On the bubble (19)
Justice Hill, RB: Hill has done his part to remain in the running back mix by embracing special teams and returning to the field quickly after an Achilles tear.
Ja’Wuan James, OT: The Ravens were smart to give James a look, but he’s going to have to show something this summer because $3 million of cap savings will be enticing.
Isaiah Mack, NT: He flashed some pass-rush ability in limited action last year and that alone should have him on the 53-man radar.
Josh Oliver, TE: Last year’s No. 3 tight end, Oliver looked improved in the offseason practices, but it’s hard to find a spot for him after the Ravens drafted two tight ends.
Kevon Seymour, CB: Pressed into duty after the secondary was decimated by injuries last year, Seymour acquitted himself pretty well and has some fans in the building.
Brent Urban, DE: When he’s healthy, Urban has been a solid rotational defensive lineman, thanks to an energetic and selfless style of play.
The four position battles to watch at Ravens training camp - Jonas Shaffer
Starting left guard
What the Ravens need here is another Bradley Bozeman: a young, capable lineman who can make it through a full season. Bozeman, before he moved back to center last season, didn’t miss a start at left guard in 2019 or 2020. His immediate successor in 2021, Tyre Phillips, lasted less than a half in the season opener before he was injured. Ben Powers started the next 12 games, often splitting repetitions with the sometimes-injured Ben Cleveland. Then Powers got hurt, and Cleveland started the Ravens’ final four games.
Powers, who’s entering the final year of his rookie contract, was maybe the steadiest of the Ravens’ left guards last season, finishing with the lowest overall blown-block rate of the trio (1.6%), according to Sports Info Solutions. But if Phillips and Cleveland enter camp with lower floors, their ceilings are also higher. Phillips, who struggled when pressed into tackle duty last season, was solid in his 40 snaps at left guard, with no blown blocks, according to SIS. Cleveland, meanwhile, impressed in pass protection as a rookie but lacked the knock-back power he showed in Georgia’s running game.
Baltimore Ravens training camp preview: Can Lamar Jackson succeed with his young wide receivers? - Jamison Hensley
The player with the most to prove: Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley. He’s only played in one full game since signing a five-year, $98.75 million contract in October 2020. A left ankle injury has sidelined him for 28 of Baltimore’s past 29 games (including playoffs), raising questions as to whether he will ever return to his All-Pro form. If Stanley can bounce back, Jackson will have one of the best blind-side protectors, and the Ravens’ offensive line can become one of the league’s best.
If Stanley struggles or misses significant time once again, Baltimore would be forced to replace him with a long-time right tackle (either Ja’Wuan James or Morgan Moses) and would need to think about investing in another left tackle next offseason. Stanley has said he won’t rush back like he did last season, which proved to be a mistake. When he does return — which likely won’t be early in training camp — the pressure will be on Stanley to prove he’s one of the top tackles in the game. He will start camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
PFF50: 10 players who just missed the list - Sam Monson
One of the biggest controversies on this list a year ago was Jackson’s omission, as he was coming off a season that was a notable step back from his unanimous MVP season. Jackson then followed that season with one that was still shaping up to be worse before injury made things even tougher. Jackson is a unique talent, but we haven’t seen his best play since that MVP season — his overall PFF grade has gone from 90.1 in 2019 to 79.3 in 2020 and then 70.2 in 2021. With Marquise Brown traded away in the offseason and no contract extension yet signed, Jackson enters the 2022 season under a sneaky amount of pressure.
10. Lamar Jackson
Jackson climbed slightly in terms of average vote but dropped three places in the rankings as Stafford, Herbert and Burrow moved past him. There remains no player like him in the league.
“You cannot go into a game and not account for this guy — like, we are meeting with people every offseason to find out how they would defend this type of offense,” a defensive coordinator said. “At the same time, I can totally see why you can go anywhere from 1 to 3 on him. If he has to drop back and throw the ball, it is not the same, but if he is on rhythm and they are running the ball and they are running the play-action off it, if you can’t account for that dude, he is going to kill you.”
“If he has to pass to win the game, they ain’t winning the game,” another defensive coordinator said. “He’s so unique as an athlete and he’s really a good football player, but I don’t (care) if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don’t think he’ll ever be a 1 as a quarterback. He’ll be a 1 as a football player, but not as a quarterback. So many games come down to two-minute, and that is why they have a hard time advancing even when they are good on defense. Playoffs are tight. You have to be able to throw the ball, and he is just so inconsistent throwing the ball. It is hit or miss.”
“To me it is nonsense to say he is not in Tier 1,” another offensive coach said. “He is one of the more special talents to ever play the game, and Baltimore is a contender because of him.”