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50 Words or Less: Baltimore Has Turned Into Weight Watchers

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

It's weight watcher season. And this year, it seems to have reached a high pitch.

This week, reigning MVP Lamar Jackson revealed that he currently weighs 205 pounds, down from 230 two years ago and 215 last season. He was so much thinner that tight end Isaiah Likely joked on “Up & Adams” that he didn't recognize him when they got back together this offseason.

Meanwhile, the biggest question about top draft pick Nate Wiggins is his smaller 182-pound frame.

Here are my thoughts on the matter, and more, all in 50 words or less:

First of all, let's acknowledge that Jackson's weight will change over the next several months. Ravens Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Scott Elliott said less than a month ago that his staff is adding lean muscle on his frame. He said he's "never been more excited in April for Lamar Jackson."

While Jackson is still by far the league's best running threat at QB, his speed diminished some last season, per Next Gen Stats. He didn't have as much of a pull-away gear, as evidenced by a top speed of 19.62 mph that was the slowest of his six seasons.

If a leaner Jackson equals higher speed, count me in. Jackson was caught from behind when he snagged his own tipped pass in the AFC Championship against the Chiefs. Had Jackson been even a hair faster, he probably would've pulled away for an 82-yard touchdown. Less runs, more big runs.

The Ravens have Derrick Henry now, and the bruising running back will take more of the workload off Jackson. Henry will also soften up defenses, giving them weaker legs when trying to chase down Jackson late in the fourth quarter if/when he needs to make a play.

Jackson's leaner frame has reignited durability concerns. Sure, there's a base level of protection needed, but I'm sick of this conversation. Jackson has a unique ability to avoid punishing hits and his previous injuries weren't the result of anything out of the norm any QB (at any weight) could suffer.

With Wiggins, the biggest factor is commitment because he absolutely can put on more muscle. This "issue" is easily fixable. Wiggins confirmed his willingness to add weight in an interview on "Glenn Clark Radio" this week. And in terms of willingness, Wiggins doesn't shy away from contact.

Rookie offensive tackle Roger Rosengarten is another player who the Ravens believe can be even better once he adds some muscle. The mobility, the technique, the smarts, the toughness – the makings are there for a really high-level player. When he gets stronger in his lower half, watch out.

Here's a look at the remaining options at wide receiver, guard, safety, and outside linebacker who the Ravens could consider in the third wave of free agency.

Baltimore Ravens Editorial Director Ryan Mink
Ryan Mink

Editorial Director

The Ravens could add a veteran safety before they sign a guard, and there are many good options. As it stands now, the competition for the Ravens' crucial No. 3 safety spot is between Ar'Darius Washington, who has played eight career games, and Sanoussi Kane, a seventh-round pick.

Baltimore's 2024 schedule is expected to drop this upcoming week. We already know it's the second-hardest schedule in the league. While that seems daunting, especially considering the Ravens' offseason losses, don't forgot Baltimore went 13-4 last year. Even if the Ravens aren't quite as good, they'll still be very good.

I'm on record saying the Ravens will get at least five primetime games. They have one of the league's most exciting players in Jackson, juicy storyline matchups against the Chiefs and Chargers, regional rivalry games against the Eagles and Commanders, and AFC North classics in the NFL's best division.

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