Ravens' Revamped Offensive Line Is Ranked Among NFL's Best
Revamping the offensive line was a priority for the Ravens this offseason, and Sharp Football Analysis’ positional rankings indicate that General Manager Eric DeCosta has succeeded in doing so. Baltimore's offensive line was ranked as the sixth-best in the league.
"We're betting on good health for the Ravens' offensive line because it was one of the league's worst units a season ago," Sharp Football Analysis' Ryan McCrystal wrote. "Ravens quarterbacks were pressured in 2.5 seconds or less at a league-worst rate of 28%. The return of Ronnie Stanley and the additions of Tyler Linderbaum and Morgan Moses should get the unit back on track."
To McCrystal's point, drafting center Linderbaum in the first round (with the pick they received from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for Marquise Brown) and signing dependable and durable right tackle Moses in free agency were key offseason moves.
As for Stanley, there is optimism the All-Pro left tackle will be ready for Week 1 after an ankle injury limited him to seven games over the past two seasons.
Despite missing so much time, Stanley was No. 8 in Pro Football Focus’ offensive tackle rankings.
"Everything came together for Stanley's fourth season out of Notre Dame in 2019," PFF's Ben Linsey wrote. "He was the most impressive pass protector in the league with a position-best 92.8 PFF pass-blocking grade and 1.4% pressure rate allowed that was less than half the next closest left tackle. Part of that can be attributed to Lamar Jackson's unique skill set at quarterback and the hesitancy shown by defenses to pin their ears back and send pressure. Nonetheless, Stanley deserves a lot of credit for his play, as well."
Two Free-Agent Edge Defenders the Ravens Could Target
The Ravens bolstered their pass rush by signing veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston, but it wouldn't be a surprise if they added another veteran at the position.
Baltimore Beatdown’s Joshua Reed identified several edge defenders still available in free agency who would benefit the Ravens. Here's a look at two potential options:
"The Ravens brought in the three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion for a visit last month. This could've been them kicking the tires and doing their due diligence on a veteran at a position of need. However, adding the 12-year veteran, who has plenty of big game and playoff experience as well as championship pedigree, could be a tremendous asset at the RUSH spot or as a designated pass rusher. Pierre-Paul recorded fewer than seven sacks for the first time since 2015 with just 2.5 last year for the Tampa Buccaneers, but he is still just in his early-30s and can contribute at a high level opposite or alongside [Odafe] Oweh."
"With Tyus Bowser recovering from a torn Achilles and neither [Daelin] Hayes nor [Vince] Biegel possessing a wealth of experience at playing the SAM spot, signing the four-time Pro Bowler would provide a great insurance policy and excellent depth. Barr is a player that has proven he can rush the passer, set the edge, play the run and make plays in coverage. He recorded 2.5 sacks, three interceptions, five pass breakups and a pair of fumble recoveries in 2021 with the Minnesota Vikings. The former first-round pick possesses the kind of diverse skill set that the Ravens traditionally covet on defense and especially at outside linebacker. Having another versatile asset and veteran presence for a young position group would be greatly beneficial."
Jalen Ramsey Joins the Outcry Over Lamar Jackson's Snub From QB Rankings
Add All-Pro Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the growing list of people who have had Jackson's back after he was snubbed from ESPN's top 10 quarterbacks rankings, which were determined by votes of more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players.
ESPN's Ryan Clark took to Twitter to double down on his support of Jackson, and Ramsey agreed with him.
"I feel like so many of the opinions about Lamar Jackson year after year are just based on people's priors rather than reflecting reality or context," ESPN's Mina Kimes said. "The notion that he has not played like a top 10 quarterback in the NFL is just ridiculous and I'm getting a little tired of it at this point."
Orlando Brown Jr. Not Close on Extension With Chiefs, Holdout Expected
Former Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and the Kansas City Chiefs are not expected to come to an agreement on a long-term extension before Friday, and he is likely to hold out of training camp, reported NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, who added that "even Week 1 is in question."
The Ravens granted Brown's request for a trade last offseason after he stated his desire to play exclusively at left tackle, sending him to Kansas City in a deal that included Baltimore getting the Chiefs' 2021 first-round pick (No. 31 overall), which they used to select Oweh.
The Chiefs have applied the franchise tag to Brown, but has yet to sign it. The deadline for tagged players to sign long-term deals is Friday at 4 p.m. ET. Brown would be paid $16.2 million this season if he plays on the franchise tag.
"Brown is aiming for top-of-the-market money at left tackle] (roughly $23 million), but Garafolo reports the Chiefs' offers have been consistent with top money for a right tackle ($19 million),” [NFL.com’s Grant Gordon wrote.
The Ravens signed Stanley to a five-year contract extension in 2022 with an average annual salary of $19.75 million.