Ravens news, notes and opinions: Shades of 2019? Reason for RB depth, signing draft picks - Jeff Zrebiec
The skeptics will point out that if the Ravens had a better receiving corps and weren’t relying on a guy like Roberts — he had a crucial drop in that loss to the Titans — they may not have lost early in the playoffs. They’ll say that defenses were starting to figure out the Ravens. They’ll say that the Ravens can no longer win with such a run-heavy approach because their offensive line isn’t as good.
All are fair critiques. Ravens coach John Harbaugh has talked many times about the need to evolve as an offense and be more dangerous in the downfield passing game. The question is whether the Ravens have the personnel to do it. Team decision-makers apparently believe they do, because there’s been little evidence they’ve aggressively pursued some of the top available receivers, even after trading Brown to the Cardinals.
On paper, the Ravens made improvements with their pass blocking with the additions of Moses and Linderbaum and those improvements could be significant if Ronnie Stanley is healthy. Their backfield is more explosive and diverse. They’ve added pass-catching ability and explosiveness to their tight ends group. But they’ve done nothing at wide receiver except trade the guy who was considered the most dynamic and established member.
Ranking the 10 best quarterback seasons in NFL history: Lamar Jackson’s epic 2019 campaign makes the cut - Bryan DeArdo
9. Lamar Jackson: 2019
Jackson’s MVP season of 2019 is truly unique. Along with leading the NFL in touchdown passes (36), Jackson led the league in yards-per-carry average (6.9 yards) in his first full season as the Ravens’ starting quarterback. Jackson’s 1,206 rushing yards that season broke Vick’s 13-year-old single-season record for a QB by 167 yards. Jackson won league MVP honors while leading the Ravens to a 14-2 record.
The criticism of Roman has always been his passing scheme. Last season, I thought he did a good job of adding some college schemes and adding a lot of option routes that gave the Ravens’ passing attack a bit of a playground feel. Even with all of the injuries that the Ravens suffered last season, they had the most explosive passing game in the league statistically for about the first half of the season. The Miami game was certainly embarrassing as they did not have enough answers for their Cover 0 blitz and the answers they did have were ineffective. Not that it’s an excuse for how bad they played but it’s difficult to prepare for such a unique defensive scheme with the limited practice for a Thursday Night game.
Roman’s expertise is the option run game that has been so effective for them and that has to be a big part of the offense to maximize Jackson’s athletic ability but the passing game has to be more consistent. The Atheltic’s Nate Tice outlined how Roman and Jackson have to be better against the blitz and man coverage here. Roman’s passing game looked much more diverse last season but the Ravens need to clean up some of their rules for their option routes to create better spacing and Jackson has to clean up his footwork and throw with more rhythm. I liked the progress that Roman made but this will be a telling season for him.
Ravens sign Isaiah Likely - Josh Alper
The team announced the signing of tight end Isaiah Likely, who was one of their six fourth-round picks in April. All six of those players will start their NFL lives with four-year deals.
Likely is the fourth of the Ravens’ 11 picks to sign and the first of those sixth-round selections.
Likely had 59 receptions for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns at Coastal Carolina last season. The touchdowns were the most for any tight end in the top level of college football.
2022 NFL outside cornerback rankings and tiers - Anthony Treash
There’s an argument to be made that Humphrey is better suited for the slot cornerback list (where he would claim the top spot), but he lands here because he has played more snaps on the outside since taking on a versatile role. The Alabama product ranked second only to A.J. Terrell in completion percentage allowed on the outside last season (47.8%). His grade on the outside ranks in the 62nd percentile since 2018, while his slot grade places in the 91st percentile.
The 29-year-old Peters is coming off a torn ACL suffered right before Week 1 of the 2021 season, ending his campaign prematurely. When he is healthy, though, there’s no denying he is liable to produce at a top-tier level. He’s been nothing but a heady, physical playmaker in his NFL career. Since 2015, no cornerback has tallied more combined pass breakups and interceptions than Peters (83). And remember, he holds this spot even despite not playing a down in 2021. Peters is still prone to slip-ups given his aggressive nature, but he makes up for it with big plays.
2022 NFL Head Coach Rankings: Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh and Andy Reid lead the way - Conor McQuiston
2. JOHN HARBAUGH, BALTIMORE RAVENS (10.7-6.3 RECORD WITH AVERAGE ROSTER)
Offensive Rank: 2/26 (+90 points scored a season)
Defensive Rank: 4/26 (-11 points allowed a season)
Harbaugh’s head coaching career includes many iterations of offenses helmed by the typically solid yet unspectacular Joe Flacco that generally lacked upper-echelon talent. Despite this, the Ravens have always fielded above-average offenses — and tremendous defenses.