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Ravens News 5/19: Thrift Shopping and more

Ravens News 5/19: Thrift Shopping and more

What the Ravens Need at Wide Receiver – Ryan Mink

The Ravens need more depth and somebody that could start in a pinch. Right now, they have four wideouts with NFL experience. If any one of them (especially Rashod Bateman) were to go down, Baltimore would be in a tight spot.

However, the Ravens don’t need to spend a lot to find that depth. It’s time to go thrift shopping.

Baltimore has shown it doesn’t need to have much wide receiver production for Lamar Jackson to thrive and the offense to prosper. In 2019, Baltimore’s revolutionary ground game and Jackson’s comfort led the highest-scoring offense in the league. The Ravens didn’t have a single wide receiver hit 600 yards.

Despite the offensive line upgrades this offseason, the 2019 offensive line was still probably better. It also didn’t have a pair of running backs coming off season-ending knee injuries. Plus, Baltimore’s historic run-first offense led by Jackson’s legs was still pretty fresh back then. Now, everybody has seen it – although there will be more wrinkles this season.

But one could argue that the current lineup of Ravens wide receivers is already better than the one Jackson had in 2019 with Brown, Willie Snead IV, Seth Roberts and Miles Boykin. The Ravens’ top pass catcher, tight end Mark Andrews, is definitely better than he was three years ago. And Jackson is a better passer, and needs to continue to show it.

2022 NFL win total projections: Nine Over/Under best bets including Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers – Cody Benjamin

Ravens: Over 9.5

Lamar Jackson’s receiving corps remains iffy, but Baltimore really bolstered its defense, adding Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams to an already-feisty lineup that’s bound to be healthier. It’s unclear if their apparent doubling down on the run-heavy approach will win them the AFC, but they’ve got a path back to the playoffs. John Harbaugh’s won 10+ games in eight of 14 seasons.

Quarterback rankings for top 32 NFL QBs heading into 2022 led by Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen – Dalton Miller

8. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson is unique. There is no talent like him in the NFL, and only Michael Vick had similar abilities during his NFL career. However, Jackson is more accurate than Vick ever was, and his rushing ability is right on the same level. And despite being a four-year NFL vet, he’s younger than Burrow.

He won an MVP in his age 22 season, making him the youngest ever to win the award. His athleticism has made the Ravens’ rushing attack the most efficient in the league in 2019 and 2020, his two most healthy seasons.

Jackson is more accurate than he’s given credit for. He’s had a positive CPOE in every season since 2018, despite consistently lacking high-end receiving help outside of Mark Andrews.

Projecting the Ravens 2022 Starting Lineup – Todd Karpovich

LG Ben Cleveland

Analysis: Cleveland Saw action in 12 games, including four starts, during his rookie season but also dealt with injuries. The third-round pick should be ready to take the next step in his development with a full offseason under his belt.

OLB Tyus Bowser

Analysis: Bowser tore his Achilles tendon in the regular-season finale against the Steelers. He played in all 17 games for Baltimore and was one of the top defenders on the team. Bowser led the Ravens with seven sacks and had career highs with 59 tackles and 15 quarterback hits. The Ravens are optimistic he’ll be ready for the 2022 opener.

CB Brandon Stephens

Analysis: The versatile Stephens will move from safety to his natural position at cornerback after a mostly solid rookie year. He played in every game with 11 starts last season, finishing with 74 tackles (46 solo), one tackle for a loss, one QB hit, and four passes defensed.

SS Kyle Hamilton

Analysis: The Ravens weren’t in the market for a safety, but they had little choice but to take Hamilton with the 14th overall pick when he fell to them. Some pundits claimed that Hamilton was the best overall player in this year’s draft. He will be able to leapfrog Chuck Clark for the starting job.

FS Marcus Williams

Analysis: Baltimore inked Williams to a five-year, $70 million deal this offseason. Last year for the New Orleans Saints, Williams had a career-high 74 tackles with two interceptions and eight passes defensed. He was also solid in coverage and is an effective hitter. Williams can also play center field and is only 25 years old. He should be able to help create turnovers, which is an area of focus for the Ravens.

2022 Offensive Guard Rankings and Tiers – Sam Monson

TIER 3: VERY GOOD

BRANDON SCHERFF, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

JOE THUNEY, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

LAKEN TOMLINSON, NEW YORK JETS

KEVIN ZEITLER, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Kevin Zeitler bounced back in a better environment after a tough final season in New York. He allowed just 17 pressures last season for Baltimore, including only one sack.

Regrading the 2021 NFL Draft classes: Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins among biggest risers – Michael Renner

BALTIMORE RAVENS

R1 (27): WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

R1 (31): EDGE Odafe Oweh, Penn State

R3 (94): G Ben Cleveland, Georgia

R3 (104): CB Brandon Stephens, SMU

R4 (131): WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State

R5 (160): CB Shaun Wade, Ohio State

R5 (171): EDGE Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame

R5 (184): TE Ben Mason, Michigan

Initial Draft Grade: B+

1-year Re-Grade: B+

This grade stays the same, as both first-rounders provided encouraging play out the gate. Rashod Bateman was behind the eight-ball after a preseason groin injury yet still finished with 515 yards in 12 games — the majority of which came without quarterback Lamar Jackson. Odafe Oweh was billed as a project but produced immediately with 49 pressures to lead the Ravens.