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Baltimore Ravens could turn to Dante Fowler to boost Super Bowl chances

Home » NFL » Baltimore Ravens could turn to Dante Fowler to boost Super Bowl chances

The Baltimore Ravens were the sensation of the NFL for most of the 2019 campaign. Lamar Jackson’s historic year, running game and offensive versatility helped them make the push to the top seed in the AFC. The season ended, however, in a disappointing fashion at home when the Titans knocked the Ravens out in the Divisional Round.

The Super Bowl window for the Ravens is still wide open and another playoff run is definitely in the plan for John Harbaugh’s team. Despite the balance that the Ravens put on display last year, there’s still room for improvement.

The first step towards resurrecting their position as the frontrunner of the AFC is improving a pass-rush which wasn’t nearly the best component of the Ravens’ game. Baltimore finished the regular season 21st with 37 sacks and registered only 1 against Tennessee in the postseason loss. With how solid the defence was as a unit in 2019, “disappointment” isn’t the exact word to describe the front seven in their effort of putting pressure on passers – but winners constantly improve, and that resembles the perfect opportunity for Baltimore to do just that in free agency (whenever it starts).

The Ravens have, for some time now, been said to be considering a very talented pass-rush FA class as their top priority this spring. Jadeveon Clowney and Yannick Ngakoue might be tougher fish but there’s still a lot more free agency has to offer. Somewhere in there lies the answer for the team and it could be a player who not only had a career turnaround in 2019 but was amongst the NFL’s best QB rushers – ex-Rams linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler Jr.

After breaking out in 2017, Fowler was highly thought of in 2018 when he recorded just 4 sacks, two each for Jacksonville and Los Angeles Rams. He stayed in LA on a big one-year, $12-million deal that more than paid off when he exploded with 11.5 sacks. Fowler joined former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and Clay Matthews in a defensive line that paid avid dividends when consistently delivering which now makes the Florida product a valuable asset for competing teams.


Harbaugh and Baltimore use the 3-4 pass-rush more often than the 4-3, which gives the Ravens a chance to experiment and use Fowler in a variety of positions: except as a regular defensive end, he could be very effective as the primary outside linebacker. However, even since his tenure with the Jaguars, he’s been trending more towards being a pure DE so that might be the type of player teams already view him as.

If the same goes for the Ravens, the team would gladly take Fowler over another uncertain season with Chris Wormley, who has recorded just 2.5 sacks in his three years in Baltimore. After seasons of failure to live up to the expectations for the 2017 third-round pick, his time as a starter in the Ravens D-Line could be coming to a close.

In the 3-4 defensive formation, Wormley and Brandon Williams were the team’s primary defensive ends and they combined for 3.5 sacks. Furthermore, nobody but LB Matt Judon, who had 9, sacked opposing QBs more than 5 times. In the eyes of many, this is a defensive pass-rush group that lacks a true playmaker in its front line. While the secondary has taken the team to the promised land, thanks to Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey in the first place, when QB pressure becomes a liability, the Ravens are very beatable – something the Titans proved in January.

The Ravens have enough cap space to chase the signing of the 25-year-old Fowler. Almost $38 million in space ranks them just 21st in the NFL but with virtually no vital players leaving for free agency, that’ll turn out to be more than enough. Their situation is so comfortable now that they are likely to try their chances with Clowney and Ngakoue first when free agency opens. However, with Clowney likely to choose to remain a Seahawk if Seattle offers him a big payday and with Ngakoue tied to a trade, Fowler’s talent could become a top priority for the Ravens in their push to challenge reigning champions Kansas City in the AFC.

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