clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ravens News 7/8: Pulling Levers and more

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

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

2022 NFL season: Predicting each AFC team’s non-QB MVP - Kevin Patra

Baltimore Ravens

Mark Andrews

TE · Year 5

Zero tight ends in NFL history have won an NFL MVP award. Z-E-R-O. That makes Andrews perfect for our exercise. LET’S MAKE HISTORY. Andrews led all TEs in receptions (107), receiving yards (1,361), and TDs (nine; tied) in 2021. Among all players, he finished tied for fifth in receptions and sixth in yards. And that was before the Ravens whittled their receiver corps to Rashod Bateman and Riddler-level question marks. Andrews is assured of getting a smorgasbord of targets from Lamar Jackson. Not only has the tight end proven to be a good route runner, but he also can make contested snags in close quarters. Given the uncertainty at receiver in Baltimore, would it be that much of a stunner if Andrews threatened to lead the NFL in receiving?

The best offseason move for all 16 AFC teams - Brad Spielberger



The Ravens subsequently traded down from pick No. 23 to No. 25 in the 2022 NFL Draft, adding the No. 130 pick from the Buffalo Bills. So, all told, Baltimore gave up Brown and pick No. 100 for Picks 25 and 130. The 25th overall pick was then used to select Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, whose 95.4 overall grade in 2021 was the best mark ever given to a center since PFF started grading college games.

Baltimore was able to come out of the first round with safety Kyle Hamilton and Linderbaum while saving a ton of future investment at wide receiver, a position that has obviously undergone a substantial market explosion.

This isn’t a knock on Brown, who’s coming off a career-best 91 reception, 1,008-yard season, but it resembles the tough decisions good franchises have to make to sustain success. The Ravens avoiding top-of-market paydays on Marquise Brown and tackle Orlando Brown Jr. while adding elite talent on rookie contracts will go a very long way in keeping a talented roster around quarterback Lamar Jackson if (when) he finally agrees to a big-money extension.

10 Questions: What Changes Will Mike Macdonald Make to Defense? - Ryan Mink

With top free-agent addition Marcus Williams and top draft pick Kyle Hamilton joining Chuck Clark in the secondary, Macdonald has a lot more toys to play with and the freedom to line them up in different spots to confuse the offense.

Macdonald called the Ravens’ loaded secondary a “huge advantage,” saying it will help him keep defenses guessing more often. Macdonald has the scheme and personnel flexibility with players that can play multiple spots. That will allow for more and better matchups, as well as more creativeness with different packages.

The Ravens have long been a blitz-heavy team that liked to put pressure on opposing offenses. Outgoing defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was especially fond of blitzing. Macdonald also believes that getting after quarterbacks is essential, but with a bolstered secondary, he may be pulling more levers.

Ravens mailbag, Part 2: Defensive changes, pass-rush possibilities, extension candidates - Jeff Zrebiec

How ready is Travis Jones for significant snaps on the defensive line? With Calais Campbell and Michael Pierce most likely being on snap counts, it seems like if Jones is ready for the load, the snaps will be there to infuse some juice up front with Justin Madubuike. — Nate R.

I think Jones learned a lot in the offseason practices about the type of shape that he’s going to need to be in and the type of effort and attention to detail that NFL practices require. I’m guessing that we’ll see a more assertive and confident player later this month when camp begins. There’s no reason he won’t be able to contribute immediately, but I’m not expecting him to carry a heavy load early. Between the guys you mentioned and then others such as Broderick Washington, Brent Urban and Isaiah Mack, they have depth there and they won’t need to lean too hard on anybody. They’ll want to make sure Jones is in the mix from the outset.

I’ve found it interesting that no one has said much about Brandon Williams’ future. He seemed relatively integral to shutting down the run, and I haven’t heard that he has drawn any interest around the league. Did he part on poor terms with the team? Is there any chance of a vet minimum reunion as a depth piece if Michael Pierce shows up out of shape? — Will M.

I don’t think the two sides are on bad terms. I just think the sense was that Williams didn’t play all that well for parts of last year and injuries have spurred a decline in his play. Though I wouldn’t completely rule out a return if there is more uncertainty with Pierce, it just seems the Ravens were ready to move on. It also can be hard and awkward for a proud player, who has been such a big part of the team for a long time as Williams has, to come in as a rotational piece on a league-minimum deal.

Baker Mayfield, first pick of 2018 NFL Draft, traded: Ranking the top five classes from that year - Chad Reuter

Rank 1

Baltimore Ravens

Round 1:

(No. 25) Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

(32) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Round 3:

(83) Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

(86) Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

Round 4:

(118) Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama

(122) Kenny Young, LB, UCLA

(132) Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State

Round 5:

(162) Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA

Round 6:

(190) DeShon Elliott, S, Texas

(212) Greg Senat, OT, Wagner

(215) Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama

Round 7:

(238) Zach Sieler, DE, Ferris State

You don’t see NFL MVPs selected with the last pick of the first round too often. The Ravens get a lot of credit for landing Jackson, who won the award in 2019, 32nd overall, even if they did pick tight end Hayden Hurst (who was traded to Atlanta after two disappointing seasons) seven picks earlier.

Picking Orlando Brown in Round 3, despite his poor NFL Scouting Combine performance, was considered a smart move at the time, and proved to be — even though he eventually asked for a trade and was dealt to Kansas City last offseason. Doubling down on former Oklahoma Sooners was fruitful, as Andrews is a two-time Pro Bowl selectee. Grabbing guard/center Bradley Bozeman in the sixth round turned out to be wise, as well. He was a full-time starter for the Ravens before signing with Carolina in March.

Baltimore found starter-quality players in cornerback Anthony Averett and linebacker Kenny Young in the fourth round as well as contributors in safety DeShon Elliott (sixth) and defensive lineman Zach Sieler (seventh), although all four now play for different teams.