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Ravens News 2/27: Least Supported and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Meet Ravens OC Todd Monken, the supreme adapter who could level up Lamar Jackson - Childs Walker

“Todd is one of the top-five coordinators in football, college or pro,” said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who worked with Monken from 2002 to 2004 and again in 2011 and 2012. “If you just start gathering experience, knowledge, production, work ethic, intelligence, all those things — I’ve never been in pro football, so maybe it’s a little bit unfair for me to say, but he’s top five in all of football in my opinion.”

“He’s going to build the offense around the best players, whoever they are,” said Chip Lindsey, who served as Monken’s offensive coordinator at Southern Miss in 2014 and 2015. A tantalizing thought if the Ravens sign quarterback Lamar Jackson, one of the most dynamic talents in the sport, to a long-term extension.

“He’s gonna work with the talent he’s got,” Gundy said. “When he was here with Weeden; Weeden was a pure pocket passer, so we were ‘Air Raid,’ and there was no quarterback run involved. He took advantage of Brandon’s arm strength. But you’ll see other years where the quarterback run will come more into play, more play-action passes will come into play. He can be in 10-personnel, 11-personnel, 12-personnel. He’s had dual-threat guys, pocket guys, young guys, veteran guys. That’s why [the Ravens] made a really good hire.”

One key stat to know for PFF’s top-25 free agents in 2023 - Zach Tantillo


Stat to know: Jackson has arguably been the least supported star quarterback in the NFL, as the Ravens’ wide receivers rank dead last in PFF grade since 2019. Despite this, Jackson has a 93.1 passing grade on 10-plus-yard throws during this span – along with a 92.7 rushing grade.

Ravens Face Key Offseason Decisions Heading Into Combine - Clifton Brown

I’m looking forward to attending the Combine and learning more about some potential Ravens targets. Baltimore only has five draft picks, its fewest since 1999. While DeCosta is evaluating players over the next few weeks, I also think he’ll be exploring ways to acquire more picks.

Curious to see which players blow up at the Combine and improve their draft stock. One player I’m intrigued by is Tennessee wideout Jalin Hyatt. He had five touchdowns against Alabama, and Monken is familiar with Hyatt from seeing him in the SEC.

Wide receiver and cornerback are clear needs, but don’t be surprised if the Ravens draft a running back at some point. I’m all for J.K. Dobbins getting more touches, but he and Gus Edwards are still only a year removed from major knee injuries. Running back depth is important.

Leading the Ravens in sacks last season (9.5), 34-year-old Justin Houston proved he had plenty of juice left. He’s likely to take his time signing a deal in free agency, but another deal for Houston and the Ravens makes sense for both sides.

Potential NFL salary cap cuts per team for 2023 season - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens

Potential cap cut: S Chuck Clark

2023 cap hit: $6.27 million

Cap savings if cut before June 1: $3.64 million

Dead money if cut before June 1: $2.63 million

A sixth-round pick in 2017, Clark earned his spot as a core special teamer, developed into a defensive mainstay and became the signal caller of the group, starting 61 games the last four years. The Ravens love Clark, but they have a lot of money tied up in veteran safety Marcus Williams, and they drafted safety Kyle Hamilton in the first round last April. Hamilton improved throughout his rookie season and looks ready to be a three-down player. Clark likely won’t be the only Ravens veteran to depart, as the team will need salary cap space to accommodate Lamar Jackson’s expected franchise tag.

2023 NFL offseason: All 32 teams’ RB situations ahead of free agency, draft - Kevin Patra

Acquire depth

Baltimore Ravens

Top RBs under contract for 2023: J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards

Key free agents: Kenyan Drake (UFA), Justice Hill (UFA)

It took an in-season knee cleanup for Dobbins to regain some of his explosion in 2022. Another year removed from his nasty 2021 injury, can he get closer to what we anticipated coming off a sensational rookie campaign in 2020? If healthy, Dobbins and Edwards form a solid one-two punch. With the Ravens moving on from Greg Roman, the assumption is we’ll get an offense that doesn’t lean so heavily on the run game. As such, adding a pass-catching third option makes sense in Baltimore.

2023 NFL free agency mock draft: Saquon Barkley to Cowboys, Derek Carr to Commanders and 30 other moves - Cody Benjamin

Ravens: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

Assuming Lamar Jackson is back in some form, the Ravens will need to address a lackluster WR corps. Smith-Schuster isn’t necessarily a splashy addition on his own, but after an efficient run as Patrick Mahomes’ top outside target in Kansas City, he’d easily enter as Baltimore’s most reliable possession receiver. As a bonus, JuJu would get to play the Steelers twice a year.

Ravens 7-Round Mock Draft 2023: Adding More Weapons - Justin Melo

Round 4 (No. 125 overall): Darius Rush , CB, South Carolina

Baltimore’s 26th-ranked passing defense allowed 232.2 air yards per contest. DeCosta must strengthen his secondary if he hopes to compete with Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals for the division title. Furthermore, aging veteran Marcus Peters

is an unrestricted free agent. Peters’ play flashed signs of decline in 2022, and he may not return to the Ravens next season.

The Ravens drafted two mid-round cornerbacks last year (Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams ), but neither player showcased anything tangible as a rookie. South Carolina’s Darius Rush boosted his pre-draft stock with an outstanding performance at this year’s Senior Bowl. Rush could immediately compete for snaps in Baltimore’s secondary.

Round 6 (No. 200 overall): Jonathan Mingo , WR, Ole Miss

Baltimore’s depth at wide receiver is bad enough to consider doubling down at the position on Day Three. Drafting Johnston didn’t prevent me from adding Ole Miss’ Jonathan Mingo in the sixth round. Mingo could compete for a spot on Baltimore’s 53-man roster.

Mingo is a big-bodied receiver that measured in at 6-foot-1 and 226 pounds with 32-inch arms in Mobile. Mingo possesses a thick lower half and is extremely difficult to tackle in the open field. John Harbaugh has always appreciated physicality and toughness. Mingo has both attributes in bunches.