With free agency set to begin next month, PFF released their rankings of the Top-100 players currently scheduled to hit the open market. Four Ravens players made the cut, with the top spot being occupied by none other than quarterback Lamar Jackson.
“Who else but the 2019 MVP and most electrifying player in the NFL,” said PFF’s Brad Spielberger. “No one produces more must-see TV than Jackson, and the facade that a quarterback can only win with a certain play style is slowly fading. Jackson is not just the league’s most electrifying open-field runner at the quarterback position. His 4.9% big-time throw rate since 2019 is a top-16 mark among qualifying quarterbacks, and he boasts a 93.3 passing grade on throws 10-plus yards downfield in that same span,” Spielberger continued.
“The Ravens once again elected to largely neglect the wide receiver position this past offseason, which doesn’t get discussed enough when people criticize Jackson’s game, as they seemingly love to do. Jackson will never be a pure dropback passer, but the belief this is necessary to win in 2022 needs to disappear; that’s just not the era of football we’re in anymore.”
Spielberger’s contract projection for Jackson is a five-year, $260 million deal with $208 million total guaranteed.
The next Raven on the list is offensive guard Ben Powers, who checks in at No. 29.
“Powers took a meteoric leap as a pass protector in 2022, with his 86.5 pass-blocking grade the second-best mark among guards this season,” Spielberger said. “Powers allowed zero sacks and just one quarterback hit the entire year, playing in front of three different quarterbacks over the second half of the campaign. The 6-foot-4, 338-pound behemoth struggles a bit as a run blocker, but if he could do enough to get by in Baltimore, odds are he can hold up well enough elsewhere.”
Spielberger projects a four-year, $36 million contract with $24 million guaranteed for Powers.
At No. 53 is cornerback Marcus Peters.
“Peters returned in 2022 from a torn ACL suffered in 2021, and after an understandably slow start to the season, he regained his form down the stretch in a Baltimore secondary that settled in as the year went along,” Spielberger said. “One of the league’s premier interception hawks at cornerback, Peters failed to record multiple picks for the first time in his career. The soon-to-be 30-year-old suffered a calf strain in December that sidelined him for the final three weeks of the regular season, but this was just his first season outside of 2021 where he didn’t log at least 900 snaps. A big playoff outing against the elite crop of Cincinnati Bengals pass-catchers could help build momentum for him heading into the offseason. Peters is likely looking at one-year offers in free agency to serve as a No. 2 cornerback with upside going forward.”
Spielberger projects a two-year, $14 million contract with $8.5 million guaranteed for Peters.
The final Raven to make the list was edge rusher Justin Houston, who rounded out at the No. 68 spot.
“Just like Miami Dolphins edge defender Melvin Ingram III, Houston was forced to sign a modest one-year deal and completely outplayed his contract from day one even as a rotational pass-rush specialist with just 400 snaps on the season,” Spielberger said. “Houston’s 18.4% pass-rush win rate and 14.6% pressure percentage were both top-25 marks among edge defenders, and he managed to add 9.5 sacks to his total, which brings him to 111.5 for his career, a top-40 mark all time. For a team looking for a menace on passing downs, Houston is still that guy entering his age-34 season.”
Spielberger projects a one-year, $4 million contract with $3.5 million guaranteed for Houston.