Ties between the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been mentioned this week, with Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones twice reporting there is a “strong possibility” of the Ravens making a move for the veteran star. With this in mind, Baltimore Beatdown contributors consider what impact Hopkins would have on the Ravens’ roster.
The addition of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins would solidify the Ravens’ wide receiving corps, and complement an already powerful rushing attack. Having to defend three dynamic receivers in Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham Jr. and Hopkins, paired with tight end Mark Andrews, is a treacherous task for any defense.
Of course, the Ravens still need to have quarterback Lamar Jackson as their signal caller, but if reports are true that this would make him satisfied for a return, few teams can argue their talent level being on par with this pretend team.
The offense would be loaded with blue-chip talent. The defense was among the NFL’s best last season and that was in Year 1 of Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald’s tenure. And something that tends to win them a game a year, the special teams unit, is arguably the league’s best.
That all said, I set the bar at AFC contenders with the current-fantasy setting of adding Hopkins on account of requiring proof they’re in the same tier as the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. — Kyle Barber
Baltimore currently boast the 8th best odds of winning the AFC, tied at +2000 with the Browns. The Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, Jets, Chargers, Dolphins and Jaguars are considered more likely Super Bowl participants at this juncture of the offseason. Adding DeAndre Hopkins to a passing offense headlined by Mark Andrews, Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman would certainly give new coordinator Todd Monken the star power to outscore the AFC favorites.
However, Baltimore’s chances of winning the conference would be boosted more by reinforcing a pass defense that has lost Calais Campbell’s 50% defensive line snap share and Chuck Clark’s consistent leadership, while unrestricted free agents Marcus Peters, Justin Houston, Jason Pierre-Paul and Kyle Fuller remain unsigned. Further bolstering the receiver options with Hopkins would compensate for some regression from DVOA’s 11th best 2022 pass defense but improving both the pass offense and pass defense offers the Ravens best path to postseason success. — Vasilis Lericos
At full strength as is, the Ravens have a floor of being a playoff contender in the AFC. Right now, they profile as a middle-of-the-pack team outside the top-tier of the conference with the Chiefs, Bills, and Bengals. Acquiring Deandre Hopkins in a trade would undoubtedly raise their ceiling by giving them the offensive firepower to match these teams. This is of course assuming Lamar Jackson is the team’s quarterback. However, improvising their pass defense would still be a necessary step to catapult them into the true Super Bowl contender bubble. Hopkins would move the needle, but the Ravens still badly need another starting-quality cornerback and backend depth. At the very least, though, it’d move them from playoff contender to a viable conference championship threat. — Frank Platko
The AFC is as crowded as ever. The Chiefs continue to reign, the Bills and Bengals aren’t too far behind, and there’s a pack of teams making moves, nipping at the heels of the leaders, just waiting for their chance.
The Ravens have decided to jump in as well. A surprise Odell Beckham Jr. addition followed by a strong chance DeAndre Hopkins comes to Baltimore as well? The Ravens are passing the maybe teams and putting themselves firmly into the real Super Bowl contender category.
Last years strong defense helped almost steal a playoff win in Cincinnati. Add in a renewed wide receiver room and Lamar Jackson under center, and it’s not hard to picture a strong playoff run with a new offensive game-plan from Todd Monken. — Zach Canter
With recent reports emerging of the Baltimore Ravens still being in the mix of teams vying for the services of star wide receiver Deandre Hopkins, one can only imagine the firepower the 2023 Ravens offense would bring to the field. Along with playmakers like Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman, Mark Andrews, and J.K. Dobbins, new Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken would be able to transition seamlessly between personnel groupings to keep defenses off balance.
Baltimore already fields a top level defense, offensive line, and rush attack, and the addition of Hopkins would give them a consensus top five receiving corps in the NFL.
In a crowded AFC chock full of elite passing talent, Baltimore’s offense would be in position to match up with the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Cincinnati Bengals. With newly acquired wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.,the addition of Hopkins, and the assumption that Lamar Jackson will be under center for the team, nothing short of a trip to the AFC Championship would be viewed as a disappointment amongst fans and pundits alike. — Stephen Bopst