Ranking the NFL’s top 10 kickers entering 2022: Justin Tucker tops list that’s heavy on AFC North kickers - John Breech
1. Justin Tucker, Ravens
It’s not often that you talk about a kicker being a lock for the Hall of Fame, but Justin Tucker is getting close to being in that category after 10 NFL seasons.
Being a great kicker in the NFL comes down to one main thing, and that’s the ability to make field goals. No one does that better than Tucker. Over the course of his career, he’s made 91.1% of his kicks, which makes him the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Tucker’s accuracy numbers would be even higher if the Ravens didn’t regularly trot him out for crazy kicks. Over the course of his career, the Ravens have asked him to attempt six field goals of 61 yards or more (he’s 2 of 6 on those kicks).
The crazy thing about Tucker is that he actually seems to be getting better with age. Not only did he lead the NFL in field goal percentage last season (94.6%), but he also made every single one of his extra points. Not to mention, there’s no one more clutch than Tucker, who has made 58 STRAIGHT field goals that were attempted in either the fourth quarter or overtime.
The Ravens kicker has been voted a first-team All-Pro a total of five times, which is wildly impressive when you consider that no other kicker has done it three times. Also, Tucker is a scoring machine who has scored at least 130 points in six straight seasons, which is an NFL record.
At 32 years old, Tucker is still young by kicking standards, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him play eight to 10 more seasons.
Versatility Will Be Key for Ravens Running Backs - Todd Karpovich
The Ravens have put an increased focus on the running backs catching the ball out of the backfield.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman is confident the players on the current roster have the ability to take this strategy to the next level.
“If we have guys that really display that skill set, then we’ll definitely do that,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “There have been times here in the past … A couple of years ago, we had a very fruitful passing game with the ’backs out of the backfield. So, that’s something we’re really trying to do more of this year.”
“The movement skills are really good,” Roman said about Badie. “You saw a few jump cuts he made there, saw him out of the backfield a couple of times, so I’m starting to see some real versatility there. We’ll see how it goes once the pads come on. I mean, we’re working hard, we’re getting a lot done, but we are running around in our shorts. When the pads come on, then you get a true indication.”
RUNNING BACKS (7)
IN: J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards
BUBBLE: Mike Davis, Tyler Badie, Justice Hill
LONG SHOT: Nate McCrary, Ricky Person
Skinny: This position group is the ultimate shrug man emoji with injuries, age, and contract status impacting how it might look for the season opener on Sept. 11. If Dobbins and Edwards are 100% and ready to go for Week 1, the higher floor provided by the 29-year-old Davis becomes more expendable, but you’d still expect the Ravens to prioritize depth after last year’s injury nightmare. Badie’s upside and contractual control as a sixth-round pick make him a better bet to make the roster than Hill in his contract year, but the latter is good on special teams and shouldn’t be counted out returning from a torn Achilles tendon.
WIDE RECEIVERS (12)
IN: Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Tylan Wallace
BUBBLE: Binjimen Victor, Devon Williams
LONG SHOT: Jaylon Moore, Slade Bolden, Shemar Bridges, Trevon Clark, Makai Polk, Raleigh Webb
Skinny: Of the practice-squad options and rookie free agents trying to prove they’re worthy of a roster spot behind a top four that aren’t all that established themselves, Victor and Williams flashed the most this spring and are each 6-foot-4 or taller as red-zone options. No matter how many receivers Baltimore keeps, the current group doesn’t inspire enough confidence for a team aiming for the Super Bowl. We’ll see if a veteran addition that moves the needle comes to fruition at some point.
The Ravens are currently set to start 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernayand James Proche at wide receiver after trading away Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals and losing Sammy Watkins in free agency. Fuller has had trouble staying healthy, but he could be a reasonable facsimile of Brown if he’s looking to play in 2022. The Ravens were identified as an attractive landing spot for veteran wide receivers, per one source.
Redrafting the 2021 NFL Draft: Mac Jones to the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons nab Micah Parsons - Sam Monson
Original Pick: WR RASHOD BATEMAN
Oweh was good enough as a rookie for Baltimore to grab him again with the first of two picks rather than the second. Oweh’s speed and burst is legitimate, and he had multiple pressures in all but four games in his first season. He finished with 49 pressures, second only to Parsons among first-year players. Oweh has big-time potential and just needs to iron out the inconsistencies going forward.
Original Pick: EDGE ODAFE OWEH
The Ravens end up with the same two players they drafted in the first round but flip the order in which they select them. Bateman battled injury before finally getting on the field. While he didn’t set the world alight, he did show some savvy route running and ability to separate at a time when the Ravens offense was struggling overall in the passing game. Bateman averaged only 1.26 yards per route run but caught 66.7% of his contested targets and 70.8% of targets overall.