It seems like I’ve been talking about the Baltimore Ravens an awful lot lately, and you’d not be wrong. This offseason has seen a ton of turnover on the Ravens roster, and to add a layer of complexity, they have signed ex-Eagles and Chiefs wide out Jeremy Maclin to a two year deal.
The signing comes a week after they cut receiving TE Dennis Pitta and Maclin figures to feature prominently in the passing attack.
If you’re wondering how much of an impact Maclin will make, it’s important to start by looking at vacated targets, something this team has a lot of.
Dennis Pitta: 121 Targets, Steve Smith: 101 Targets, Kamar Aiken: 50 Targets, Kyle Juszczyk, 49 Targets. That’s a total of 321 targets to players who no longer play for the Ravens.
While Joe Flacco is unlikely to repeat his 672 attempts, even around his career average of 526 attempts, that leaves significant room for Maclin to fill in (even with pass catching guru Danny Woodhead on the roster).
A conservative prediction would be in the 120 target range. Extrapolating Maclin’s career averages (which are fairly consistent) you’re looking at 75 catches for 950 yards and 5 TDs.
Expect his draft position to rise slightly, but as of right now (an ADP of the 12-14th round) he can be expected to far outproduce other assets selected in the same area of drafts. VERY worthy of a WR3 tag with upside to approach WR2 territory.
C.J. Anderson | Den | RB – While it is still to early to predict an ADP with any real accuracy, C.J. Anderson has been a popular pick in the first two rounds. A second year player who’s performance was relegated to less than half an NFL season is a precarious first or second round pick, especially when a back the team invested heavily on is returning from injury (Montee Ball). Although I’d be surprised if Anderson doesn’t break camp as the starting RB, he’ll be hard pressed to repeat the same kind of dominance over a full 16 games.
Mark Ingram | NO | RB – It was nice to see Ingram finally produce near the level we’d expected when NO drafted him a few years ago. A common flier pick, Ingram returned the investment in spades, but will be hard pressed to repeat those numbers given his NFL track record and injury history. Ingram is being selected in the top 20 for RB’s and my prediction is he’ll fall well short of that expectation.
Alshon Jeffery | Chi | WR – An elite talent, Jefferey has rare go and get it skills and the size to dominate most NFL corners. Sadly, his partner in crime Brandon Marshall is now a Jet and Jeffery will likely be the one drawing double teams. I’m not sure that Jeffery is a complete enough player to carry that burden and with a rookie WR on the other side, I expect him to have a down year as defenses key on him more than ever.
Jeremy Maclin | KC | WR – What else can I say other than Maclin is wearing a Chief’s jersey… a nightmare scenario for a great WR, Maclin will certainly not repeat the great numbers he put up coming off of an injury two years ago. Although he’ll likely perform better than Dwayne Bowe did as the WR1 in this offense, I’m wary of the drop of in production having no QB or help will cause.
Michael Floyd | Ari | WR – Judging from how far Larry Fitzgerald has tumbled in rankings, it’s clear that many thing Floyd is going to take the next step. Floyd is a fine WR an great athlete, but John Brown is the WR in Arizona who should slot in for Fitzgerald. Inconsistency will continue to plague Floyd, and he will fail to live up to his ADP.
Rob Gronkowski | NE | TE – Despite the fact that he’s the number one target in a high powered NE offense, Gronkowski has two strikes against him going into 2015. He’s a safe bet to miss time due to injury as previous seasons have shown, and he’ll be missing his QB for a few games to start the season. Brady and Gronk took some time to get going this past year, meaning if we get some kind of repeat, we’re looking at week 6 or 7 for full Gronk power. As the top TE taken likely in the 2nd or 3rd rounds, there won’t be enough of a return early.