The Ravens haven’t been represented in many of the NFL’s national awards in recent years, but could that change following this upcoming season? On both sides of the ball and in the coaching staff, Baltimore has some names who could potentially find themselves in the running for league-wide honors.
At the same time, however, the chances of some of these guys winning said awards are slim. Still, anything can happen and it’s impossible to rule out the possibility of the below scenarios occurring. With this in mind, here are some national awards and the corresponding Ravens players with the best chances at winning them.
MVP / Offensive Player of the Year
Candidates: Lamar Jackson, QB
The Most Valuable Player award has been given to a quarterback in all but one season since 2010, the lone exception being Adrian Peterson in 2012. Lamar Jackson may not be the Ravens best overall player but he certainly has the best chance of winning MVP out of everyone on the roster. It would take a breakout season of epic proportions and an extremely successful season from the Ravens as a whole for this to happen, though. Jackson would have to post gaudy numbers and lead the Ravens to, at the bare minimum, a division title and likely an appearance in the AFC championship game.
Needless to say it’s definitely a long shot but hey, who knows. If Jackson’s numbers are impressive enough, he could also potentially contend for Offensive Player of the Year honors - an award won by Patrick Mahomes last season. Mahomes also won MVP, further showing the gravity of quarterbacks on a national scale.
Defensive Player of the Year / Comeback Player of the Year
Candidates: Earl Thomas, S
It’s tough to exclude guys like Marlon Humphrey and Matthew Judon here, but veteran safety Earl Thomas is likely the only Ravens player capable of winning DPOTY. His combination of talent and name-recognition around the league makes him a potentially viable candidate. Thomas has played well enough to win the award in the past but since 2012, J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald have accounted for five of the seven winners. If Thomas has a big individual season and anchors a top-ranked defense, watch out.
Thomas is an even better bet to win Comeback Player of the Year, last given to Colts QB Andrew Luck. Thomas is coming off a broken leg injury which ended his season after four games last year. Factoring in also his age and ugly parting with the Seattle Seahawks, and the narrative is certainly there for Thomas to win CPOTY, so long as he does his part on the field.
Rookie of the Year / Offensive Rookie of the Year
Candidates: Marquise Brown, WR
The NFL divides their rookie honors into three separate awards: Rookie of the Year, which represents the top overall rookie on either side of the ball, Offensive Rookie of the Year, and Defensive Rookie of the Year. Out of all the Ravens rookies drafted this season, first-round pick Marquise Brown has the best chance of taking home either of the first two honors. Brown could very well put up some significant yardage and touchdown numbers given his big-play ability and projected role in the offense as the #1 receiver. He’s already a relatively nationally-recognized player, too, which helps his cause.
This is all dependent of course on Brown recovering from his lisfranc injury, which held him out of OTA’s and minicamp, and remaining healthy throughout the season. Baltimore also drafted two other skill position players, Miles Boykin and Justice Hill, but they won’t have the volume needed to contend for either the ROTY or OROTY awards.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Candidates; Jaylon Ferguson, OLB
Baltimore’s second-overall pick Jaylon Ferguson is the only freshman on the Ravens with a serious shot at winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Granted, Ferguson’s chances are slim given the amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball in this year’s draft class. Guys like Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams are the odds-on favorites to win the award but if Ferguson has a huge season, he could potentially contend. Ferguson would have to secure a starting role, or at least play starter-like minutes, and post impressive numbers in the sack department. Sacks sell in the national media, as well as forced fumbles. Ferguson’s only shot at winning DROTY would come if he’s responsible for multiple turnovers, records a decent number of tackles and approaches the double-digit sack barrier.
Assistant Coach of the Year
Candidates: Don Martindale (DC) and Greg Roman (OC)
Both the Ravens offensive and defensive coordinators could potentially contend for Assistant Coach of the Year honors. “Wink” Martindale engineered a top-ranked defensive unit last year but the award was given the ex-Chicago Bears DC Vic Fangio. He could have an even better chance at winning it this year, however, as another strong performance by the Ravens defense would be even more impressive given the losses of C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, and Terrell Suggs. New OC Greg Roman also has decent odds at taking home ACOTY, but it’s imperative that the Ravens offense takes a huge step forward. Roman is the primary catalyst in rebuilding the offense “from the ground up”, so if Lamar Jackson and company develop into an explosive, potent offensive unit, Roman will get much of the credit, and rightfully so.
AP Coach of the Year
Candidates: John Harbaugh
Predicting a Coach of the Year winner is tricky and perhaps a bit premature, as narrative and success really control the odds here - both of which are difficult to foresee. Still, John Harbaugh deserves the benefit of the doubt in terms of his potential chances at winning COTY in 2019-20. Harbaugh is a great coach and was just signed to a contract extension. If he gets the most out of the team’s players on both sides of the ball and leads the Ravens to a division title and deep playoff run, both of which are not necessarily outside the realm of possibility, then he’d have a solid chance at winning the award for the first time.