Skip to main content
Presented by

Late for Work 7/4: The Lamar Jackson Narrative People Are Overthinking

RB J.K. Dobbins
RB J.K. Dobbins

The Lamar Jackson Narrative People Are Overthinking

Have you heard the one about the Ravens being doomed when they fall behind in games?

Of course you have, but that doesn't mean it's accurate. In’s Adam Rank’s look at the state of the 2023 Ravens, he said people are overthinking that narrative.

"I feel like I hear a lot of dumb narratives suggesting Lamar Jackson can't throw," Rank wrote. "… I just want to point out that since at least 2000 (min. 50 attempts), Jackson ranks first in the NFL in pass yards per attempt (9.2) and passer rating (115.8) when the Ravens are trailing with two minutes or less remaining in the fourth quarter. He also has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 5:1 in those scenarios, which is tied for second in the NFL over that span. Dude can sling it."

Rank noted that Jackson has posted those numbers despite never having a Pro Bowl wide receiver. This season, Jackson will have the best wide receiver corps of his career, thanks in large part to the addition of three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round pick Zay Flowers.

Rank also referred to new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken as a "huge get."

"One thing you might note about Monken is that he liked to throw the football during his time with the Bucs [from 2016 to 2018]a lot," Rank wrote. "How is that going to work with the Ravens? That's one of the key questions heading into this season. I mean, I don't think it's any coincidence they hired a potentially pass-heavy play-caller."

A Healthy J.K. Dobbins is Poised to Have 'Really Big Year'

Monken's pass-heavy play-calling also could benefit Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins. The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec identified Dobbins as a breakout candidate and said he expects the 2020 second-round pick to be used more as a dual threat than in years past.

"If Dobbins is healthy, I think he could have a really big year," Zrebiec wrote. "One, I think — and this is my speculation more than anything — that the Ravens will be more willing to give him a heavier workload. And two, I'd fully expect him, in Monken's offense, to be more involved in the passing game, so that will result in more all-purpose yardage."

On the defensive side of the ball, Zrebiec named two breakout candidates.

"[Outside linebacker] David Ojabo stands out, but I'm guessing everybody will say him," Zrebiec wrote. "To me, second-year nose tackle Travis Jones is a guy who should be more impactful this year. I'm not predicting an eight-to-10-sack year, but he should be more noticeable in the opposing backfield in 2023."

Two Undrafted Rookies Who Are Candidates to Make the Team

An undrafted rookie has made the Ravens' initial 53-man roster in 18 of the past 19 seasons, but with the team having an abundance of depth this season, available spots for such players are sparse.

The Baltimore Banner’s Jonas Shaffer identified a handful of undrafted rookies who have a shot at beating the odds and making the team. Here's a look at two of them:

RB Keaton Mitchell

The 5-foot-8, 191-pound Mitchell makes up for his smaller stature with breakaway speed. … His acceleration stood out during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. Mitchell will enter training camp behind a well-established top three. But J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill all faced season-ending injuries in 2021, and neither Dobbins nor Edwards was at full strength last year or earlier this offseason. Given the churn at the position, Mitchell could find a place in the Ravens' long-term plans with a standout preseason."

OLB Malik Hamm

"The Baltimore native and City graduate is one of the most accomplished pass rushers in Patriot League history. … The 6-3, 250-pound Hamm flashed with some solid wins in offseason workouts. His challenge now is repeating that success when the pads come on in training camp. The Ravens desperately need depth at outside linebacker, where Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo, as well as potential free-agent target Justin Houston, have all dealt with significant injuries over the past year and a half. Jeremiah Moon, a former undrafted free agent himself, and versatile inside linebackers Malik Harrison and Trenton Simpson also stand in Hamm's way."

Quick Hits

  •’s Chad Reuter did a seven-round mock draft of active players with the goal of each team building a roster designed to win now.

Related Content