clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ravens News 7/11: Problematic WR Corps and more

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Strengths and weaknesses of every AFC team entering 2022 NFL training camp - Sam Monson


Biggest Strength: Quarterbacks

Lamar Jackson is unique, but Baltimore has done well to find a solid backup in Tyler Huntley who can emulate some of what makes Jackson special. Lamar’s unique skill set allows Baltimore to craft an offense unlike the rest of the league, and it’s difficult to overstate how big of an edge that gives the team on a weekly basis or the knock-on impact it has in putting other players (like offensive linemen) in an “easier” situation.

Biggest Weakness: Wide Receiver

Trading away Marquise Brown was smart roster management given the contract he will be chasing as well as the offense they run in Baltimore, but it does put everything on the shoulders of Rashod Bateman as he enters his second season. Bateman averaged just 1.26 yards per route run as a rookie, and he is by far the team’s best option at the position. Even with this style of offense, receiver could become problematic as the year wears on.

NFL teams that helped their QB the most and least in 2022: Bengals, Ravens take opposite paths - Bryan DeArdo

Three teams that helped their QB the least

Baltimore Ravens

Instead of signing a top-flight receiver, the Ravens traded away their best receiver — to the ire of QB Lamar Jackson — during the NFL Draft. Baltimore parted ways with Jackson’s favorite receiver, Marquise Brown, then failed to draft or bring in anyone who can replace him. Baltimore’s top returning wide receiver is Rashod Bateman, who as a rookie last season caught 46 passes for 515 yards and a touchdown.

It should be noted that the Ravens did beef up their offensive line during the draft by selecting former Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in the first round and former Minnesota tackle Daniel Faalele in the fourth round. The Ravens also added to their receiving corps by selecting tight ends Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely in the fourth round.

10 Questions: Will the Running Game Be Dominant Again? - Ryan Mink

Baltimore followed through on the promise of a revolutionary offense in 2019, setting the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season.

Lamar Jackson toppled the all-time mark for rushing yards by a quarterback and the Ravens’ running backs rumbled along with him. Baltimore averaged a whopping 206 yards on the ground.

The Ravens followed that up with another dominant ground attack in 2020, averaging 191.9 yards per game. That was nearly 24 more rushing yards per game than the second-place team.

In 2021, the Ravens were still among the NFL’s best in running the ball, but they weren’t dominant. Baltimore finished third in the league at 145.8 yards per game. Much of that was because the Ravens lost their top three running backs – J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill – to season-ending injuries before the year began.

After cobbling together a veteran-laden backfield of Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and Le’Veon Bell, the Ravens just weren’t as threatening when Jackson handed the ball off.

Any offense engineered by Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman will have success running the football. Roman is widely regarded as one of the best in the league in attacking defenses on the ground. But having the right personnel is needed to do the job at the highest level.

Justin Houston Adds Clarity Amid Uncertainty In Ravens’ Edge Rush Group - Bo Smolka

Pending Bowser’s return, Houston and Oweh figure to be the top edge rushers for new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who held that same position at the University of Michigan last year during Houston’s only season in Baltimore.

Daelin Hayes, who played in just one game as a rookie last year before being shut down by injury, looked strong in OTA workouts and could be a factor on the edge. The Ravens also signed versatile six-year veteran Vince Biegel, who can play inside or outside linebacker, and Malik Harrison could get a look as an outside linebacker, as he did at times last season.

Houston, though, at least should add some clarity amid a lot of uncertainty.

The 12 (or Maybe 13) Teams That Could Actually Win Super Bowl LVII - Conor Orr

Baltimore Ravens

My offseason love affair with the Ravens is well known. Here’s a column about it. Here’s a podcast about it. They already had one of the best drafts in modern NFL history back in 2018, and ’22 may end up being a close second with the addition of talented prospects such as safety Kyle Hamilton, center Tyler Linderbaum and edge rusher David Ojabo. That’s one reason I love the Ravens this year.

Another? No one has figured out how to stop their offense yet! Teams have borrowed freely from Baltimore’s suite of backfield motion concepts and still, since ’18, they remain one of the most efficient units in football featuring a quarterback who has never thrown for more than 3,200 yards in a season. It’s incredible, quite frankly.

This season, the Ravens will be healthier, more athletic and younger at key offensive line positions. I have seen your rebuttal, that they have only one potentially good wide receiver, and I will counter by saying that Mark Andrews is one of the 10 best pass catchers in the NFL, and that a 10-yard pass to a tight end is largely the same as a 10-yard pass to a wide receiver.

2022 NFL Superstar Club: Justin Herbert and Ja’Marr Chase hop in; Kyler Murray and Julio Jones fall out - Dan Hanzus


IN: Justin Tucker

Baltimore Ravens · Age 32

Yeah, I’m doing it. Tucker is 1-of-1, an automatic All-Pro and indispensable piece of a legit AFC contender in Baltimore. His unmatched résumé, mastering the sport’s most pressure-filled and relentlessly scrutinized position, should make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer one day. Now ... I understand there’s a philosophical aspect to this conversation that touches on what it means to be a “superstar”; how it’s about elite production, sure, but also presence, charisma, a certain je ne sais quoi that — to this point in football history — no kicker had ever possessed. Well, I’m here to tell you that Justin Tucker possesses that je ne sais quoi. And if you ever try to take it from him, that man will kick you 66 yards ... straight down the middle ... off the crossbar and over, of course.