Notable Players Who Are (and Who Aren't) on PUP List
You never want to see players land on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, especially when those players are the caliber of All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and tight end Nick Boyle (knee).
Stanley and Boyle being placed on the PUP list wasn't unexpected, though, as Harbaugh said last month that they "might" be ready for training camp, which starts Wednesday, but the team "might want to wait a couple of days and get them moving around and doing football things to make sure. If anything, we're probably going to err on the side of caution with those guys in the first couple of days, even if they are ready, but we'll know more at the time."
Players on the PUP list, which also reportedly includes inside linebacker Otaro Alaka (knee) and cornerback Iman Marshall (knee), can come off the list when they're ready to practice.
It's worth noting that Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard (hip) and cornerback Tavon Young (knee) were not on the PUP list. Ricard sat out Organized Team Activities and minicamp.
Pro Football Focus Analyst Puts Marlon Humphrey in Jalen Ramsey's Class
In Late for Work earlier this week, we noted that Los Angeles Rams All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey omitted Marlon Humphrey from his list of the top 5 cornerbacks in the league today.
However, Pro Football Focus' Eric Eager said that "Marlon Humphrey is in the Ramsey class." Ramsey, a two-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler, is widely regarded as the standard-bearer at cornerback.
"I think Marlon Humphrey is the second-most important player on the fourth-best team in the NFL," Eager said. "I think when you look at the Ravens, 65 percent of their cap was spent on defense last year. Once Lamar [Jackson] gets the bag, you can't spend as much on the defense, and Marlon Humphrey is going to be as important to that Ravens defense as someone like Tyrann Mathieu is to the Chiefs defense. I think that there are a couple of these multifaceted defensive backs for whom you took them off their defense and [their defense] drops 10 spots."
Humphrey, an All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowler whose 86.8 PFF grade is single coverage since 2018 leads all cornerbacks, has spent the majority of his snaps lined up in the slot over the past two seasons filling the void left by Young. If Young is healthy this season, it would allow Humphrey to play more on the outside.
"Humphrey is the only cornerback in the NFL with coverage grades of at least 80.0 from both the slot and outside since 2017," PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote. "He brings a rare and valuable skill set to Baltimore's secondary."
Thanks in large part to Humphrey, the Ravens are No. 2 in PFF's secondaries rankings. Humphrey, ranked as the No. 3 outside cornerback, and Marcus Peters (No. 10) are the No. 1 cornerback duo in the NFL.
"Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters were the only teammates to find themselves inside the top 10 of PFF's outside cornerback rankings entering the 2021 season," Linsey wrote. "Baltimore's secondary also received solid play from [safeties] Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott in 2020."
New Michigan Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald Likely Would've Succeeded Wink Martindale
Mike Macdonald was likely going to succeed Wink Martindale as the Ravens' defensive coordinator whenever the 58-year-old Martindale decided to move on, according to Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. But thanks to John Harbaugh, Macdonald is now Michigan's defensive coordinator.
John Harbaugh strongly recommended Macdonald to his brother, who hired Macdonald in January.
"I hadn't been around Mike a lot except the times I had been to Baltimore, visited there and talked some football," Jim Harbaugh said via Pro Football Talk. "My brother John was like, 'Yeah, this is the guy I would hire. Probably would be our next defensive coordinator here in Baltimore after Wink.'
"This came from John. I even asked him, 'John, it's pretty awesome you would recommend somebody you think so highly of that's on your staff.' He said, 'Well, I really love Michigan football and I really love you, so I want to see you both be successful.'"
Macdonald, 34, served as the Ravens' linebackers coach for the past three seasons. Before that, he was the team's defensive backs coach (2017), and a defensive assistant (2015-2016). He got his coaching start with the Ravens as an intern in 2014.
Last season, Macdonald coached up a pair of rookies in Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison, and former backups L.J. Fort and Chris Board also had strong seasons.
Which Rival AFC North Player Would Be Best Fit for Ravens?
The Athletic's NFL writers were asked to pick one rival player to add to the roster of the team they cover. With the Ravens lacking a proven veteran pass rusher, Jeff Zrebiec's choice wasn't surprising.
"You couldn't go wrong with Myles Garrett or T.J. Watt, but I'll say Garrett for this exercise," Zrebiec wrote. "The Ravens have one of the league's best cornerback groups. They have a productive defensive interior well stocked with veterans. What they lack, unless first-round pick Odafe Oweh is that guy from Day 1, is a dynamic edge rusher capable of taking over a game.
"It's been several years since they've had that guy. It would be quite entertaining to see what defensive coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale could do with a guy like Garrett applying consistent pressure off the edge."
Steelers writer Mark Kaboly's choice was Stanley.
"A fully healthy and ready-to-go Baltimore left tackle Ronnie Stanley would make a substantial difference on a team that is hell-bent on turning its offensive line and running game into the most physical group in the league," Kaboly wrote.
There's no question that Garrett would look good in a Ravens uniform. Stanley in a Steelers uniform? Not so much.