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What Angelo Blackson Brings to Baltimore Ravens

What Angelo Blackson Brings to Baltimore Ravens: What can be expected from Blackson after the Ravens signed the 30-year-old off waivers?
Angelo Blackson Ravens

Angelo Blackson was recently signed off waivers by the Baltimore Ravens. The interior defensive lineman spent 2022 with the Chicago Bears, where he was based since 2021 as a rotational defensive lineman.

The signing reunites Blackson with Anthony Weaver, Baltimore’s run-game coordinator and defensive line coach. Weaver formerly coached Blackson when the pair were on the Houston Texans.

Blackson was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Since then, he has bounced around the league, having been a part of the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears and now, also, the Baltimore Ravens.

Over his eight-year career so far, Blackson’s career-high sack tally in a season is 2.5. He managed that total three times, showing promise as a rookie, during his lone season with the Cardinals and in 2021 with the Bears.

Despite that, the 30-year-old joins Baltimore coming off one of his worst seasons. In 2022, Blackson starred in 15 games, starting just four of them. That is the fewest number of starts he has had since 2018. He also managed just 22 tackles, one tackle-for-loss and no sacks. It was his least productive year since at least 2019 and his atrocious 35.2 PFF grade for the season says it all.

While Blackson is coming off a down year, he has a chance to re-establish his status as a productive rotational defensive lineman in Baltimore.

Blackson will join the Ravens at OTAs this week.

Angelo Blackson’s Projected Usage on Ravens

The Ravens Defensive Line Personnel

Baltimore were in need of depth on the interior of the defensive line. The group is currently led by Michael Pierce and Justin Madubuike. Pierce, who missed most of 2022, is expected to play an important role as the team’s nose tackle. He was impactful at the start of 2022 until he was sidelined.

Madubuike quietly had a breakout season last year. He will take on more responsibilities after Baltimore lost Calais Campbell.

Behind Pierce and Madubuike, the team have Broderick Washington, Brent Urban and Travis Jones. All were forced into playing meaningful snaps last year.

While the group is decently talented, Baltimore needed an extra veteran presence. Blackson brings that, having played eight seasons in the league.

Fitting Angelo Blackson In

Aside from being a body, however, Blackson could prove to be a good, cheap acquisition. In Arizona, Blackson showed pass rush upside. His bull rush was particularly effective, allowing him to get 2.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits from nose tackle. If Blackson can rediscover this form, he would be a sneaky good rotational piece. If he does not, he offers extra competition and decent depth at worst.

In Baltimore, Pierce and Jones are expected to be the nose tackles. Thus, it is unlikely that Blackson will be deployed there.

The likeliest scenario is that Blackson will be used as a 3-4 interior defensive lineman. Given that Blackson has shown upside as a pass rusher before, this could suit him well. He has also played in this position for multiple years. He slots in as the team’s fourth defensive end, currently behind Madubuike, Washington and Urban.

In true John Harbaugh style, Blackson is also an effective special teamer. For this reason, it is likely that he will find a space on the 53-man roster.

Main Photo: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY SportsMike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports


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