The Baltimore Ravens have some promising rookies
The Baltimore Ravens lost a 23-20 heartbreaker on Sunday after blowing their second three-score lead in two weeks at home, this time against the Buffalo Bills. Several rookies saw their playing time diminished this week for the Ravens, but how did those who did play hold up in Week 4?
After seeing his defensive snaps reduced in Week 3, Kyle Hamilton saw a light workload once again this week with only 17 defensive snaps. While he did not make the stat sheet, Hamilton did finish with an overall PFF grade of 66.7 — the fourth-highest on the defense — and was charted with snaps at free safety, in the slot, and at cornerback.
It will be interesting to see if Baltimore begins ramping up Hamilton’s workload again as the season progresses.
Tyler Linderbaum had another strong performance this Sunday against the Bills that three penalties will sadly overshadow. The rookie center was flagged once for holding and twice for false starts after going the first three games of his NFL career without being flagged. Hopefully, this will only be a blip on the radar for the promising young lineman.
Linderbaum continued his streak of strong pass protection as he did not allow a single pressure for the third week in a row, leading to a PFF pass-blocking grade of 79.5 — his highest of the season. Largely due to penalties, Linderbaum finished with an overall PFF grade of 46.9. Pass protection has been a strength for the Ravens so far this season, and Linderbaum is a big part of the equation.
Travis Jones played 16 defensive snaps in just his second regular season game after missing the first two weeks with a knee injury sustained in the preseason. Jones finished the game with just one tackle but the led all defensive players with an overall PFF grade of 73.3. He was not credited with any pressures. With defensive tackle Michael Pierce out for the season with a torn bicep, Jones should see his workload increase going forward.
After being thrust into the lineup after left tackle Patrick Mekari exited the game with an ankle injury in Week 3 against the New England Patriots, Daniel Faalele received his first start this week against Buffalo. The fourth-round rookie right tackle was tasked with protecting quarterback Lamar Jackson’s blindside against future Hall-of-Fame edge rusher Von Miller for much of the contest. Considering that, Faalele had quite an impressive showing as he did not allow a sack after allowing two last week. He did allow three hurries, however, and was flagged once as an ineligible man downfield. Faalele finished with a PFF pass-blocking grade of 60.6 and an overall grade of 56.4.
The Ravens have to be happy with the early returns on their first fourth-round pick. If Faalele continues to play at this level then things could become interesting once left tackle Ronnie Stanley returns to the field. Veteran Morgan Moses has performed well at right tackle, so his job is not currently in jeopardy, but playing time for Faalele is extremely valuable for the future of the offensive line.
The preseason standout Isaiah Likely has had a relatively quiet start to the regular season, and that continued on Sunday. Likely played 26 offensive snaps against the Bills but did not record a catch. The No. 2 tight end could be called upon more in the coming weeks if wide receiver Rashod Bateman is sidelined with the foot injury he suffered against Buffalo.
Likely finished the day with an overall PFF grade of 49.4 — the third lowest of any offensive player.
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