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Factoid

Isaiah Likely

Ravens, er, 'likely' will be using multiple tight ends

I will be interested to see what the Ravens do with Isaiah Likely. He played well enough late last season that it’s clear they need to be using him more. His days as a lightly-used complementary tight end are over.

Likely played well at the team’s OTAs, and the Ravens are relatively lean at wide receiver. Zay Flowers had a great rookie season, but behind him there’s Rashod Bateman and Nelson Agholor, and not much more. (Odell Beckham signed with Miami, and he’s not much different than Bateman-Agholor anyway).

It makes sense for the Ravens to lean into more formations with multiple tight ends.

Baltimore has Mark Andrews coming back, and he’s still one of the top half-dozen tight ends in the game. He’ll be their top guy. But Likely looks capable of being the 3rd-most productive pass catcher on this team (behind Flowers and Andrews). John Harbaugh indicates Likely will play more than he has in the past.

When Andrews got hurt last year, Likely showed he’s capable of above-average production at the position (when in a starting, full-time role). In the final six games for each team, only four tight ends last year finished with better numbers than Likely. (That’s using PPR scoring).

TIGHT END PRODUCTION, FINAL SIX GAMES
PlayerGNoYardsTDPts
Evan Engram, Jac.6504394117.9
Sam LaPorta, Det.631350596.0
David Njoku, Cle.530390493.0
Trey McBride, Ari.640364288.4
Isaiah Likely, Balt.621322583.2
Jake Ferguson, Dall.631340171.0
George Kittle, S.F.519353160.3
Tucker Kraft, G.B.624297159.7
Cole Kmet, Chi.624280158.0
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Ten.622277155.7
Kyle Pitts, Atl.616226250.6
T.J. Hockenson, Min.420224148.4
Tyler Conklin, NYJ622207042.7
Hunter Henry, N.E.312121342.1
Dalton Schultz, Hou.419180037.0
Dalton Kincaid, Buff.517199036.9
Jonnu Smith, Atl.615159136.9
Travis Kelce, K.C.419171036.1
Durham Smythe, Mia.517188035.8
Colby Parkinson, Sea.61197232.7
Tyler Higbee, LAR415163031.3
Dallas Goedert, Phil.313122131.2
Johnny Mundt, Min.612127130.7
Juwan Johnson, N.O.211130130.0
Gerald Everett, LAC417118028.8
Noah Fant, Sea.613153028.3
Cade Otton, T.B.69107125.7
Mo Alie-Cox, Ind.6759224.9
Daniel Bellinger, NYG613118024.8
Logan Thomas, Was.51072123.2

In general, I think it makes sense (in a 12-team league) to select Likely as second tight end. I’m not sky high on him; I would rather have Hunter Henry or Noah Fant (among others) as a second. But Likely to me looks like he should be rostered – makes sense to control his rights early in the season, when it becomes clear how much they’ll be looking to him.

—Ian Allan

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