clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ravens 2021 Position Review: Tight End/Fullback

The starters at both positions performed exceptionally well but the lack of depth and health hurt the offense overall.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

After a turbulent 2021 season that was ravaged and ultimately derailed by injuries, the Baltimore Ravens are fully focused on moving forward. Before we completely turn the page to the 2022 offseason, let’s look back at the overall performance of their tight end and fullback position group from this last year.

Mark Andrews

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

2021 stats: 17 games, nine starts, 153 targets, 107 receptions, 1,361 receiving yards, nine touchdown, 12.7 yards per reception, 8.9 yards per target, 69.9 completion percentage, and one carry for no yards.

Despite catching passes from three different quarterbacks over the course of the year, Andrews churned out one of the best seasons by a tight end in recent memory and rewrote the Ravens’ franchise pass-catching record books. He went from one of the more underrated players at his position to one of its premier playmakers and was the most productive of the elite bunch in 2021.

Andrews fought through double, bracket, and sometimes even triple coverage and was still able to make big plays, come up with clutch catches, and consistently answer the call when his quarterbacks needed a play to be made. He earned every bit of the lucrative extension he signed just before the season that now looks like a bargain in hindsight.

Patrick Ricard

Minnesota Vikings v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

2021 stats: 13 games, 11 starts, 13 targets, eight receptions, 63 receiving yards, one touchdown, 7.9 yards per reception, 4.8 yards per target, 61.5 completion percentage, and two carries for four yards.

The former undrafted gem has gone from a converted defensive lineman that played both ways to blossoming into one of the best players at his position. He has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three years, in addition to being a devastating blocker in the running game, Ricard has seen his role as pass catcher grow each year. Even though he missed four of the final five games of the season, Ricard still recorded career-highs in receiving yards, yards after the catch, and yards per target. He is a impending unrestricted free agent and should be at the top of the Ravens offseason priority list to retain with a new deal.

Nick Boyle

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

2021 stats: Five games, three starts, two targets, one reception, two receiving yards,

The seven-year veteran run-blocking extraordinaire missed the first nine games of the season and hardly played in four of the five games he appeared in once activated from injured reserve. It was apparent that he was still not fully recovered from the catastrophic knee injury that prematurely ended his 2020 season. Hopefully, the team will take a more patient approach with the recovery of Boyle, left tackle Ronnie Stanley, and others returning from major injuries heading into 2022.

Josh Oliver

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

2021 stats: 14 games, one start, 15 targets, nine receptions, 66 receiving yards, 60 completion percentage, and four total tackles.

When the Ravens shipped a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for the former 2019 third round last March it was viewed as a low-risk-high-reward transaction. Unfortunately, the team didn’t receive the return they had hoped for, as Oliver failed to seize the complementary pass-catching tight end role behind Mark Andrews.

While he had some mild success in the preseason, Oliver didn’t carry over that momentum into the regular season. Even if he returns to Baltimore for the final year of his rookie deal, the Ravens will still be looking to add to the position as they continue their search to fill the void that was left when Hayden Hurst was traded away in the 2020 offseason.

Eric Tomlinson

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

2021 stats: 17 games, seven starts, one target, one reception, seven receiving yards, and five solo tackles.

With Boyle out of commission for the vast majority of the season and Ricard banged up down the stretch, the seven-year veteran saw plenty of action on offense as a blocker in the run game. He admirably filled Boyle’s role as an in-line blocker and assumed Ricard’s responsibilities in the backfield as a lead blocker in the run game. Re-signing Tomlinson won’t be a priority for the Ravens this offseason but they will definitely stay in touch with him and could bring him back for training camp.