Every season, it feels as though the NFL features more and more offensive talent around the league. Having top-tier firepower at quarterback, in the backfield and at pass-catcher is all but a prerequisite to winning games in today’s NFL.
NFL.com’s Nick Shook recently released his annual NFL triplets ranking, in which he ranks teams based on where their best quarterback, running back and pass-catcher rank within their respective groups.
At this time last year, the Baltimore Ravens landed No. 13 on Shook’s list. J.K. Dobbins had just suffered a torn ACL in the preseason, meaning the Ravens’ trio in the ranking was Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards, and Mark Andrews. Shook ranked Jackson No. 8 among quarterbacks, Edwards No. 24 among running backs, and Andrews No. 29 as a pass-catcher.
We ultimately didn’t get to see this trio, or a version with Dobbins instead of Edwards, on the field together in 2021. Edwards shortly suffered his own season-ending injury just days after Shook’s triplets rankings released. Then, Jackson missed the final five games of the regular season.
Flash forward to 2022 and things have changed a bit. In Shook’s rankings for this year, the Ravens dropped one spot from last season to No. 14 overall. It’s Jackson, Dobbins and Andrews who make up the trio. Jackson dropped a few spots among quarterbacks to No. 12, Dobbins ranks No. 25 at running back, while Andrews is No. 12 among pass-catchers — a significant jump from last year’s list.
“At his best, Jackson is better than 12th among all quarterbacks. But the combination of Jackson’s injury-shortened 2021 season and the state of his contract talks have added a healthy portion of uncertainty around the QB,” Shook wrote. “If the Ravens can again find a way to maximize his rare talents, Jackson will outperform this ranking.”
Having Jackson outside the Top-10 may be bit of a slight. However, as Shook notes, it’s more of a reflection of the injury he suffered last season, combined with the uncertainty of his contract situation. How fair it is to use the latter factor when considering quarterback talent is questionable.
“Dobbins is coming off a significant knee injury, and this offseason Jackson lost top wide receiver Marquise Brown, who said he wanted out of Baltimore. That’s not exactly a comforting realization,” Shook says. “Jackson can erase doubts by playing like he did in his MVP season of 2019, but it’s going to take help from more than Andrews — a stellar tight end deserving of his ranking ahead of Travis Kelce — to get the Ravens back to the playoffs.”
If Jackson and Dobbins can return to prime form at some point this season, this Ravens’ trio definitely has the potential to rise up the ranks. Dobbins is especially an X-factor given the even greater uncertainty surrounding Edwards’ status.
Edwards won’t be available to play until at least Week 5 this season, meaning Dobbins has a significant head start on him in terms of re-acclimating himself into the offense. The 2020 second-round pick’s explosiveness out of the backfield, at full health, is a big boost.
Shook ranked Andrews No. 12 among all pass-catchers, one spot ahead of Travis Kelce as the top-listed tight end from the group. Anything close to his 2021 performance, in which he earned first-team All-Pro honors, gives the Ravens’ offensive trio a high floor.
Teams ranked directly ahead of the Ravens on the triplets list include the Indianpolis Colts (Matt Ryan, Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman), Carolina Panthers (Baker Mayfield, Christian McCaffery, D.J. Moore), and Arizona Cardinals (Kyler Murray, James Conner, Deandre Hopkins).
The Kansas City Chiefs round out the Top-10. while the Cincinnati Bengals rank No. 1 overall on the list with their trio of Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon and Ja’Marr Chase. That’s a big leap from last season, where the Bengals landed No. 16.
You can view the entire list here.