Credit the Eagles for having the conviction to reset with a new head coach and quarterback a few years after winning a Super Bowl rather than sticking with a Doug Pederson-Carson Wentz partnership that wasn’t working. Continuity is great, but sometimes being bold is the right move. What a season.
Watching offensive line injuries catch up to the Bengals was a reminder that the Ravens are in a much better place there than they’ve been these last few years. Much still hinges on continued good health for Ronnie Stanley, who can finally have his first normal offseason since 2020.
Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones reinforced how dominant he is with the ability to wreck the game inside or make a play off the edge like he did late in Sunday’s victory. You’d love to have an inside rusher like that against Joe Burrow, but such talents are so rare.
Reports say the 2023 NFL salary cap will be set at $224.8 million, which is up from $208.2 million for the 2022 season. According to OverTheCap.com, the Ravens are projected to have just under $27 million in cap space. But that doesn’t account for Lamar Jackson. No sweat, right?
5 NFL trades that could shake up the 2023 offseason - Marcus Mosher
The Baltimore Ravens have been very public about their desire to keep Jackson on a long-term deal but with each day that passes without a deal, it becomes more likely that Jackson could be on a different team in 2023.
The Ravens will undoubtedly franchise tag Jackson this offseason, but what if it becomes clear that a long-term deal won’t happen? Could they decide to move on and trade him for a king’s ransom?
If that were to be the case, the Ravens would want to move him away from the AFC and to a team with a top-10 selection. The Falcons make a ton of sense considering they own the No. 8 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and need a quarterback. The Ravens would be able to acquire multiple first-round picks to rebuild their offense.
It would give Atlanta a former NFL MVP to pair with Kyle Pitts and Drake London. Plus, the Falcons already have an established offensive line and were one of the league’s most efficient rushing teams last year.
While the Falcons might not be Super Bowl contenders in Year 1 with Jackson, they would certainly be the favorites to win the NFC South. For that reason alone, this is a move the Falcons have to consider should Jackson become available this offseason.
Tavion Thomas, RB, Utah
Teams looking for a big back with diverse skills will fall in love with Thomas at first sight. The 6-foot-2, 221-pounder is a grinder with surprising balance, body control and vision for his size. With the super-sized back also showing sticky hands in drills, the Utah product could emerge as a popular mid-to-late-round sleeper on draft boards around the league.
BJ Thompson, Edge, Stephen F. Austin
Small-school standouts with length, speed and athleticism appeal to scouts looking for developmental prospects. Thompson is squarely on the radar of evaluators after flashing pass-rush skills throughout his career with the Lumberjacks. As a freakish athlete with intriguing tools, the extra-long defender is a developmental prospect on the rise.
10 players the Ravens could be scouting during Senior Bowl week - Jonas Shaffer
Princeton wide receiver Andrei Iosivas
DeCosta has tried to surround Jackson with young speed at skill positions. Wide receivers Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman finished with two of the 12 fastest speeds for a ball-carrier in the NFL this past season. J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill were among the fastest running back prospects in their respective draft classes. Tight end Mark Andrews was a quasi-wide receiver at Oklahoma.
So if the Ravens want to keep building a track team, why not take a flier on a track star like Iosivas? The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior is a three-time Ivy League champion in the heptathlon who posted the NCAA’s fastest-ever time in the event in the 60-meter dash (6.71 seconds). Iosivas is still raw as a route runner, but his production has improved from year to year, finishing last year with an Ivy League-best 66 catches for 943 yards (14.3 per catch) and seven touchdowns. With his athletic potential, Iosivas could be a Day 2 prospect.
There isn’t a more crowded group of seniors fighting for Day 2 spots than the pass rushers. Who will separate themselves?
One of the most talented defensive players in the entire draft, Iowa State’s Will McDonald IV has the athletic traits to create buzz this year. He has the speed to capture the corner, the flexible frame to bend the edge and the elite length to get into the body of blockers. He isn’t yet the sum of his parts (which is frustrating for a fifth-year senior who will be a 24-year-old rookie), but he will have a chance to change the narrative in Mobile. Scouts say he played this season at 235 pounds, so it will be interesting to see if he is used in linebacker drills.
Auburn’s Derick Hall, Georgia Tech’s Keion White and TCU’s Dylan Horton also are considered top-100 picks right now and will be looking to cement that status. Army’s Andre Carter II is another stretched-out rusher — he’ll need time in an NFL strength-and-conditioning program before he is ready for full-time snaps. He brings length, agility and effort, though, which is a great place to start.
The first name that comes to mind when you think of Clemson’s defensive line is usually Myles Murphy or Bryan Bresee, but it was K.J. Henry who led the Tigers in pressures this past season … and it wasn’t close. Henry will lose his balance when linemen get their hands on him, but he brings refreshing physicality and quickness to cross the face of blockers and squeeze through gaps.
A few other pass rushers hoping to get into the top-100 range: Thomas Incoom (Central Michigan), Ali Gaye (LSU), Byron Young (Tennessee), Nick Hampton (Appalachian State), Isaiah McGuire (Missouri), Lonnie Phelps Jr. (Kansas) and DJ Johnson (Oregon).