Skip to main content
Presented by

Mailbag: Will the Ravens Sign a Guard? What Move Is Next?

GM Eric DeCosta
GM Eric DeCosta

Mink: I think the Ravens will monitor the free agent guard market closely this offseason and will pull the trigger depending on how young players are practicing and their health. As it stands now, here's how I would size up the Ravens' offensive line depth chart:

Left tackle: Ronnie Stanley / Patrick Mekari / Josh Jones

Left guard: Andrew Vorhees & Sala Aumavae-Laulu / Patrick Mekari

Center: Tyler Linderbaum / Nick Samac

Right guard: Ben Cleveland / Patrick Mekari / Josh Jones

Right tackle: Daniel Faalele & Roger Rosengarten / Patrick Mekari

That's 10 players already who have a good chance to make the 53-man roster. So if Baltimore signs a veteran guard, it would put someone on this list on the fringe.

Jones has the flexibility to play guard or tackle, though his best season was in 2022 with the Arizona Cardinals when he played left tackle. If the Ravens view him as Stanley's backup, that could lead to more practice snaps for Mekari at guard, as Baltimore could view him as a reliable option there if the youngsters don't grab the job.

Basically, I expect Baltimore will give these young guys (Cleveland, Vorhees, Aumavae-Laulu, Samac) every chance to win a starting guard spot. If they don't seize the opportunity, General Manager Eric DeCosta will probably make a move. There's always guards available, either via free agency or trade, during training camp, or when final roster cuts are being made.

Chances are that the Ravens will make another signing, but I don't think they have to right now. They'll always keep an eye on adding more competition, and could still do so at guard, safety, wide receiver, tackle or some other spot.

Brown: I think Zay Flowers and Mark Andrews will be targeted most often by Lamar Jackson, with Flowers leading the way. Andrews has been targeted more than 100 times just once in his career (2021), while Flowers was targeted 108 times as a rookie and should be even better in Year 2.

The biggest question is whether Rashod Bateman's piece of the pie increases significantly. I think that will happen if Bateman remains healthy. All of Bateman's career highs in targets (68), catches (46) and receiving yards (515) came during his rookie season in 2021. He's healthier now, more experienced, and he has a new contract. This should be Bateman's time to emerge.

I'm curious to see if Isaiah Likely's targets increase, and if Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken incorporates more two tight-end formations. Likely stepped up big when Andrews was sidelined last season and could emerge as the No. 3 target behind Flowers and Andrews.

I expect Nelson Agholor to have a similar role as last season (35 catches, 481 yards, four touchdowns), with Tylan Wallace and rookie wideout Devontez Walker battling to be part of the weekly rotation. Walker has intriguing deep speed, but I think he's going to have a hard time getting consistent game reps if Baltimore's other weapons are healthy.

The Ravens didn't sign a new wide receiver in free agency and waited until Round 1 to draft their lone wide receiver in Round 4. They're expressing confidence in the weapons they have, regardless of how the targets are divided.

"I'm excited about the wide receiver position," Head Coach John Harbaugh said after the draft. "This is a very talented group, and anybody that wants to challenge that, bring it on; you've got to line up and play against us, and we'll see if we don't have playmakers out there running around and making plays."

Mink: The addition of Wiggins to the Ravens' cornerback corps gives it more versatility. We've seen how effective Marlon Humphrey can be in the slot when he's closer to the action. He played most of his snaps there in 2019 and 2020, but has done less of it the past three seasons. I don't know that he'll play a majority in the slot in 2024, but I do expect more. He's one of the best tackling cornerbacks in the league and at this point in their careers, Brandon Stephens and Wiggins may be better suited for outside duties.

The issue is Kyle Hamilton also plays so well there that you don't want to remove him from the equation. And the Ravens brought back Arthur Maulet to play nickel. So the slot cornerback duties could be handled by a swarm of different players – Hamilton, Maulet, Humphrey, Damarion "Pepe" Williams, Ar'Darius Washington, etc.

I expect Wiggins to stay mostly outside. He'll compete with Stephens and Humphrey for a starting job. Even if Wiggins starts as the No. 3 cornerback behind them, the Ravens will find ways to get their talented first-round pick on the field.

Assistant Head Coach/Pass Game Coordinator Chris Hewitt said all the team's cornerbacks are "interchangeable."

"We're trying to get the best guys on the field," Hewitt said. "Whatever that position is, or how we get them on the field, that's what it's all about, just trying to get the best players on the field and getting the best five or six guys on the back end to play as one."

Brown: Among the undrafted free agents who have reportedly signed with Baltimore, I think safety Beau Brade of Maryland could get a long look. The Ravens are looking for a backup safety behind Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Williams and many mock drafts had Brade ranked among their top 10 safeties. He likely viewed Baltimore as a place where he'd have a favorable chance to stick.

Wide receiver Tayvion Robinson was also highly regarded by many scouts entering the draft, although I think he'd have a more difficult time cracking the 53-man roster than Brade. The 5-foot-11 Robinson was an effective slot receiver in the SEC against top-flight competition. But if Robinson shines during practices and shines on special teams, who knows?

I'd point to Brade and Robinson off the bat, but I'm pretty sure at least one other player from the undrafted free agent group will make a strong roster push. We'll obviously learn more once we get into mandatory OTAs and training camp.

Related Content