Too low? Ravens are sixth in preseason tight ends rankings
Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle are two of the NFL's most versatile tight ends.
Both players are sure-handed targets for quarterback Lamar Jackson and they are effective blocking for the Ravens' vaunted running attack.
Baltimore's overall group of tight ends enter the 2020 season ranked sixth among all NFL teams, finishing behind the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadephia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Rams, according to Pro Football Focus.
An argument can be made the Ravens could have been rated much higher. Baltimore did trade former first-round pick, Hayden Hurst, to the Falcons this offseason and that might have hampered the team's overall depth.
"Only Philadelphia’s tight ends caught more passes than Baltimore’s group, as the Ravens featured the position heavily and got 30-plus catches from three different players," PFF's Steve Palazzolo wrote.
Last season, Andrews earned a trip to the Pro Bowl after setting team-highs in receptions (64), receiving yards (852), and receiving touchdowns (10).
Andrews and Kansas City's Travis Kelce were the only two tight ends to amass more than 200 receiving yards on receptions of 20 or more yards downfield.
Andrews also finished fifth among all tight ends with the 852 yards receiving, and he was the only player at that position with 10 touchdowns. Those 10 scores were also the most by a Ravens’ tight end in a single season.
Andrews also earned him the designation as one of the best performing tight ends in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Ravens are confident Andrews is poised for another huge season in 2020.
"Mark ... I mean, he’s going to the Pro Bowl, and yet, he can get much better," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s going into his third year."
Boyle, a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, signed a three-year contract extension worth $18 million, with $10 million in guarantees in March 2019.
He proceeded to have another solid season, finishing with career highs in receiving yards (321), catches (31) and receiving touchdowns (2). Boyle is one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL and he fits perfectly into the Ravens offense.
While Hurst is no longer with the team, the Ravens could look to a pair of undrafted rookie players — Jacob Breeland and Eli Wolf — to fill the void. It wouldn't be surprising if one or even both of those players made the Ravens final roster or practice squad. Baltimore has kept an undrafted rookie on its final roster for 16 consecutive seasons and this year will likely be no exception.
Breeland finished fourth among all-time Oregon tight ends with 1,225 receiving yards. He was just the eighth Oregon tight end to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards. Breeland had 74 receptions for 1,225 yards and 13 touchdowns over his career.
Wolf played in all 14 games, starting in the final two for Georgia. He finished the season with 13 receptions for 194 receiving yards and one touchdown and was awarded co-winner of the Offensive Newcomer of the Year.