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Late for Work 6/16: Pundit Says Only Lamar Jackson Can Dethrone Patrick Mahomes As Best QB in 2023

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

Pundit Says Only Lamar Jackson Can Dethrone Patrick Mahomes As Best QB in 2023

When Joe Burrow was asked this week who is the best quarterback in the league, the Bengals star said there's no question that it's the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes.

"Until somebody has a better year than he's had, he's the one to knock off," Burrow said.

Fox Sports 1 analyst and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho said there is only one quarterback capable of dethroning Mahomes this season: Lamar Jackson.

"You need to have equity to do it," Acho said. "Even if Josh Allen were to come out and have the best season possible, he would only have one MVP, one Super Bowl MVP, and one Super Bowl. Lamar Jackson has already proven himself to be a unanimous league MVP, something that even Mahomes hasn't done.

"So if he has a dream season, two regular-season MVPs, then a Super Bowl and a Super Bowl MVP, he would still be shy a Super Bowl and the Super Bowl MVP, but at least an argument can be had."

Former NFL running back LeSean McCoy added that Jackson's regular season winning percentage (.738) since he became the Ravens' starter in 2018 is second only to Mahomes (.797) in that span.

Meanwhile, on "Good Morning Football," the crew discussed whether the stage is set for Jackson to return to MVP form in 2023.

"I think so," former NFL cornerback Jason McCourty said. "For Lamar Jackson, it's about unlocking another side of his game, and that is the passing game."

McCourty said with the addition of three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round pick Zay Flowers, Jackson now has the weapons at wide receiver to thrive as a passer.

"I can't wait to see these guys take the field, see what Zay Flowers can do, and don't forget about Mark Andrews, the guy in the middle who has done a ton for them," McCourty said. "The receivers unit last year for Baltimore was one of the worst in the NFL, and now you're getting a brand new makeover. So I'm excited to see what these guys can do and how much they can elevate Lamar's game."

Ravens' Receiving Corps Soars in Pro Football Focus Rankings

The Ravens' commitment to bolstering its pass-catching group this offseason was reflected in Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema’s receiving corps rankings. Baltimore came in at No. 15 after being ranked 29th in PFF's rankings a year ago.

"The Odell Beckham Jr. signing doesn't elevate this group as much as OBJ signings have in the past, but it still strengthens a group that should be suitable for Lamar Jackson to make a playoff push," Sikkema wrote. "After starting just nine games over the past two seasons, Rashod Bateman is in for a breakout year. Mark Andrews has been up there with [Travis] Kelce and [George] Kittle with an elite 90.4 receiving grade since 2021. Throw in Zay Flowers and his dynamic after-the-catch ability — he racked up 503 yards after the catch at Boston College last year — and it is a promising group."

The Ravens also have quality depth in veteran Nelson Agholor, who was a standout at minicamp and OTAs, and Devin Duvernay, who enters his fourth season after posting career-highs of 407 yards and three touchdowns.

Ravens Outside Top 10 in PFF's' Running Backs Rankings

With so much attention focused on the Ravens' revamped passing game this offseason, it's easy to overlook the rushing attack, which ranked second in the league in yards last season.

PFF’s Gordon McGuinness placed the Ravens at No. 11 in his running backs rankings, noting that health is the reason the unit isn't higher.

"If J.K. Dobbins can regain his finishing speed in 2023, 11 is too low for the Ravens," McGuinness wrote. "That was the only thing that looked to be missing from his game when he returned to the field for the final five games of last year, forcing 10 missed tackles on 70 carries in that span. Factor in Gus Edwards, who has averaged at least 3.2 yards after contact per carry in all four seasons he has been in the NFL, and it's easy to see why this duo is feared."

Dobbins was a non-participant at minicamp, reportedly due to a minor soft-tissue injury, while Edwards returned to the field this week. Both are expected to be ready for the start of training camp in late July.

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