NFL roster rankings for all 32 teams for 2022: Strengths, weaknesses and X factors for every starting lineup - Ben Linsey
12. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Biggest strength: The Ravens’ secondary was hit hard by injuries last season, but all signs point toward it entering the 2022 season with a deep and flexible group after adding Marcus Williams, Kyle Hamilton, Kyle Fuller, Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams this offseason. A safety trio of Williams, Hamilton and Chuck Clark — assuming Clark remains on the team — should be utilized in a variety of unique ways by new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. Williams (91.7 PFF grade since 2017) has been one of the more underrated safeties in the NFL over the past five seasons.
Biggest weakness: The Marquise Brown trade thins what was already one of the league’s worst wide receiver groups. Baltimore is going to operate out of a lot of heavier personnel groupings to feature fullback Patrick Ricard and tight ends Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle, Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar. However, the Ravens could still use a proven veteran who can win one-on-ones on the outside. Rashod Bateman projects as the team’s top option after averaging 1.3 yards per route run (83rd among 128 qualifying wide receivers) as a rookie last season.
X factor for 2022: Patrick Queen hasn’t graded well in his first two seasons out of LSU, but he has shown the ability to change games with his range when things are clicking. Those moments came more consistently in 2021, as he earned an 80-plus PFF grade in four separate games. Queen taking another step forward and performing at a high level more consistently in 2022 would provide a real boost to Baltimore’s defense.
SB Nation Reacts is conducting a poll on Ravens fans favorite offseason addition.
Ronnie Stanley, LT
Injury: Ronnie Stanley had season-ending ankle surgery in mid-October after playing just one game. It marked his second consecutive season prematurely ended by ankle surgery.
What they have said: “Ronnie’s ankle is looking great. Ronnie’s mission right now would be to get in the best shape of his life and get ready to play football, and that’s what he’s been working on.” — Harbaugh on June 16.
Expectations: The Ravens have been very careful about creating expectations for Stanley’s return. That’s understandable, especially after last offseason when general manager Eric DeCosta acknowledged he erred in banking too heavily on Stanley coming back at full strength. Still, team officials have expressed more optimism about Stanley in recent weeks than they had previously. Harbaugh’s quote above has to be considered encouraging. Obviously, Stanley will have plenty of work to do to get in shape and knock off rust. He’s only played one game in the last season and a half. If his ankle recovery is progressing more quickly than it was last offseason, and that’s what Stanley has reportedly told team officials, that’s a huge positive. Stanley has said that he felt like he rushed back last year in order to play in Week 1 and he won’t do that again, putting in question an early training camp appearance. Otherwise, there seems to be positive momentum here and that hasn’t always been the case.
Oweh stormed out of the gate in his debut season, recording three sacks and two forced fumbles in his first five games before cooling off down the stretch. Fortunately for him, the Ravens were able to convince Calais Campbell to return for another pursuit of a title, retaining a key interior pass rusher who will demand the offensive line’s attention. Oweh will first have to fully recover from offseason shoulder surgery, but should he successfully complete that process, I expect him to build on what was a promising first season. Safety Marcus Williams is also a logical choice here, but I’m swinging for the fences with Oweh, who could garner greater accolades if he continues to force turnovers, as he did in timely moments in 2021.
2022 NFL head coach rankings: Andy Reid reigns supreme, Sean McVay overtakes Bill Belichick - Cody Benjamin
5. John Harbaugh (Ravens)
Season: 15th with Ravens and as HC
Career record: 137-88 (.609) | Playoffs: 11-8 (1-0 in Super Bowls)
The big notch on Harbaugh’s belt, besides his 2012 Super Bowl title and 64% hit rate for playoff seasons, is reinvention. He’s led pass-happy teams. He’s led run-heavy teams. He’s led defensive teams. Injuries really rocked the boat in 2021, so he’s due for a rebound. You just wonder if and when the next reinvention may come, considering the Ravens haven’t advanced past the Divisional Round in a decade and QB Lamar Jackson is looking to prove he’s more than just an electric regular-season star.
The Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Ravens are two of the best-run organizations in the NFL.
But the way they go about building their rosters is completely different. The Ravens build through the draft, compiling picks and adding young talent year in and year out. The Rams, on the other hand, haven’t had a first-round pick since 2016 and are always looking to trade away their top selections to acquire proven players – like Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller.
What Newsome doesn’t appear to understand is that the Rams didn’t just go all-in last season for a “one-year run,” as he put it. Los Angeles is built to contend for the next few years (at least) thanks to the players they’ve acquired and paid: Stafford, Ramsey, Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, Bobby Wagner, Allen Robinson.
Looking back, you could argue the Rams have gone “all-in” every year since 2018, when they reached their first Super Bowl. That year, they acquired Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh.
There are multiple ways to construct a championship-caliber roster, and the Rams and Ravens are perfect examples of that. But to say the Rams can’t sustain success or that their approach is all about a one-year run simply isn’t true.