In the Hunt
The Ravens have at least three starting-caliber safeties in Clark, Williams and Hamilton. Williams was Baltimore's biggest acquisition in free agency and is fully expected to take over one starting spot. Clark has been a major piece in Baltimore's defense, starting every game the past two seasons and wearing the green dot helmet to relay the defensive calls to his teammates. Clark has far more experience than Hamilton, but the 14th overall pick has the talent and versatility to make an immediate impact. Baltimore's coaching staff will have some intriguing choices, deciding which safeties to play in certain situations. Regardless of who starts, expect new Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald to show a variety of looks, including a potential increase in three-safety packages that feature Clark, Williams and Hamilton on the field together.
Jefferson and Stone are hard-nosed, smart players who also play special teams. But it remains to be seen if four, five, or even six safeties will make the 53-man roster. Jefferson brings a physical mentality and eight seasons of NFL experience. Stone was a seventh-round pick in 2020 who has improved each season. The Ravens will have some tough decisions to make regarding playing time and roster spots, but Jefferson and Stone hope to solidify a role with a strong training camp. The other player to watch in this mix is Stephens, who played safety last year but could be more of a jack-of-all-trades defensive back at safety and cornerback this season.
Under the Radar
Williams had 15 interceptions in five seasons with the Saints, while Hamilton had eight interceptions during his three seasons at Notre Dame. Their ability to create turnovers and cover ground in the secondary should help improve a Baltimore pass defense that ranked last in the NFL in 2021. The Ravens were ravaged by injuries in the secondary last season, but they allowed too many big plays and didn't force quarterbacks into enough mistakes. Adding Williams and Hamilton to the secondary gives the Ravens two more defensive playmakers who can change a game's momentum with takeaways.