The season is in the rearview for the Baltimore Ravens and it’s time to comb through those with significant snaps on offense, defense and special teams.
Here’s one thought (or more) on each Raven with over 150 offensive snaps in 2022.
The greatest surprise of the season was the impact of Powers at left guard. It’s been repeated, and bears repeating, that Powers went from being considered a training camp cut to the second-highest pass-blocking guard according to Pro Football Focus.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh gave Powers a day off near the end of the season due to the effort level of Powers all season. A year-four guy who just became a full-time starter got a practice off due to effort and hard work. Powers was the sole Raven playing every offensive snap this season (1,096).
The rookie center showed out in all 17 games and missed a grand total of two snaps. Though he’s in the middle of the offensive line, he’ll be a cornerstone of the offense for years to come. All that’s left for Linderbaum to become a top-tier center? Improved pass blocking, which will come with hard work and experience. Both things Linderbaum is adept in pursuing.
The big-name signings of Michael Pierce and Marcus Williams overshadowed the acquisition of Moses, who anchored at right tackle this season. Many forget how only a season ago the tackle situation in Baltimore was mostly awful. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley went through a second season-ending surgery, which left offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva to man the left side, where he allowed nine sacks, nine hits and a total of 36 pressures. Though Patrick Mekari excelled at right tackle, it’s far superior to have him as a swing tackle/lineman with a pair of bookend tackles.
The penalties from Moses weren’t pretty, with nine in all. But, the blocking was worth every penny of his Moses’ three-year, $15 million deal.
A bonafide leader in the locker room who was willing to take the press when they approached. It’s not something fans always see or recognize, but Zeitler never cowered after a tough loss from answering the press. It’s a credit to his character.
Zeitler is a known warrior on the football field and he was the fourth-highest rated pass-block guard by PFF. Also plays a clean game, with only three penalties on the season.
The Ravens will need to save money this season and they could by cutting Zeitler, saving $6.5 million, but I don’t see that happening as they’ll likely already lose one of the NFL’s best guards in Powers due to free agency.
This felt like a wasted year of Andrews’ prime. By Week 3, he was up to 245 yards and three touchdowns. But not having Jackson on the field coupled with Rashod Bateman’s injury only allowing defenses to further hone in on Andrews put him in challenging territory. Nonetheless, he got open with great frequency but numerous times his quarterbacks weren’t looking his way. I’m not sure why not, either, when he’s one of the league’s best pass-catchers.
If you haven’t noticed, the order of this list goes by snap count totals. It’s far from ideal to have Jackson this low and narrowly above a fullback. No disrespect to Ricard, he’s worthy of high snap count totals, but he’s far too down on this list.
This was the make-or-break bet-on-himself year. Jackson entered without a contract. Many called it smart. Many called it foolish. Either way, for the second-straight season, Jackson played in only 12 games. This was not a good year to end on in contract negotiations. After a three-game hot start Jackson plummeted back to Earth and nothing was the same.
However, that may not matter, seeing as he’s a quarterback and a damn good one at that. As we’ve seen, that means you get paid. But will it be by the Ravens? Magic Eight Ball says “Concentrate and ask again” ad nauseum.
Ricard dumpstered his fair share of defenders this season. His run-block grade is more than 20 points from the next-closest halfback or fullback, per PFF. If the Ravens continue to utilize their top-tier run game (they should), Ricard’s involvement is imperative. Every primetime game we get a color commentator fawning over Ricard and it’s for good reason. He (and usually a pulling lineman) are blowing gaps wide open for the running back. Next year, it could be for a 100-percent pairing of Dobbins and Edwards.
Give the veteran credit for stepping into a role that quickly was grown exponentially. At times he wasn’t always the guy, but he showed up and showed out this season. His sluggo route in the Super Wild Card round was arguably the prettiest route by a Ravens receiver this season.
Each week we heard coaches talk about involving Duvernay more in the offense. It hardly ever arrived. His first three weeks he looked to be the perfect complement with Bateman and Andrews. But by Week 6 he cooled off and and didn’t score another receiving touchdown past Week 3. He did score a rushing touchdown in Week 8, and to his credit when utilized he was effective in most situations, but the involvement was lacking and it will be interesting to see how the next offensive coordinator utilizes his skillset.
His ability to take light practice weeks after two years of not playing in the NFL due to injury and stonewall the best pass rushers in the NFL is absurd. Each week it felt like Stanley was limited in practice once or twice, or would get a vet day as he rehabbed from the ankle injury. Then, he’d just showcase why he was a top-paid left tackle two years ago. Color me impressed.
