The Baltimore Ravens have several ascending players on both sides of the ball who will be looking to earn their first career Pro Bowl nods. Some are new additions and others are returners but they all possess the potential and are set up to have sensational breakout seasons.
RB J.K. Dobbins
The third-year running back was expected to breakout last year before a torn ACL suffered in the preseason ended his potential Pro Bowl campaign. He is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery and is slated to be ready for the start of the 2022 regular season. A healthy, hungry and determined Dobbins running behind a revamped and physically imposing offensive line could not only earn his first career Pro Bowl nod but also be a strong candidate to win Comeback Player of the Year as well.
He will have some stiff competition with the likes of Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, and Joe Mixon. However, Dobbins plays in a more run-heavy offense than any of the other running back. If Gus Edwards isn’t ready to start the season, he’ll likely see the bulk of the touches and have a hot start to the year.
OLB Odafe Oweh
Coming off a strong rookie campaign and looking fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, the 2021 first-rounder is slated to be the Ravens’ top and healthiest edge rusher in 2022. With Tyus Bowser still on the mend and David Ojabo likely to miss most if not all of his rookie season, Oweh will see a lot of snaps and hardly come off the field to start the season.
That means he’ll have plenty of opportunities to get after opposing quarterbacks, rack up sacks and be firmly in the national spotlight in time to be on everyone’s mind when Pro Bowl voting opens up. The Ravens will have played three primetime games before their bye in Week 10 and Oweh played his best and made his biggest plays under the bright lights last year. With an improved interior defensive line, he will have even more chances to lineup one-on-one and wreak havoc.
WR Rashod Bateman
Following a solid rookie season in which he flashed his playmaking potential and the offseason trade of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Bateman will assume the role of the Ravens’ No. 1 wide receiver. The 2021 first-rounder has been one of the most popular breakout season projections since this year’s draft concluded. He has spent a lot of time training with starting quarterback Lamar Jackson away from the team facilities and was one of the standouts of OTAs and mandatory minicamp.
The AFC is equally as loaded with All-Pro talent at receiver with the likes of Stephon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, and Devante Adams. There’s also Amari Cooper, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and rising stars Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and Tee Higgins. However, all of those players at the position have an abundance of pass-catching talent around them whereas the Ravens run a tight end centric offense and may only carry five or six receivers into the 2022 season. This could mean Bateman’s chances of outproducing more notable wideouts are high simply because there are fewer mouths to feed in the Ravens’ passing attack which will result in more opportunities for him.
S Marcus Williams
The five-year veteran was the Ravens’ prized free-agent acquisition this offseason but has been overshadowed by their impressive draft class and more specifically first-round rookie safety Kyle Hamilton. However, Williams is the proven product of the two who has shown that he can be a difference-maker at the pro level and is the first “true” free safety the team has had since Eric Weddle from 2016-2018 and Earl Thomas for one year in 2019.
In New Orleans, he was outshined by the Saints’ other star defenders such as cornerback Marshon Lattimore (4x Pro Bowler), defensive end Cam Jordan (7x Pro Bowler), and linebacker Demario Davis (3x All-Pro). In Baltimore, he will join Marlon Humphrey (2x Pro Bowler), Marcus Peters (3x Pro Bowler), and Calais Campbell (6x Pro Bowler) as the faces of the defense in 2022. He will be one of the main beneficiaries of the team’s incredible depth and versatility in the secondary as well as their efforts in revamping the defensive line.
His chief competition in the AFC for Pro Bowl contention will likely be Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kevin Byard, and Justin Simmons. While all three of them are viewed as the best at the position, none are better set up to succeed more than Williams is with the Ravens.
C Tyler Linderbaum
The first-round rookie out of Iowa is one of the most highly-touted and athletic center prospects to come into the league in the last decade. Unlike Hamilton, he is already slotted to be a starter from day one and he will benefit greatly from playing next to a seasoned pro at right guard in Kevin Zeitler.
The Ravens will put his athleticism to good use on pulls and screens which means that there will be plenty of highlight-reel runs where he is one of the lead blockers in space springing Jackson or one of the running backs into the second and third levels of the defense. He will be in tight contention with the likes of veterans Corey Linsley and Ryan Kelly, along with second-year pro Creed Humphrey who many believed was snubbed from the all-star roster after his standout rookie campaign in 2021.