5 Raven Standouts of 2017

Updated: July 11, 2017
5 Raven Standouts
5 Raven Standouts

5 Raven Standouts

5 Raven Standouts of 2017

This dead zone is the most annoying part of every year. In my life, this is the time where even golf starts to look appealing. Heck the NBA Summer Leagues and even the WNBA come across my television. I am very thankful for Madden and my franchise league, or I would be in trouble. I wish I could inhibit the traits of a bear and go into hibernation until football season at this point. With that not possible, I’ll do by best to give you something; you Baltimore Ravens fans deserve that. So today I give you five breakout Ravens to watch in the 2017 season.

5. Kameleon to take over?

With the departure of Zach Orr and the transition from OLB to MLB, things are looking up for Kamelei Correa. According to ESPN the former BYU star had only 48 snaps in 2016 but is expected to start next to C.J. Mosley. There is competition for the spot with long time veteran Albert McClellan and second-year player, Patrick Onwuasor who got the start in week 17 of the 2016 season against the Cincinnati Bengals. I believe the Ravens have an idea of what Correa is capable of and gave the start to Onwuasor simply because they wanted to see what he could when presented the opportunity.

I’m sure all is forgiven from the last offseason when Correa had a “hand” in breaking Dennis Pitta’s finger during a practice scuffle involving the defense of Joe Flacco. John Harbaugh is on board with Correa as a replacement for Orr as he said he is “very confident” (Rotoworld) that KC will win the job. I’m not saying this is a win by default, but when the only competition is underdeveloped rookies and a second year player with 21 total tackles in 11 games, the answer is clear. The “Kameleon” (Boise State nickname) will win the job.

4. Cowboys and Browns dropped gold…

This next player has arguably the biggest uphill battle on the team because of the recent addition to the position. I speak of how Vince Mayle is going to be the ringer in the 2017 season, but no one believes me. It looks bleak as media is either tearing this guy apart or ignoring him altogether, due to the “Jeremy Maclin” headlines overshadowing his talent. Minicamps are not a great example of what he can do. This man uses his body to make plays, and when minimum contact is permitted in these drills, he cannot be expected to shine. The former fourth-round pick out of Washington State will turn heads in training camp because of physical prowess. Once the pads come on and we hear that click clack, I’m sure you will hear more about the former Cowboy. People will talk about Keenan Reynolds because he has great speed, but he is just a QB trying to find a role on an NFL roster. Reynolds is not what the team needs. The offense has speed in Mike Wallace, Breshard Perriman, and Chris Moore. There is another player’s name I’m just sick of hearing. “Oh if he can stay healthy…?” FACE IT RavenNation, Michael Campanaro will never be what the Ravens need him to be. We would have signed Julian Edelman in the 2014 offseason if it wasn’t for the hope this guy brought via scouting before the NFL draft. It is time to move on to other talent and clear the roster spot.

3. The Return Missionary Takeover

While we are the topic of players with injury, I’d like to shine some light on the situation of one of the Ravens’ DEs. Bronson Kaufusi is a hard working blue collar type of player with prototypical size who could be a force to reckon with the departure of Timmy Jernigan. Timmy was traded to the Eagles prior to the draft. I believe the move happened because the Ravens knew that with Jernigan having such a productive season with 5-sacks, 1-Int, and 1-forced fumble, a contract beyond the Ravens’ ability would be unavoidable. Brandon Williams’ production commanded a 5-year 54 million dollar deal.

Kaufusi is believed to make it a seamless transition. The BYU product had a setback that ended his season before it began last year. Imagine being 25 already and having an opportunity of a lifetime snatched from you before being allowed to compete. That loss will fuel this young man. People who choose to put their life on hold for a mission know a thing or two about resiliency. Bronson will win the starting job and replicate the lost production.

2. Small School Swag?

This next guy is a small school project that I believe to have a great deal of upside at just the right time. Unfortunately, rising star Tavon Young tore his ACL this offseason and will miss the entire regular season. However, this misfortune is just the opportunity Jaylen Hill needed to have a shot at the 53-man roster. The Jacksonville State Alumni has more swag than most and can back up all of the talk in his gameplay. The 5-11 186lb CB led his team in interceptions as and INT return yards with 6 for 181. When watching the videos of this young man, all I see is football intelligence. He knows exactly where to be on the field to make that play. Additionally, it is what he does after the catch is what awes me. This guy’s elusive rating is on 1000!!! His ability to make people miss is uncanny. The Ravens could use the help at kick return and could save a roster spot by having him in both the Nickel CB spot as well as the KR spot.

1. The Changing of the Guard…OLB

The final standout projection for my post is obvious. It’s more of a changing of the guard. I may offend some of the Ravens’ faithful with this post especially all of those attending Ball So Hard University. Terrell Suggs has given the organization his best years, and now it may be time to close this chapter of his life and move on to the next. I get it, he still had eight sacks last year. However, he is not James Harrison, and his replacement is in the building already. The man I am referring to is Za’Darius Smith. Sure “Z” dropped in production last year after having what many believe was an awakening in 2015 with 5.5 sacks. I believe that while the OLB position currently has monsters like Matt Judon and recently drafted Alabama rookie Tim Williams in the building, “Z” will still ball out. Smith has the best mix of youth and experience on his side. Nextgen stats even has him as one of the 20 fastest players in the league to the QB when getting sacks. He is good at stopping the run and can pin his ears back and get after the passer. Is this really a guy you want sitting on your bench Baltimore?

Jermaine Lockett is a Writer and CEO for Couch Rider Report. Follow us on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

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