on the Ravens' roster right now even though he played tackle at Mississippi State. It's a clear indication the team expects him to compete for a starting job in the offensive line's interior. His ability to play tackle is a bonus.

Although it's too early to know for sure, there's a real chance the salary cap could shrink quite a bit in 2021 if there are revenue declines related to the coronavirus pandemic. The cap usually goes up (and up and up) so consistently that it's hard to imagine it dropping.

Maybe I'm overstating it, but the mere possibility of a shrinking cap could impact every decision the Ravens and other teams make, as well as what players ask for and decide to sign for. It's

surely an interesting factor in whatever negotiations are ongoing between the Ravens and various players.

I was glad to hear Gus Edwards admit in a media Zoom event that he was "surprised" the Ravens drafted J.K. Dobbins, because the rest of us were surprised. But it's clear now their not-so-surprising goal was to assure the long-term presence of a starting-caliber back for their rushing-centric offense.

Regarding the short-term outlook at running back, it remains to be seen whether there are enough carries to satisfy all heads in the proposed "four-headed monster." But it's hard to see how the punishing Edwards won't have a major role after rushing for 711 yards as a backup in 2019.

I find it curious that a handful of teams called a halt to their virtual offseason programs several weeks before the league-mandated deadline later this month. Leads me to believe they weren't getting a lot out of it, which seems like a missed opportunity. The Ravens are still going.

You don't need confirmation that Ravens Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale likes to bring the heat, but here's proof from Pro Football Reference: Three Ravens were among the top eight in the NFL last season in sheer number of times they blitzed. Judon was second, Jaylon Ferguson seventh, Chuck Clark eighth.

By re-signing veteran Justin Ellis and drafting Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington, the Ravens wound up with a surplus of defensive line depth behind starters Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe and Brandon Williams. Second-year player Daylon Mack gives them four candidates for, what, three spots at the most?

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