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50 Words or Less: Ravens Face Key Offseason Decisions Heading Into Combine

Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta looks on during pre-game warm-ups before a NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Baltimore.

With new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken in place, the Ravens will turn their attention to next week's NFL Combine, one of the offseason's most important events. Even with Monken in place, the Ravens still face an assortment of key offseason decisions.

Eric DeCosta and team's decision-makers will certainly be having some interesting conversations in Indianapolis. Here are my thoughts on the Ravens during an offseason that will only get more intriguing, all in 50 words or less:

I'm looking forward to attending the Combine and learning more about some potential Ravens targets. Baltimore only has five draft picks, its fewest since 1999. While DeCosta is evaluating players over the next few weeks, I also think he'll be exploring ways to acquire more picks.

Curious to see which players blow up at the Combine and improve their draft stock. One player I'm intrigued by is Tennessee wideout Jalin Hyatt. He had five touchdowns against Alabama, and Monken is familiar with Hyatt from seeing him in the SEC.

I remember last year's Combine, when Tyler Linderbaum had to answer questions about whether he had enough size to be an effective starting center as a rookie. Linderbaum has answered those questions, and then some.

DeCosta and John Harbaugh will both have media sessions Wednesday at the Combine. Think they'll be fielding some questions about Lamar Jackson?

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network believes cornerback is one of the deepest positions in this year's draft. That's good news for the Ravens, who are always looking for depth at that position, and with Marcus Peters a pending free agent. 

Monken made a strong first impression during his opening press conference as offensive coordinator. He was likeable, candid, and willing to elaborate with answers. None of that guarantees success, but after a thorough search, it's easy to see why Monken was the choice.

Rashod Bateman was honored by his hometown of Tifton, Ga. this week, receiving the key to the city. Bateman's health and production will also be key next season. He's a young, talented receiver who could blossom as part of Monken's vision for a more explosive offense.

I was intrigued by Harbaugh and Monken both mentioning the possibility of using more no-huddle offense next season. How many times have you seen an offense that was struggling find its rhythm by going to a faster tempo? I like the idea.

Wide receiver and cornerback are clear needs, but don't be surprised if the Ravens draft a running back at some point. I'm all for J.K. Dobbins getting more touches, but he and Gus Edwards are still only a year removed from major knee injuries. Running back depth is important.

Leading the Ravens in sacks last season (9.5), 34-year-old Justin Houston proved he had plenty of juice left. He's likely to take his time signing a deal in free agency, but another deal for Houston and the Ravens makes sense for both sides.

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