5 Players Likely to be Less Productive in 2017
“Time is undefeated”, Suggs quipped when asked about retirement during last week’s minicamp. It has to come at some point, doesn’t it?
By all accounts he’s in excellent shape but he’ll be 35 in October. Expecting him to play at the Hall of Fame level he has throughout his career would be unfair. With that said, I do think he will remain impactful. His decline will have more to do with the talent around him in 2017. The Ravens finally have the talent on the edge where they can really manage his snaps, especially on 3rd down. While you may see a decline in his numbers, he’ll have the opportunity to be fresher later in games and later into the season.
The addition of Jeremy Maclin knocked the outlooks of Wallace and Breshad Perriman down a peg. If Maclin is over his groin injury and more the player we saw in 2015 as opposed to 2016, there is no question he’s the best and most well-rounded receiver on the roster. Before the Maclin acquisition, the Ravens seemed very much invested in Breshad Perriman as a feature player in the passing game…a desire that likely hasn’t changed.
Perriman has tantalizing physical tools and was a first-round pick. Wallace is in the final year of his 2-year deal. Now if Perriman doesn’t prove to be up to it, Wallace’s snaps likely don’t take much of a hit. But if the Perriman’s summer hype is legit, you could see Wallace fall in the pecking order along with his production.
Due to the improving talent level in the front seven, I expect McClellan’s defensive snaps to take a sharp dip downward. McClellan is a sound, versatile player who does a great job as an edge setter, but 58% of the team’s defensive snaps last season is far too high of a workload for a player of his ilk. He’s a great special teams player and provides competent depth, but with the talented youth in the fold his workload should drop precipitously.
The Maclin signing threw more cold water on Campanaro than anybody else. When Dennis Pitta went down, Campanaro was the lone natural slot receiver on the roster. Now Maclin will likely take the lion’s share of those snaps in 3 wide receiver sets. Campanaro missed last week’s minicamp and Chris Moore was endorsed as the 4th receiver by Steve Bisciotti. Campanaro still has time to fight for that 4th spot in training camp, but his more immediate fight will be for the punt return job and a roster spot.
Urschel was a tremendous fit for the pure zone based scheme of the past few years but new run game maestro Greg Roman has implemented a more versatile scheme with an emphasis on playing more physical and downhill. Ryan Jensen has the size and play-style advantage on Urschel to fit that approach at the center position. Ozzie Newsome was vocal before the draft about his desire to have a bigger, stronger player at center. If Alex Lewis ends up having to move to right tackle, there could be an opening at left guard. However, fourth-round pick Nico Siragusa is the prototypical mauler and better fits the new approach. Urschel may be ticketed for another depth role in 2017.