2012/2013 was a crazy year. People all over the globe were legitimately concerned that the world might screech to a fiery halt because of ancient Mayan predictions. “YOLO” was a huge buzzword and drunken college boys (and grown men on a Guy’s Weekend away) couldn’t stop shouting it at the casino or club while drinking Vodka Redbulls. Whitney Houston died. Gangnam Style was a hit song and dance move. The Twilight and Hunger Game Movies were huge blockbuster movies. It was basically another world.
Coming out of the 2012 regular season, 5 years ago in 2013, the Ravens were Super Bowl champs, Joe Flacco was your Super Bowl MVP, and Jim Harbaugh reigned in pure genetic supremacy over his little brother Jim.
As of today, all that other garbage has basically been forgotten (outside of some ill-advised and constantly mocked YOLO tattoos) and the Ravens haven't made a playoff appearance in three years, the Ravens moved up in the first round to draft the Joe Flacco replacement, and Jim Harbaugh was lucky to get another season. The best thing you could say here is that plenty of new faces have made this the most anticipated season for Ravens fans in years
Joe Flacco has become little more than a check down Charlie. Last season he battled through a back injury and having to play without NFL caliber pass catchers. He has seen a steady decline in his statistical production. The Ravens traded up in the first round to take Heisman winner Lamar Jackson in the first round. The controversy is real if the Ravens get off to a slow start. The Ravens are hoping that their new WRs along with Joe's strong finish last season, and improved health, help the team break their playoff drought.
Alex Collins finished just short of 1000 yards and got most of it in the final 8 games. With all the Wide Receiver options around him now he should be treated like his name is Saquon Barkley and not Alex Collins. Collins has at least done it at the NFL level before and shouldn't face much competition from names like Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon
The Ravens have been near the bottom of the league in passing yards for years. They are hoping to improve on this by straight up starting over. The prize acquisition from the off season was Michael Crabtree. They didn't stop there. They also brought in former 1000 yard receiver John Brown from Arizona and slot WR Willie Snead from the Saints. This is a definite improvement over what they had.
The ravens had nothing at Tight End. They addressed this by drafting two, yes two, TE’s in this year’s draft. They took Hayden Hurst in the first round and came back Mark Andrews in the 3rd. They're hoping for something similar to what the patriots got with Gronk and Hernandez in years past, but they also have swung hard and struck out in the early rounds at TE before.
This offense should be much improved. Joe Flacco is well deserving of all the new passing options considering what he's had to deal with over the past couple of years. I'll take my chances with Jim Harbaugh and Joe Flacco playing and coaching for their careers
BOLD PREDICTIONS FROM THE BOLD NORTH
Flacco is a weekly start-able streamer
Crabtree a value in the 7th round
Collins should be drafted in the 3rd round, don’t wait until the 4th