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Mailbag: Trying to Predict Ravens' Primetime Schedule

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

Mink: I'm going to guess the Ravens get five primetime games on their 2024 schedule, at least at the outset. I'll predict one against the Steelers and another against the Bengals/Browns because the AFC North is just so strong and those games are always awesome. The rematch between the Harbaugh brothers (Ravens vs. Chargers) has to be on primetime. So does the rematch of the AFC Championship with the Chiefs, which is being rumored as potentially the (stateside) opening game of the season. That's four. Other juicy matches are Ravens vs. Bills, Ravens vs. Texans, Ravens vs. Eagles, and Ravens vs. Cowboys. I'll say one of those gets put on the national stage as well to give us five.

The Ravens are a great draw with two-time MVP Lamar Jackson leading the way and they have a league-high 10 games against teams that made the playoffs last year. That will surely entice the schedule makers to put those games on a pedestal.

Mink: The Ravens have a ton of cornerback depth after picking Nate Wiggins in the first round and T.J. Tampa in the fourth. I don't know that they planned on taking two, but the value on Tampa was just too good to pass up. That has put Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion "Pepe" Williams, two fourth-round picks from the 2022 class, in legitimate competitions to make the 53-man roster.

They first and foremost need to stay healthy this summer. Both have missed considerable practice and game action. Armour-Davis has played in 12 games (eight last season) and Williams has played in 15 (one last season). The Ravens like both players. They're talented guys. But with two new bodies in the cornerback room, they're going to need strong summers. Armour-Davis is an outside corner and that's also primarily where Wiggins and Tampa project. Williams can add to his value if he gets reps at safety and does well with them. The Ravens need more depth there. The Ravens love having lots of depth at cornerback so I think at least one will make the 53-man roster but both is not a slam dunk.

Mink: We haven't gotten official word from anyone about the timeline for Keaton Mitchell, but he suffered that injury late last season (Dec. 17 in Jacksonville) and had surgery on Dec. 30, per his social media. The Ravens aren't going to rush the talented speedster back, so I would expect he'll start training camp on the physically unable to perform list and it wouldn't surprise me if he also begins the regular season on it. Baltimore has its top two running backs in Derrick Henry and Justice Hill. Fifth-round running back Rasheen Ali, who similarly to Mitchell is a smooth speed merchant, can hold down the No. 3 running back spot at least until Mitchell returns.

Mink: The Ravens have said they're still evaluating Malik Cunningham as a quarterback and wide receiver. The fact that Baltimore drafted Devin Leary in the sixth round and signed a fifth quarterback, undrafted Cincinnati product Emory Jones, this week indicates that Cunningham may be headed more toward wide receiver. The Ravens have been clear that they view Leary as their developmental No. 3 quarterback behind Lamar Jackson and veteran backup Josh Johnson. Cunningham could still see some QB reps in practice and be part of the competition for the No. 3 spot, but I don't think he's in the lead.

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