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Ravens News 3/2: Swag Needed and more

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking the 7 NFL teams most likely to improve in 2022 - Anthony Treash

2. BALTIMORE RAVENS

2021 Win Total: 8

2021 WAR Implied Win Total: 8.1

Injuries decimated the Ravens in 2021. Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters were the three most valuable Ravens in 2019 and 2020 collectively, and all three missed crucial time in 2021. To no surprise, Baltimore led the NFL in WAR lost this past season due to injury. The good news is that Jackson, Humphrey and Peters will be ready to go for the 2022 season.

Baltimore doesn’t really have many opportunities to make major roster additions this offseason but landing either cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. or Trent McDuffie with its No. 14 overall pick would be a home run, as both rank top eight on PFF’s big board.

The Ravens have many needs. Some swag should be near the top of the list. - Mike Preston

Even though injuries cost them dearly in 2021, the Ravens need a few more top-quality players who can push them over the hump or they won’t go far in the playoffs. Right now, they are stuck at the bottom of the top tier in the NFL because of the lack of game-changers.

The Ravens have tried to increase their number of impact players since the Great Purge of 2012 when they parted ways with dominant players both on the field and in personality in Lewis, Reed, receiver Anquan Boldin and safety Bernard Pollard. But it just hasn’t worked out.

The Ravens have a lot of needs — like every team at this time of year — but there are some other missing ingredients like tough guys, leadership and mentors who are willing to call out other players when it is warranted. The Ravens need more swag.

In other words, they are too bland.

The blue-collar philosophy is in place and so is the strong work ethic, but a prominent former general manager once told me: “On every team, you have to have three or four thugs on your team.”

The Ravens are missing these kinds of players.

They should revisit their own history to find it.

Top 101 NFL free agents of 2022: Davante Adams, Chris Godwin lead off ranking - Gregg Rosenthal

Rank 61

DeShon Elliott

S · Age: 25

Now we are at the part of the list where I’ve ranked certain players I believe in — like Elliott — higher than you might find them in another free-agent rundown. Elliott added so much toughness to the Ravens’ secondary when he took over as a starter in 2020. He sat out most of last year with a biceps and pectoral injury, and the Ravens missed him greatly.

Ravens should target these 6 free agents - Justin Melo

JASON PETERS, OT, CHICAGO BEARS

The Ravens must better protect themselves in case Ronnie Stanley’s career continues to be hampered by injury.

The 40-year-old Jason Peters is miraculously still a high-level player at an unprecedented age at his position. Should Peters continue playing in 2022, he’ll want to do so for a legitimate contender after spending the 2021 season with the rebuilding Chicago Bears. Peters is still an excellent run blocker that would give Baltimore another much-needed option across their starting five. We’d love to witness this link-up next season.

MELVIN INGRAM, EDGE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

The Ravens recorded just 34 sacks in 17 regular-season contests. A franchise that has often prided itself on strong defensive reputations, the 2021 iteration of Ravens lacked the pop of prior pass-rushing units.

Melvin Ingram still has enough juice to produce as a rotational pass rusher and as a tone-setting edge defender in the run game. Ingram enjoyed a second-half resurgence after being traded by the Steelers to the Kansas City Chiefs and will prefer to play for a Super Bowl contender again in 2022. Ingram possesses the attitude and mentality to thrive as a Raven. He’s nearing the end of his illustrious career, so finding the correct environment is key to continued success. Both parties would benefit from this move.

2022 NFL free agency mock draft: Chris Godwin to Lions, Jameis Winston to Steelers, and 30 other moves - Cody Benjamin

14. Ravens: DE Emmanuel Ogbah

Calais Campbell could easily warrant another short-term deal here, but Ogbah offers longer-term upside and some emerging pass-rushing juice for a defensive front that’s lacked steady pressure.

Ryan Jensen Free Agency Profile: Potential landing spots, contract situation, stats, and more - Mike Kaye

Jensen is riding a wave of momentum entering free agency. Over the past seasons, he’s won a Super Bowl and been named a Pro Bowler at a vital position. Playing in front of Tom Brady has its perks.

“He’s extremely tough, extremely competitive, and he’s very productive. He’s actually really improved his game, even from the last time that he was a free agent. I would think he’d be the top center on the market.” — Longtime NFL scout to Pro Football Network on Jensen’s free agent outlook.

Concern with Carson Wentz, absolute comfort with Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes: NFL Quarterback Angst Index - Mike Sando

20. Baltimore Ravens

Injuries, some decline in performance/production and an unsettled contract situation create longer-range angst surrounding Lamar Jackson, but nothing too concerning in the immediate future.