The blocking tight end role was vacant with Nick Boyle not returning as the same player he once was. And, who could expect such when you hear just how devastating the knee injury was? But, back to Oliver.
Comically, when sorting run block grades on PFF by 50% of blocking snaps, Oliver is No. 1 and Andrews No. 2.
Sorting by 20%, it’s Likely No. 1, Oliver No. 2, Andrews No. 4.
It’s clear this team can develop blocking tight ends and Oliver is the latest physical force. He’ll make a team quite happy next season with his blocking ability paired with what I imagine is decent pass catching skills. He just never got to showcase them with the Ravens having Andrews and Likely on the field.
Quite a development from the rookie tight end, who was notably poor in blocking reps during the preseason. But after a season of work with tight ends coach George Godsey and Co., he’s among the NFL’s best in run blocking and he’s a damn fine threat in the passing game. The next offensive coordinator must find ways to utilize both Likely and Andrews because it felt he should’ve done more in Year 1.
“Break glass in case of offensive line emergency.”
Far fewer times this season was Mekari’s services requested. Seeing as last season he worked a full season at right tackle, that’s a great thing. Give him credit for the games he did start, including Week 12 against Jacksonville where he played 72 snaps and allowed only one quarterback hit. Mekari was exactly what the Ravens paid for.
The Week 6 game from Drake was a wasted game. He managed to go for 119 yards and a touchdown on only 10 carries. It felt like that’s when things would turn for the better. Next week was a brutal reality check when he gained only five yards on 11 carries...
Drake was serviceable as he filled in for the rehabbing Dobbins and Edwards. I don’t expect him to be back next season but he’s worthy of NFL carries.
Last season, Huntley was the starting quarterback during a stretch that knocked the Ravens from the playoffs. In that time, he was constantly one play away from winning so many games. This season, at times, the team won in spite of his struggles.
That’s not to say Huntley didn’t have his great plays and was courageous enough to throw to the boundaries. But the amount of plays left on the field from him hurt any stock of other suitors. Mark Andrews was spotted visibly frustrated with the amount of times he was open and able to help their red zone struggles and wasn’t given opportunity.
Huntley’s failed QB sneak from the 2 1⁄2 yard line over the top will be imprinted on the minds of all, and whether it’s fair or not, that’s a tough one to swallow.
Credit Hill for coming back from a torn Achilles and being ready to go when the season started. Credit him for a three-week stretch where he rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries (6.8 YPC). Feels like he fits this system but there are better runners ahead of him. He’s a guy who could make an impact elsewhere if he didn’t have such great special teams value in Baltimore.
Respectfully, the least filtered player in a Ravens uniform. Dobbins has shot straight from Day 1 and will call it how it is. However, he did need to take it slower and the knee scope proved it after his first complaint of not getting enough carries.
Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to have a player give their opinion and share their frustration.
I give Dobbins a lot of credit. Worked his ass off to be ready in time to play. When it didn’t happen immediately, he continued to rehab and battle back. When he did get on the field, he wasn’t 100-percent and ultimately got the knee scope. Returned again and was dominant, even at less than 100-percent once more. But each week he felt better and looked better. I’ve said it a few times that the next OC needs to involve certain players. Dobbins must be one of them.
A player who had the makings of a sure-handed receiver and had hype built around in training camp, but ultimately, didn’t deliver.
I’m curious to see how the Ravens handle Proche in 2023. They could save $1 million by cutting him. It’s not a lot, but the development thus far hasn’t paid any dividends.
Big things were expected by Bateman. In the first two weeks he delivered with 168 yards and two touchdowns. Though he cooled off down the stretch (along with the entire offense), Bateman had the makings of a solid pairing with Andrews. Things were trending up.
Something I won’t skip over are the drops. There were concerns with his drops coming out of college and they reared an ugly head in 2022. In Week 7 against the Browns, Bateman appeared to be pulled after a third down drop. He was leading the NFL in drop rate at one point.
He has the coaches around him along with the effort to remedy the issue. We’ll see how he bounces back from the injury and more next season.
There’s a future to be excited for with Faalele. The rookie showed some real promise and not being thrown to the wolves in Year 1 was good. Working with offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris and two talented veteran tackles will do the young one some good.
‘The Bus’ back at 100-percent next season? Expect great things from this rushing attack in 2023. The next OC not putting their foot of the bruising gas pedal would be a welcome treat.