With the 2022 NFL regular season slated to kick off in less than a week, the Ravens remain a team of mystery. Changes to the offensive and defensive schemes are expected, several starting positions remain unclaimed and the availability of previous injured cornerstones is unknown. Baltimore is a team with a wide range of outcomes. Nevertheless, some superlative predictions:
MVP - Lamar Jackson
No player in the league has done more with less than Jackson during the first four seasons of his career. Surrounded by a middling cast of receivers and inconsistent blocking, Lamar’s gaudy winning percentage speaks for itself. He singlehandedly elevates every player on the roster by commanding gameplan altering respect from the opposing defenses while controlling time of possession to his defenders’ benefit. Jackson may not be the best quarterback in the league but he represents the epitome of value to his team.
Offensive Player of the Year - Mark Andrews
With nearly 1,400 receiving yards and nine scores, Andrews ascended to become the most productive tight end in the game last season. He will remain the offense’s primary third down and red zone target. Mark may see even more attention from opposing coordinators without Hollywood Brown threatening the deep boundary in 2022, but his supernatural chemistry with Jackson is undeniable.
Defensive Player of the Year - Odafe Oweh
Oweh entered the NFL as a raw, athletic specimen and immediately made his impact felt with three forced fumbles and 15 quarterback hits. After an offseason of technical refinement under his belt, he will now be relied upon as the ironman that anchors the edge rusher group due to a razor thin depth chart. Better middle of the field coverage behind him coupled with presumably improved interior pass rush should allow Oweh to rack up sacks and perhaps Pro Bowl acknowledgement.
Offensive Rookie of the Year - Tyler Linderbaum
Isaiah Likely rightfully generated considerable preseason buzz, yet if the season goes as planned, Baltimore will not need significant contributions from their second best receiving tight end. They prefer to run over and around teams, and run blocking is Linderbaum’s specialty. The rookie blocker was selected to diversify the Ravens rushing attack and his ability to climb to the second level should open up chunk run opportunities for the stable of tailbacks.
Defensive Rookie of the Year - Damarion Williams
Penciled in as the starting slot corner, no small feat for the 141st draft pick, Pepe is scheduled for a large snap share. He has displayed impressive ball skills and physicality as a tackler throughout the offseason. Williams also plays with a swagger reminiscent of the Brian Billick era, which should make him a fan favorite in Baltimore.
Comeback Player of the Year - Marcus Peters
Considering the 2021 Ravens were among the most injured teams in modern history, there are no shortage of candidates for best comeback player. Peters, however, appears to be ahead of some others in their respective recovery processes. His ballhawking skillset was greatly missed last season. The entire defense managed 9 interceptions in 17 games while he was injured last year. Marcus has averaged nearly 3.5 interceptions per season over his seven-year career. His prolific takeaway production should be unlocked by the acquisition of rangy free safety Marcus Williams.
Coach of the Year - Mike Macdonald
The 35-year-old Macdonald returned to Baltimore to replace Wink Martindale as defensive coordinator after a season calling plays for the Michigan Wolverines. He previously designed many of Martindale’s once feared pressure packages and is tasked with incorporating more unpredictability into an aggressive scheme. Probably most importantly, he has the requisite talent to assemble a top-three defensive unit in his first season at the helm.