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Ravens News 6/1: Elite Tier and more

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Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

2022 NFL tight end rankings and tiers - Anthony Treash

TIER 1: ELITE

4. MARK ANDREWS, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Andrews took his game to another level in 2021 and became even more of the go-to option for quarterback Lamar Jackson. He posted a career-high 91.5 PFF grade in 2021, the highest among tight ends. The 6-foot-5, 256-pound tight end boasts top-tier ball skills, provides a physical element as a receiver and makes difficult grabs over the middle in traffic look routine. Andrews ranked top five at the position in drop rate (2.6%) and contested catch rate (60%, 18-of-30) while producing more 15-plus yard receptions than any other tight end in the NFL (33). He’s essentially a big slot in the Ravens’ offense, as he played over 50% of his snaps on the inside. And Andrews isn’t a slouch when blocking inline, either, ranking third among tight ends in run-blocking grade for 2021.

Mark Andrews: Ravens Tight Ends Are ‘Going to Be Scary’ - Ryan Mink

Blocking is still a critical part of the job, but this season, Andrews expects the tight ends room to get back to being an all-around offensive engine in Baltimore.

While Andrews will still lead the way, he’s confident Boyle is back stronger, and rookie fourth-round picks Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely have already made strong first impressions.

“We have a great room,” Andrews said last week during organized team activities. “It’s going to be scary. We’ve got a lot of tight ends that can play some ball.

“I think with just having all these guys, we’re going to have the ability … I think [when] you look at last year, we got a little thin at times. There’s a lot of guys in our room that can play football, and we’re only going to get better and better, learn the offense more.”

Kolar, who grew up in Norman, Okla., loved watching Andrews play at Oklahoma and emulated him. Kolar joked after being drafted that he planned to “annoy” Andrews with so many questions.

“It’s humbling,” Andrews said. “For me, when I came out of the league, there’s certain guys that I really looked at and looked up to. So, for me, to kind of be that type of guy [and] role model, I’m going to (do) everything I can to help both of these young guys – every one of these tight ends – in any way I can, share my knowledge, share what I can do.”

Calais Campbell Can Still Be Force for Ravens - Todd Karpovich

Calais Campbell mulled retirement last year but decided to play at least another year.

The Ravens also did not want to see the stout defensive tackle go and inked him to a two-year deal in April.

“I’m excited,” fellow defensive tackle Justin Madubuike said. “That’s the big ‘bro.’ I’m just grateful. Just another year of learning from him, and another year of just being great with him, and on this journey to get to the Super Bowl – that’s the main goal. So, it’s great to have a guy like that in your corner.”

The key for Baltimore is to monitor Campbell’s playing time to make sure he is healthy and productive over the 17-game season and playoffs.

Baltimore drafted defensive tackle Travis Jones and he will help with rotation.

NFL June 1 cuts and trades 2022: Notable candidates who could change teams - Mike Kay

Chuck Clark, S, Baltimore Ravens

Post-June 1 savings: $2.75 million

After signing Marcus Williams to a massive contract in free agency and drafting standout Kyle Hamilton in the first round, the Ravens don’t have a ton of use for Chuck Clark. With a cap number that hovers around $5 million, dropping the veteran could make sense, especially if they can trade him to a safety-needed team (like the Eagles?) this summer.

Clark has been a quality starter for the Ravens over the past two seasons, but the room has clearly been upgraded. Look for the Ravens, who are needing space, to make a move.

Nelson Agholor, WR, New England Patriots

Post-June 1 savings: $4.88 million

The Patriots signed Nelson Agholor to be a starting wideout last season. While he was a good veteran presence at the position, Agholor’s output wasn’t on par with his salary. In 15 games (13 starts), Agholor caught just 37 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns. That’s not worth the $9 million salary that Agholor is set to collect this season.

While a release isn’t likely, the Patriots could look to trade Agholor ahead of training camp. With Jakobi Meyers and DeVante Parker on the depth chart, the Patriots can afford to see what’s out there for Agholor. New England could use an influx of cap space this summer.

2022 NFL Season: Ranking the AFC North Teams - Jack McKessy

One of those teams is the Ravens, who had the best draft of any team in the NFL. To help out their own top-tier quarterback, Lamar Jackson, Baltimore brought in Tyler Linderbaum, the top center prospect in the 2022 class, and tight ends Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely. Baltimore will also be getting running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards back from their injuries, which only makes their lethal running game even better.

On top of the strong offense is their incredible defense, which only got stronger with the addition of safety Marcus Williams in free agency. The Ravens added safety Kyle Hamilton, edge rusher David Ojabo and defensive tackle Travis Jones in the draft. Given that defense plus an offensive setup reminiscent of the Ravens’ 2019 campaign—which featured a 14-2 finish and Jackson’s unanimous MVP season—their roster looks even better than Cincinnati’s.

Ranking the AFC North, a division stacked with talent, I’d say the Ravens have the best team from top to bottom on both sides of the ball, especially after the offseason they’ve had. They’re followed by the Browns (if Watson doesn’t miss significant time), then the Bengals, then the Steelers. If Watson does miss significant time, Cleveland slides down a spot between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.