Ravens Named As Possible Destination for Odell Beckham Jr., D.J. Moore
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Some big-name wide receivers are or could be available and Baltimore has been named as a potential landing spot.
The Ravens are again being linked to free agent Odell Beckham Jr. and have been identified as a logical destination for the Carolina Panthers' D.J. Moore if he is traded.
It's not surprising to see the Ravens being mentioned as a team that needs help at wide receiver. Although Rashod Bateman has made some splash plays and Devin Duvernay has three touchdown catches, Baltimore's wide receivers have combined for 542 yards receiving, the second fewest in the league, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley noted.
"Outside of tight end Mark Andrews, there is no reliable target for Lamar Jackson in the passing game — which could turn into an issue," Hensley wrote. "Rashod Bateman, who was expected to become the No. 1 wide receiver, has struggled to stay healthy and is dealing with a left foot injury. It will be a challenge to move the ball through the air with few people to throw it to. Of the Ravens' next 12 games, eight are against defenses that rank in the top half of the NFL against the pass. This poses a challenge to securing a playoff spot."
Beckham, who suffered a torn ACL during the Super Bowl, is reportedly targeting mid-November for his return. NFL.com analyst David Carr listed the Ravens as one of the four best team fits for the 29-year-old three-time Pro Bowler.
Carr acknowledged that "Beckham landing in Baltimore feels a little like a pipe dream compared to the rest of the teams here," but he "would add some much-needed depth at the position and give Lamar Jackson a reliable weapon in the deep passing game." Jackson apparently agrees.
In the wake of the Panthers (1-4) firing Head Coach Matt Rhule on Monday, teams are reportedly calling Carolina to inquire about the availability of Moore and other players. A 2018 first-round pick out of Maryland, Moore has been vastly underutilized this season. He has just 17 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown through five games after recording three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin put the Ravens at No. 1 on his list of the five teams who should pursue a trade for Moore.
"Both Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman have flashed this year, but Moore would give Jackson a fully realized version of his current targets, not only now but for years to come," Benjamin wrote. "The more talent out wide, the less pressure for Baltimore's run game to dominate. As a bonus, Moore is very familiar to the area, playing his college ball at Maryland after being born and raised in Philadelphia."
Baltimore Beatdown’s Spencer Schultz named Moore as one of five wide receivers the Ravens should consider trading for before the Nov. 1 deadline if they're available. The other four are Moore's teammate Robby Anderson, the New England Patriots' Jakobi Meyers, the Denver Broncos' Jerry Jeudy, and the Seattle Seahawks' Tyler Lockett.
Whether the Ravens could afford Moore long-term ($1 million base salary this year, $20 million next year) is one factor to consider. Whether the Panthers are interested in dealing Moore is unclear. According to Fox Charlotte's Will Kunkel, Carolina is not shopping the 25-year-old.
Ravens Encouraged to Trade for Chargers Safety
With Marcus Williams (dislocated wrist) going on injured reserve, could the Ravens look to bolster their depth at safety?
The Athletic's Bo Wulf named one trade idea for each team and proposed the Ravens target Los Angeles Chargers safety Nasir Adderley.
"Adderley is in the middle of a rare in-season position battle with Alohi Gilman and played only six snaps in the Chargers' win over the Browns," Wulf wrote. "With Marcus Williams headed to injured reserve with a wrist injury and the Ravens once again injured all over the defense, maybe Adderley, the 2019 second-round pick in the final year of his rookie deal, would be a better backup option than Geno Stone for Baltimore's 14th-ranked defense by DVOA."
Adderley has started 33 games for the Chargers from 2020-2022. He was third on the team in tackles last season with 99.
Williams, who was the Ravens' biggest free-agent acquisition this offseason and leads the team with three interceptions, will miss a minimum of four games but is expected to return this season. In his absence, the Ravens will look to Stone and first-round pick Kyle Hamilton to fill the void.
"I expect those guys to continue to grow and to play well," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "They both have their own styles, and I think they'll both play well for us, but they both have to step up and do a great job. Of course, Chuck [Clark] as well; we move a lot of guys in and out of that safety/nickel spot, so we'll be moving guys around in there a lot. So, I'm looking forward to all of those guys kind of as a team, as a group, kind of filling in for Marcus [Williams] and not losing a step on that."
Ravens' Turnover Differential Named Biggest Improvement in Specific Area by Any Team
Creating more turnovers was a point of emphasis for the Ravens defense heading into the season, and thus far the results have been outstanding. Thanks in large part to the ball-hawking Williams, the Ravens are tied for the league lead in takeaways and interceptions.
ESPN's Dan Graziano said the Ravens' turnover differential is the biggest improvement he's seen from any team in a specific area from last season.
"Baltimore was minus-11 in turnover differential in 2021 — the Bears, Jets, Panthers and Jaguars were the only teams worse. Through five games this year, the Ravens have a plus-5 turnover differential. Only the Eagles (plus-9) are better," Graziano wrote. "Baltimore has eight interceptions already this season after collecting only nine all of last year. And while they're still too high in the giveaways department (six), the fact that they're tied with the Eagles and Bills for the league lead in takeaways (11) has offset that so far.
Ronnie Stanley Showed All-Pro Form in Limited Action
Although it's a small sample size (22 snaps), left tackle Ronnie Stanley was in All-Pro form Sunday night in his first game since Week 1 of last year. That was the conclusion reached by The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer after he analyzed the game film.
"More than a year after struggling in his first and only appearance of the 2021 season, Stanley flashed the form throughout Sunday's 19-17 win that had made him an All-Pro selection in 2019 and one of the NFL's highest-paid left tackles," Shaffer wrote. "Over 22 snaps and three drives, there was no indication that his surgically repaired (and re-repaired) left ankle, or his prolonged absence from action, was any hindrance."
Shaffer said that Stanley "showed his rare skill set" on the Ravens' opening drive, which resulted in a field goal.
"In one two-play sequence, he helped uproot defensive tackle Josh Tupou on a combination block and squared up inside linebacker Germain Pratt for a 6-yard read-option gain by [J.K.] Dobbins, then pulled into space on a toss play that wide receiver Devin Duvernay took for 12 yards," Shaffer wrote. "Stanley ended the series with two solid pass-blocking repetitions.
"On a second-and-10 drop-back, he passed off [defensive end Trey] Hendrickson to left guard Ben Powers after recognizing that Pratt would loop around his side on a late-arriving blitz. On third-and-10, he ceded almost no ground to Hendrickson on a bull rush, then stayed engaged and balanced as the Pro Bowl selection tried to rip through his grasp."