Media Voice Opinions on Whether Ravens Should Pursue DeAndre Hopkins
On Friday, the Arizona Cardinals announced they released star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Now, the three-time All-Pro is able to sign with whoever he so chooses, and many speculate the Ravens being on Hopkins' list.
Some believe it's an obvious move for the Ravens to pursue Hopkins.
NFL.com’s Nick Shook: "Lamar Demeatrice Jackson Jr. He's the reason Baltimore is on this list. Hopkins recently listed five quarterbacks he'd like to run routes for, and Jackson was included in the group. Well, here's his chance."
Last Word on Sports’ David Latham: "While the wide receiver trio of Beckham, Flowers, and Rashod Bateman is solid, they're still missing a guy that can win jump balls on the perimeter. All three of the aforementioned receivers are at their best using speed and savvy route running to get open, but the Ravens could certainly use someone like DeAndre Hopkins that can win with size."
CBS Sports’ Garrett Podell: "If Jackson truly wants to make good on his goal of 6,000 passing yards in 2023, adding Hopkins is a must. There's even a slight personal connection: tight ends coach George Godsey was the Texans' offensive coordinator from 2015-16, when Hopkins made his Pro Bowl debut with a 1,500-yard breakout campaign. If Hopkins were to agree to a deal, Baltimore could provide Jackson with one of the better pass-catching arsenals in the entire league in 2023."
Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport: "Not that long ago, the Ravens had arguably the weakest wide receiver corps in the NFL. Signing Beckham and drafting Flowers were both major steps in the right direction for the team, but adding Hopkins as well would take Baltimore's passing game to a whole other level. Beckham, Flowers, Hopkins and tight end Mark Andrews is an impressive array of passing-game weapons…"
However, local pundits aren't clamoring for General Manager Eric DeCosta to pick up the phone and bring Hopkins to Baltimore.
The Baltimore Banner’s Jonas Shaffer: "Could Hopkins come to Baltimore? It's possible. The Ravens were in the market for the 30-year-old this offseason. But another splashy signing is hard to imagine, for any number of reasons."
The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec: "Quarterback Lamar Jackson would be more than happy to make room for Hopkins. However, the Ravens still have limited cap space, and they've already pushed a ton of money onto future caps. There are a lot of mouths to feed on their offense as it is. General manager Eric DeCosta loves being in the mix for talented veteran players, but it's fair to be skeptical that Hopkins fits the Ravens' mantra of "'right player, right price.'"
Baltimore Beatdown’s Dustin Cox: "As much as I want Jackson to have an endless supply of weapons, there are other factors to consider when putting together a football team in the NFL, for both the upcoming season and future implications."
Ebony Bird’s Parker Hurley: "Somehow, the receiver position went from the biggest need position to a pretty solid area of strength. The Ravens have some cap space, but it would take gymnastics to fit in DeAndre Hopkins. When you add in the other needs on the roster, they may want to save their money for a different big name who could shake free later this offseason."
Ravens Could Have a Better Receiving Corps Than the Steelers
The Ravens worked to improve their wide receiver room, adding two pass catchers in free agency and drafting Zay Flowers in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft. These moves, in addition to having wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay already on the roster, has Steelers Depot’s Matthew Marczi considering if the Ravens will have a better wide receiver unit than the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023.
"If the Ravens get anything close to the vintage Odell Beckham Jr., this is going to be a dangerous wide receiver group. He hasn't played in a year, getting his body right, but he looked the part during his time with the Rams after escaping the purgatory of Cleveland," Marczi wrote. "Compared to the Steelers, they have an inconsistent possession receiver in Diontae Johnson, a past-his prime big vet slot guy in Allen Robinson II, and as far as George Pickens goes, yes, he has all the talent in the world, but he hasn't shown he can put it all together yet. Is he really any more talented than Bateman?"
The Steelers have long outproduced the Ravens in wide receiver talent specifically, but 2023 could be the season things change. But to do so, Marczi notes the Ravens receivers must remain healthy.
"Availability is a key ability, and the Ravens' top two receivers—Beckham and Bateman—have enormous questions on that subject," Marczi wrote. "Combined, the two played all of six games during the 2022 season."
John Harbaugh Joins "The Rich Eisen Show"
Late last week, Head Coach John Harbaugh joined "The Rich Eisen Show." Here are some of the topics covered in the interview:
On why Harbaugh loves Lamar Jackson.
"We made a commitment and we decided that we were going to do something together and we'd been through a lot and it's like any relationship. There's lots of things that aren't perfect. It's always like that. Things that need to be better or talked through or whatever it might be and we try to do that as best we can all the time but that's the direction we wanted to go. We made the commitment, and we want to see it through, and we do. We like him, we love him, respect him and he feels the same way. I think just once you decide to go that way it's better to try to stick with it and make it work then it is just to bail at the first sign of trouble."
On having new offensive coordinator Todd Monken and what the offense is going to look like.
"When I started talking to Todd it really was right away almost love at first sight. I really understand what he's saying and I think this would be a good fit for Lamar. Just be with Lamar for five years and being with kind of the offense that I always kind of felt like direction we would need to go when we had the players to do it. … I know Lamar does want to have more responsibility than he's ever had before at the line of scrimmage. That's the way Todd's built. That really got my attention. Lamar is going to be very responsible for making decisions at the line and I love the way it's being taught right now. We'll see what it looks like when we see it but I'm excited about it."
On if Jackson will be running less.
"Yeah, I mean I think there's certain types of plays that will probably be less in the offense. They're still in there [but Jackson] is probably talking mostly about the counter quarterback keep plays, the inside gap scheme runs that we really relied on the last two years down the stretches when we didn't quite have some of the stuff we wanted to do on the outside throwing the ball. I'm sure that'll be called less. That's probably what he's talking about mainly but it'll still be in our offense as a threat and there'll be a little bit more at the line of scrimmage."
On if Beckham helped bring Jackson back to Baltimore.
"Yeah, I think he did. They'd known each other before and that they were talking and I don't know what they were saying specifically but I'm pretty sure Odell wanted them to come back and I'm pretty darn sure that Lamar was excited when Odell signed with us so that had to be a factor."
On the new kickoff rule.
"I think there's always the law of unintended consequences. And just to assume that because the balls popped up and somebody fair catches it there's going to be less helmet-to-helmet speed collisions I think is very wishful thinking and the coaches that understand how the play is really played out I think expressed pretty clearly that we think it's not going to be a safer play. We're not even sure the play is as unsafe as they want to say it is but because we're not exactly sure all those concussions documented actually happened on kickoff plays but that's for the league to decide so that's what they did and we'll support it and all that. If it ends up being good for the game great. If it doesn't end up being good for the game I'm sure it won't get voted back in next year and we'll see how it goes."
CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin has the Ravens defense as a "fairly likely" to be Top 10, but it's not a guarantee.