Baltimore Ravens defensive back Chykie Brown (23) lays in the confetti after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Marcio Sanchez)
The most intriguing player of all is Chykie Brown. At the start of the 2013 Ravens season, defensive coordinator Dean Pees called Brown the:
“Most improved Baltimore Ravens player”
When i spoke to a Ravens fan, he said he was not surprised to hear that from Pees. Since 2011, Brown has received very little time on the playing field but every chance he got he showed flashes of great ability. With that said, i still expect Ozzie Newsome to draft another cornerback to compete for the spot with Brown.
Ideally, Chykie Brown would be the starter, but an assurance that he will play in the slot is by no means set in stone. If Brown does get the nod to start, the Ravens will most likely utilize Laradrius Webb and the versatility he brings to play in the slot. (Webb is great at rushing and shutting down slot receivers will not be a problem for him). If this is the move the Ravens make on defense, the spot for Chykie will be opposite of Jimmy Smith and as a physical player, Brown is the best by far to compliment him.
With Vonta Leach gone, Juszczyk is expected to step into the role of starting full back for 2014. Before the start of the 2013 season, the Baltimore Ravens cut Leach with the expectation that Juszczyk will be the starter. Training camp however was a different story as it became readily apparent that he wasn’t ready to be the lead blocker for them. Now a year has passed and i expect Juszczyk to have greatly improved as a lead blocker. Through out the 2013 season he made some key block on special teams.
Kyle Juszczyk couldn’t be in a more perfect position as Gary Kubiak’s system is a perfect fit for him. Juszczyk’s versatility coupled with his athleticism should make him the next Garrett Graham. I can see him act as a tight end that can move anywhere on the field where opposing defenses will be too busy with the likes of Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, and Dennis Pitta leaving Kyle Juszczyk overlooked.
Arthur Brown, Linebacker
A second rounder from the 2013 NFL Draft, Arthur Brown came to Baltimore packed with high expectations. Its what happens when you are a linebacker drafted to play with a team that had Ray Lewis on the roster. Silly as some of the comparisons might be, there really is no way to avoid them.
Due to the emergence of veteran LB Daryl Smith, Brown was limited to special teams, on 3rd down coverage and rushing the passer in 2013. Daryl Smith came into the fold before the 2013 season and took a foothold in the position as the starter and a leader. Arthur Brown then found himself as the third option behind Josh Bynes on the depth chart. My issue with Bynes is that he is a specialist at run defending but looks to be a liability on coverage.
I fully expect Arthur Brown to win the role of starting linebacker next to Daryl Smith in 2014. If Brown can manage to get it all together through out training camp, he will be a great coverage linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens.
Brandon Williams – DeAngelo Tyson – Kapron Lewis-Moore
The replacement for the void left by Art Jones when he moved to Indianapolis will come from one of these three players. Defense is what the Ravens are known for so i fully expect Ozzie Newsome to bring in some competition via the draft as well as through more free agency moves before the start of the season.
The current favorite so far seems to be Brandon Williams, but in my opinion, DeAngelo Tyson would be the starter if the season began now. A former 7th rounder out of Georgia, Tyson has flourished against all obstacles. What puts him ahead of the rest is his what he can offer as a pass rusher.
Not to leave Lewis-Moore twirling in the wind, he is the an interesting young player. An ACL injury he suffered during the 2013 BCS National Championship game and that dropped him from a presumed second rounder to the sixth. He will be more of a rotational player but he is not the type of player to count out of the running.