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Ravens News 5/31: Secondary Makeover and more

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens secondary: Addition of youth and versatility has makeover feeling complete - Jeff Zrebiec

In are cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and rookie draft picks Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams and safeties Marcus Williams and first-round pick Kyle Hamilton. Out are cornerbacks Anthony Averett, Tavon Young, Jimmy Smith, Chris Westry and Khalil Dorsey along with safeties DeShon Elliott and Anthony Levine Sr.

No position group has undergone as much turnover this offseason as the secondary. As head coach John Harbaugh reviewed his defensive backfield following organized team activities last Wednesday, he sees a position group that he’d be plenty content with heading into the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the New York Jets.

“Never say never, but for now, I feel really good about that group back there,” Harbaugh said. “I mean, really good, about the secondary, personnel-wise.”

Clark and Jefferson can be strong safeties or they can be used as dime linebackers. The Ravens would have no problem with Williams in coverage in the slot or with Hamilton playing deep safety or moving closer to the line of scrimmage.

“We’re in a position that I can’t recall we’ve been in before,” Humphrey said. “I think it will all just come down to us.”

Ravens Will Still Lean on Leadership of Chuck Clark - Todd Karpovich

“It’s Chuck,” Harbaugh said. “He didn’t want to miss OTAs [organized team activities]; that’s something that was important to him, and he came in here on Tuesday ready to go and in great shape, and [he] picked up right where he left off. He just walked in the building, and he was Chuck Clark – running the defense. So, it’s not surprising at all.”

Harbaugh will ensure all of his playmakers get snaps.

“Everybody’s role is what it is,” Harbaugh said. “That’s why, as a coach, you’re so excited about … The idea is to have as many good players as you can have and have them in the right spots and the right roles. I love the fact that we have very versatile players in the backend and at safety.

Every NFL team’s top-three players entering the 2022 season - Ben Linsey

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Injuries decimated Baltimore’s roster in 2021, and they limited Jackson at quarterback for the first time in his career. Jackson’s 70.2 PFF grade last season was his lowest since his rookie season in 2018, but he remains one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league and should bounce back in 2022.

Humphrey also had a down season last year, most notably allowing 227 passing yards into his coverage in a Week 5 matchup against Ja’Marr Chase and the Cincinnati Bengals. However, he still profiles as one of the top cornerbacks in the league who is capable of delivering above-average play in the slot or outside.

Andrews had no such down year, as he dropped just three of 149 targets and was PFF’s highest-graded tight end in 2021.

Also considered: S Marcus Williams

Predicting Every NFL Team’s 2022 Surprise Rookie Gem - Ian Wharton

Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Badie, RB

A lot went wrong in 2021 as the Baltimore Ravens suffered a slew of injuries that changed their season. Their running back depth was lost before the campaign even began, and the franchise hoped that quarterback Lamar Jackson’s presence would open opportunities for lesser talents. Unfortunately, the Ravens learned the hard way that older backs who lack explosiveness couldn’t sustain success.

Gone are Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and Le’Veon Bell. Baltimore added Mike Davis from Atlanta on top of welcoming back J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill off injured reserve. And yet, our pick to become a rookie gem is sixth-rounder Tyler Badie.

The former Missouri playmaker has great explosiveness and ability to impact the offense as a receiver. He totaled 3,889 yards from scrimmage and 34 scores throughout his career despite only being the primary rusher in his senior season. Watch for his quickness and receiving ability to make a difference as he climbs the depth chart while Baltimore rotates backs in its run-heavy offense.

2022 NFL win totals best bets: Top five plays to consider, including Saints and Ravens - Jordan Dajani

Baltimore Ravens Over 9.5 (-130)

This team won eight games last year in what was a forgettable campaign headlined by injuries across the board. Lamar Jackson is 37-12 as the starter in Baltimore, and the Ravens have won at least 11 games in both of his two seasons as the full-time starter before 2021. There’s no doubt that the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns are going to be solid in 2022, but the Ravens are returning J.K. Dobbins, improved the offensive line and made several impressive additions on the defensive side of the ball in the draft. I don’t think Baltimore flies over this win total, but I do have the Ravens winning 10 games.