With the season still young, there is still a lot of room for players to breakout throughout the league. Baltimore has started 2-0 and have looked impressive beating the Browns 38-6, and Texans 33-16. We’ve already seen players step up and begin to make the jump, and I believe that those players will continue to play well and have breakout seasons for the Ravens. With the Ravens looking to be a juggernaut again in 2020, lets take a look at the players poised for huge 2020 seasons.
Marquise Brown, WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has already stepped up and begun to emerge as the Ravens WR1 for Lamar Jackson. Hollywood leads the Ravens in receiving yards through week 2 with 143. Coming off a somewhat successful rookie season, going for 584 yards and 7 touchdowns, Hollywood is looking to make a big leap and get into the conversation as one of the leagues best receivers. In 2019, he played all season with screws in his foot which affected his ability to play at top speed and run routes off of that foot. This year, Marquise looks to play at full speed, even after putting on 20 pounds to bulk up to around 180 pounds. Trough the first two weeks, Hollywood looks like he is poised for a big season, and I’ve been advocating for a breakout throughout the entire off season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood emerges as a top 20 receiver and one of the leagues best deep threat after the 2020 season is done.
Tyus Bowser, Edge Since the departure of Terell Suggs and Za’darius Smith, the Ravens have been in search of productive edge rushers. Matthew Judon has emerged as a fan favorite and the Ravens best edge rushers, however he has not been as productive as the numbers would suggest. Judon recorded 10 sacks and over 60 pressures, however 56% of his pressures were cleanups or unblocked, which means he generated about 30 pressures on his own, which is not the production you want out of your best edge rusher. Tyus Bowser, contrary to the many of the Ravens power rushers, offers speed off the edge and also the athleticism to be effective in coverage. With Bowser continuing to inprove his pass rush arsenal, he’s been the Ravens best edge rusher so far in 2020, with Judon struggling, and looks to make his case for a pay day as his contract is up after this season.
Jaylon Ferguson, Edge Another edge rusher looking to take a step up in 2020 is Jaylon Ferguson. Ferguson was selected late in the 3rd round by the Ravens in 2019 out of Louisiana Tech, where he broke the record for the most sacks in FBS history, previously owned by Terell Suggs. While you like the production he showed, scouts criticized his lack of burst, bend and athleticism off the edge, which caused him to slip towards the end of the 3rd round. In his rookie year, Ferguson saw little playing time at the beginning of the year, but saw his workload increase as the season went on as a rotational rusher. In year two, similar to Bowser, is looking to become a productive pass rusher for the Ravens.
Chuck Clark, Safety Chuck Clark received a 3 year extension during the offseason to start at safety for the Ravens alongside Earl Thomas. Ironically enough, an altercation between Thomas and Clark prompted the Ravens to release Thomas, slating Chuck Clark to be the Ravens #1 safety. Clark is very well respected within the Ravens organization for being an extremely smart player in the secondary that communicates very well and puts himself in a good position to make plays for the Ravens defense. Clark receives the playcalls on defense and looks for the first time to have an established starting role going into the season. In a season where continuity matters, Chuck Clark’s football intelligence and ability to make sure the defense knows what they’re doing, Chuck Clark could emerge as a very quality safety in 2020.
Deshon Elliott, Safety With Earl Thomas gone, a hole opened up in the Ravens secondary at free safety. There was some uncertainty around who would start. Possible options included Iman Marshall, Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith, but with Marshall and Young missing the season, Deshon Elliott is the Ravens guy at safety. Though he lacks great athleticism and range, Elliott is a hard hitter who made a lot of plays at Texas in his college years. Even though he’s missed much of his first 2 seasons due to injury, Elliott has managed to stick around and impress coaches enough to stay on the team, and is trusted enough to be slated in as the teams starter at safety.