Odell Beckham Jr. Is Player Peter Schrager Wants to See Return to Form
Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been one of the NFL's most dynamic wide receivers and biggest stars during his career, and that's why “Good Morning Football’s” Peter Schrager chose him as the player he wants to see return to form this season.
"The last time we saw him was the first half of the Super Bowl, not this year, but last year. Let's bring back Odell," Schrager said. "He was having one of the greatest games in Super Bowl history one quarter in. He was unstoppable in that game and I know [Rams Head Coach Sean] McVay's game plan was to feature Odell — let them double [Cooper] Kupp and let Odell go nuts."
Schrager said he is excited to see what a healthy Beckham, who missed all of last season while recovering from a second ACL tear in his left knee, can do in new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's system.
"Now he goes to the Baltimore Ravens after a year away, a year rehabbing. … Todd Monken's offense is different than Greg Roman's. They're gonna use wide receivers," Schrager said.
Schrager added that Beckham's charismatic personality is another reason why he wants to see him reclaim his status as one of the league's best wide receivers.
"He was never out of our orbit — I think Ian Rapoport had a report every single week saying here's what the latest on Odell Beckham is," Schrager said. "... Odell Beckham has 17 million Instagram followers, more than double any other player in the league. Let's go. Bring him back."
AFC North Is Ranked NFL's Best Division By Starting Quarterbacks
It's no secret that the AFC is loaded with elite quarterbacks, and the AFC North is home to the best of the best, according to NFL.com’s Adam Schein.
Schein ranked the NFL's eight divisions by their starting quarterbacks and the AFC North (the Ravens' Lamar Jackson, Bengals' Joe Burrow, Browns' Deshaun Watson, and Steelers' Kenny Pickett) was No. 1.
Schein said he is expecting Jackson to have a big season.
"Just the second NFL player to win MVP in unanimous fashion, Jackson boasts a sparkling 45-16 career record and is the only quarterback in league history with a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons. But he's eager to sling the ball across the yard in 2023," Schein wrote. "At his press conference after signing the new $260 million deal, Jackson said, 'I want to throw for 6,000 yards, with the weapons we have.'
"OK, that's a little rich, but I'm picking up what Lamar is putting down. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers joining the receiving corps — and Todd Monken taking over as offensive coordinator — I expect the 26-year-old to blow past his previous high for passing yards (3,127 in 2019) while maintaining the ability to break your will as an electric runner."
Ravens Offense Ranked in Top 10 by Bleacher Report
The high expectations for the Ravens' new-look offense was reflected in Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine’s rankings of every NFL offense.
The Ravens soared to No. 9 after coming in at No. 18 in the rankings a year ago.
"Signing Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor while drafting Zay Flowers gives them two proven veterans and an explosive rookie who should start from Day 1 as a slot receiver," Ballentine wrote. "It all coincides with the transition from Greg Roman to Todd Monken as offensive coordinator. The latter will be tasked with opening the offense up a bit while maintaining the run game powered by Jackson's mobility.
"The only thing holding them back is health. Jackson has dealt with injuries that limited him to 12 games in each of the last two seasons, OBJ is coming off a torn ACL, and J.K. Dobbins has struggled to remain healthy throughout his three years in the league."
Ravens Named One of the Logical Landing Spots for Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook is expected to be traded or released by the Minnesota Vikings, and the Ravens were named as one of the logical landing sports for the four-time Pro Bowl running back by CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin.
"At full speed, he is still one of the NFL's best pure runners, fresh off a fourth straight 1,000-yard campaign. But he's going on 28 with a history of nagging injuries, has racked up 1,500 career touches and is due at least $14M in each of the next three years," Benjamin wrote.
Personally, I don't think Baltimore being a prime destination for Cook is all that logical. The Ravens have a solid one-two punch in Dobbins and Gus Edwards, Justice Hill is coming off his most productive season, and undrafted free agent Keaton Mitchell is a compelling roster candidate.
Zay Flowers Is in One of the Best Situations for Rookie Wide Receivers
Pro Football Focus ranked this year's rookie wide receivers by situation. Zay Flowers came in at No. 4 out of the 33 who were drafted.
"Flowers should immediately be the Ravens' third receiver, and with Todd Monken now as offensive coordinator, there is a reasonable chance we see a more dynamic passing game in Baltimore in 2023,": PFF's Gordon McGuinness wrote. "Given 2021 first-round draft pick Rashod Bateman's struggles to stay on the field in his career so far, and Odell Beckham Jr. coming back after missing all of the 2022 season with an ACL injury, there is also a path for Flowers to be the top player at the position for parts of the 2023 season."
"Flowers brings a suddenness to the Ravens' offense that they have lacked since trading away Marquise Brown, forcing 41 missed tackles on 199 receptions in four seasons at Boston College. He can also fill the deep threat role, with his 500 yards on targets 20-plus yards downfield ranking 11th in all of college football last year."