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Ravens News 2/25: The Offseason Priority and more

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Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

A 10-step guide for NFL teams to avoid a disastrous offseason - Sheil Kapadia

Prioritize offensive efficiency above all else

Of the 20 teams that have made the championship round in the last five years, 18 (90%) had an offense that finished in the top quartile (8th or better) in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. And 13 (65%) had an offense that finished in the top five.

If we look at those same 20 teams, just eight (40%) had a top-quartile defense. And six (30%) had a defense that finished in the top five.

So what’s the point? In the 2022 version of the NFL, defense matters, but offense matters more. Teams that acknowledge that simple truth will have an edge over teams that dismiss it.

There are always going to be exceptions, but if you don’t build an efficient offense, your chances for sustained success are going to drop significantly. And offensive efficiency carries over from one year to the next more often than defensive efficiency. If you have the right quarterback and/or the right play-caller and/or a brilliant scheme, you have a great chance to be in the mix for a prolonged period of time.

If you don’t have an efficient offense, your team-building decisions and resource allocation should be geared toward developing one.

Ravens: Fact Vs. Opinion - Todd Karpovich

Fact: The Ravens offense ranked No. 6 in total yards (378.8 ypg) and registered the league’s No. 3 rushing attack (145.8 ypg).

Opinion: The Ravens were still productive on offense despite losing all three running backs in training camp and Jackson missing five games. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has been a lightning rod for criticism but Harbaugh expressed confidence in him this offseason. But if the Ravens struggle over the first quarter of the season, don’t be surprised if Harbaugh makes a change. He’s done so in the past.

Baltimore Ravens: 4 bold predictions for the 2022 NFL offseason - Karl Rasmussen

Ravens go after top-tier defensive free agent

With so many vacancies potentially opening up on the Ravens’ defense, it would be wise for the team to go out and make a splash on a game-changing defender. Their biggest needs are either at linebacker or in the secondary, so going after an experienced player like Anthony Barr or K.J. Wright could be a good route for the team to take. If they want to roll the dice in hopes that Patrick Queen takes a big leap in 2022, then they could use that money towards spending on the secondary, where a top safety such as Tyrann Mathieu could likely be acquired on the open market.

2022 NFL Free Agent Offensive Linemen: Terron Armstead, Ryan Jensen, and Orlando Brown could have big markets - Ben Rolfe

Ryan Jensen | C

Age: 30

Previous team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Market value: $10 million

Injury history

Ryan Jensen has been something of an ironman in his career. He has started every game for the past five seasons and played through an ankle injury in the 2021-2022 Divisional Round. Jensen had ankle, shoulder, and hip injuries in 2021, but he managed to play through them all.

2022 NFL Free Agency: Buy-low candidates at every position - Ben Linsey

SAFETY: MALIK HOOKER

Safety isn’t a position lacking options in this free-agent class, which could lead to a player who hasn’t played in a full-time starting role since 2019 like Hooker being overlooked.

Hooker delivered some strong performances for Dallas in his return from a torn Achilles injury that ended his 2020 season early. He has an intriguing combination of range in coverage with a willingness to add on in run support when playing closer to the line of scrimmage. Yet to turn 26 years old, Hooker will likely be forced to sign another one-year contract on the cheaper side this offseason, but there’s some upside for Hooker as a potential starter in that situation.

2022 NFL mock draft (Version 2.0): Forget the buzz. Here’s what each team should do in the first round - C.J. Doon

14. Baltimore Ravens: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

The Ravens like to stick to the “best player available” mantra, which could lead to a heated discussion in the draft day war room. Would a stud defender like linebacker Nakobe Dean, cornerback Trent McDuffie or defensive lineman Travon Walker be the best option? What about a potential game-breaking receiver like Jameson Williams to pair with Rashod Bateman, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews? Is all-world center Tyler Linderbaum really worth a top-15 pick? In the end, solidifying the offensive line trumps everything after a season in which the Ravens allowed 57 sacks, second-most in the NFL. The 6-5, 310-pound Cross allowed just 16 pressures on 719 pass-blocking snaps in 2021, according to PFF. He’d be a solid bookend to Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley and provide valuable insurance if Stanley can’t stay healthy.