Four Positions the Ravens Need to Prioritize Upgrading in Offseason
The Athletic has devised a model to identify every team's offseason roster management priorities.
The model ranked the teams in 10 position groups from most stable and strong to least. The emphasis a team is likely to place on upgrading at a given position in free agency and the draft compared to other positions on its roster was ranked from 1-10, with 1 being lowest priority and 10 being highest.
The rankings showed that the Ravens are in great shape on the offensive and defensive lines and at safety, running back and tight end.
Here's a look at the four positions the Ravens need to prioritize this offseason, according to the model, with comments from The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec:
Wide Receiver (Overall Rank: 29. Team Priority: 10)
"The Ravens started the season with one of the youngest and least accomplished receiving groups in the NFL, and things only got worse from there as Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay sustained season-ending injuries. They were forced to rely on a group of receivers who either haven't accomplished anything or whose best years are behind them. If he can stay healthy, Bateman has the potential to be an impact player. Duvernay is ideal for a No. 3 receiver/Pro Bowl kick returner role. Otherwise, the Ravens will have to revamp their receiving group this offseason. It was one of the least productive units in the league in 2022."
Edge Rusher (Overall Rank: 28. Team Priority: 9)
"Odafe Oweh was touted as being ready to break out in 2022. Instead, he regressed, and now there have to be major questions about his ability to develop into a bookend edge rusher. The Ravens also learned little this season about 2022 second-round pick David Ojabo, who barely played after tearing his Achilles before the draft. Tyus Bowser is a solid and versatile performer and Justin Houston had a nice start before disappearing late in the season. The Ravens will enter another offseason where they'll need to augment their edge group. Maybe Oweh or Ojabo becomes that guy, but as of now, they still lack that double-digit sack threat who can take games over in crunch time."
Cornerback (Overall Rank: 24. Team Priority: 8)
"The Ravens perennially deal with cornerback issues, and the 2022 season was no different. Marlon Humphrey returned to Pro Bowl form, but he was the only constant at the position. Marcus Peters returned from an ACL injury and brought intensity and leadership, but he never looked like himself. He's a free agent, and unless he's willing to return for a modest contract, the Ravens may have to look elsewhere for a starting cornerback. The team's other corners either couldn't stay healthy (Kyle Fuller and Jalyn Armour-Davis) or just didn't play well enough (Brandon Stephens, Damarion Williams) to be trusted in bigger roles. There's some young talent in the group, but the Ravens head into the offseason with cornerback near the top of their organizational needs."
Quarterback (Overall Rank: 23. Team Priority: 7)
"The Ravens insist that they plan on keeping Lamar Jackson, a pending free agent, but his contract demands, inconsistency as a passer and durability have to give them pause as he seeks a fully guaranteed deal. At his best, Jackson is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league. However, his play has fluctuated over the past two years and his late-season health issues have been troubling. Tyler Huntley, a pending restricted free agent, struggled in Jackson's absence but does have some upside."
Todd Monken Brings 'Energy and Swagger' to Offense
One of Zrebiec's takeaways from new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's introductory press conference yesterday was that he will add personality to the offense.
"There's an energy and swagger about Monken," Zrebiec wrote. "That's not to say [Greg] Roman lacked those things. But he was always so guarded, and always seemed so reluctant to let his guard down in front of the media. It was only an introductory news conference, which is never the best way to gauge a coach's personality. But Monken passed the first test."
The Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker also took note of Monken's engaging personality.
"The new offensive coordinator … brought an informal tone to his introduction, striding to the podium in an untucked Ravens polo and answering questions with self-deprecating wit," Walker wrote.
When Head Coach John Harbaugh introduced Monken, one of the things he mentioned was Monken's ability to command a room and communicate with players.
"You talk to different people that have been around Todd – players especially, but also coaches – he just has a great way with players," Harbaugh said. "He has a great way in the meeting room, he's very talented in the meeting room, gets the guys going, gets them laughing a little bit. You'll see. He can talk and he can tell a story, but he can challenge the guys, too, and hold them to the highest standard. I know our players are going to love him [and] are going to love being around him every single day."
Ravens Select Alabama Cornerback in Daniel Jeremiah's Latest Mock Draft
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has a new pick for the Ravens in his second mock draft.
Jeremiah has Baltimore selecting Alabama cornerback Brian Branch with the 22nd-overall pick.
Wide receiver and cornerback continue to be the most popular positions for the Ravens in mock drafts, although Jeremiah is the first notable draft analyst to mock Branch to Baltimore.
"Ozzie Newsome is still in the building, and Alabama players will always be coveted by the Ravens," Jeremiah wrote. "Baltimore will value Branch's versatility and playmaking ability."
In Jeremiah's first mock draft, he had the Ravens picking Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.