The Baltimore Ravens were struck big time by the injury bug ahead of the 2021 regular season starting. That includes losing running backs Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill as well as star cornerback Marcus Peters for the year to injury.
For a team with legit Super Bowl expectations, this is an obvious blow. Sure Baltimore remained proactive in replacing those running backs. But we’re talking short-term options. General manager Eric DeCosta has to make a move or two between now and the Nov. 2 NFL trade deadline. Below, we look at three options.
Baltimore Ravens trade for C.J. Henderson
- Ravens get: C.J. Henderson
- Jaguars get: Second-round pick in 2022, Anthony Averett
Rumors out of Jacksonville persist that Henderson, a first-round pick in 2020, could potentially be moved. The team’s new brass is not excited about his lack of progression from Year 1 to his sophomore campaign. It is also seemingly higher on other corners such as Tre Herndon, Shaquill Griffin and rookie second-round pick Tyson Campbell.
If Jacksonville can net a second-round pick next spring and another young corner in Averett, it might want to consider this. As for the Ravens, they’d be taking a chance that the still-young 22-year-old Henderson can turn things around in Baltimore. There’s certainly a need at corner following the devastating Marcus Peters injury news. Moving off a second-round pick and a depth player for a potential long-term fit makes sense.
Baltimore Ravens trade for Tony Pollard
- Ravens get: Tony Pollard
- Cowboys get: Third-round pick in 2022, conditional third-round pick in 2023
It’s not exactly known what the market could be for Pollard if Dallas ends up putting him on the block ahead of November’s NFL trade deadline. What we do know is that the Cowboys have a ton of cash tied to starting running back Ezekiel Elliott and could stand to acquire more draft capital moving forward.
This would pretty much be the most-ideal fit for Baltimore. Pollard, 24, has been a sensation in Big D since the Cowboys made him a fourth-round pick in 2019. The Memphis product has gained 1,190 total yards at a clip of 5.2 yards per touch through two seasons. He’d be a perfect fit in Greg Roman’s system and would work well with the aforementioned Dobbins beyond the 2021 season.
Baltimore Ravens trade for Michael Thomas
- Ravens get: Michael Thomas
- Saints get: Marquise Brown, 2022 second-round pick, conditional 2023 second-round pick
After a strong rookie season with Baltimore back in 2019, Marquise Brown was plagued by drops as a sophomore. In fact, he let 6% of his targets hit the ground. That’s been a growing issues for Lamar Jackson and his pass-catchers in recent years. It led to Baltimore exhausting a first-round pick on Rashod Bateman, only to see him go down to injury. Needless to say, the Ravens need more consistent options for Jackson if they want to be seen as legitimate title contenders.
Why not broach the idea of adding a dude in Thomas who has caught an absurd 78% of his targets through five NFL seasons? The cost here would be at least two early-round picks and the aforementioned Brown. And in reality, New Orleans might look to move its star pass-catcher ahead of the Nov. 2 deadline.