With the offseason beginning to progress into on-field activities, we can start to look ahead more to the approaching 2023 season. In 2022, the Baltimore Ravens had six players that were selected to the Pro Bowl. That was tied with the San Francisco 49ers for fourth-most of all teams in the league.
Of the team’s six representatives, all but one of them (Roquan Smith) were returning Pro Bowl selectees: Mark Andrews, Patrick Ricard, Justin Tucker, Marlon Humphrey, and Devin Duvernay.
In thinking of how some Ravens may perform this coming season, who are some players who could earn their first ever Pro Bowl selection? Let’s run through some below.
During his five years with the New Orleans Saints, Williams developed into one of the better free safeties and coverage defensive backs in the NFL. There a bevy of metrics that support that. Despite this, he’s yet to make a Pro Bowl roster since being drafted in 2017.
He had a good first season in Baltimore last year but was limited to just 10 games after suffering a dislocated wrist injury in Week 5. Williams had gotten off to a hot start with three interceptions through the first two games of the season. He wasn’t going to sustain that pace but still wound up with 61 pass breakups, four interceptions, and eight pass breakups on the year.
He tied his career-high in interceptions despite missing almost half the year. Williams will be relied on heavily this upcoming season and should have both the impact and gaudy statistics to garner national attention.
Zeitler is an outlier on this list as an 11-year veteran. Despite a tenured career with many seasons of high-level play, Zeitler has never been recognized with a Pro Bowl nod. He came about as close as possible last year, as he was the leading vote-getter at his position in the AFC. However, the AFC offensive guards that made it were ultimately Joe Thuney, Joel Bitonio, and Quentin Nelson.
Could that have been his best chance left? Perhaps, but there’s no reason Zeitler shouldn’t have a strong shot at finally cracking the Pro Bowl barrier in 2023. He’s shown no signs of slowing down since joining the Ravens, with back-to-back quality seasons.
If he maintains his high level of play and the Ravens have one of the league’s best offenses, there’s a good possibility Zeitler is right back in the mix.
The Ravens are likely to throw the ball at a higher rate in Todd Monken’s offensive system this season. However, the run game will undoubtedly still be featured heavily and that engine will start with Dobbins. The former Ohio State product has looked like a budding star when on the field, even last season after battling back from substantial injury struggles.
Dobbins has averaged just under 6.0 yards per carry in 23 career games with 226 total rushing attempts. He’s also demonstrated high efficiency and prowess in the red zone as a scoring threat. With good health and a consistent, expanded workload, Dobbins could easily total well over 1,000 yards and approach double-digit touchdowns in 2023.
Last season, the Top-3 rushers in the NFL resided in the AFC: Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, and Nick Chubb. It would take a great individual season to eclipse one of these three in the Pro Bowl hierarchy, but Dobbins is plenty capable of exploding.
Linderbaum was the highest-drafted center in last year’s rookie class and lived up to his first-round status. He stepped in as a full-time starter for all 17 games and was a steady presence at the forefront of the Ravens’ offensive line. Linderbaum was viewed by many as a Pro Bowl snub in 2022 but the AFC representatives were Kansas City’s Creed Humphrey and Buffalo’s Mitch Morse.
Linderbaum graded out as a Top-10 center overall and had the fourth-best run blocking grade at the position, per PFF. He was a bit overwhelmed at times in pass protection but some first-year growing pains were not to be unexpected. Linderbaum could benefit from taking a sophomore step forward, which is entirely possible, and (like Zeitler) being an important piece on one of the league’s top offenses.
Like Linderbaum, Hamilton also lived up to the billing of a first-round pick. He came on strong as the year progressed and developed into an integral part of the Ravens’ defense by the end of the season. He gradually improved as a coverage player and tackler in space while also forcing a couple turnovers.
Now, with Chuck Clark gone, Hamilton will assume a full-time starting role in the defensive backfield. Whether he plays more of a true safety role is again used as a hyrbid nickel defender in the box remains to be seen. Either way, the 22-year-old is primed to build on last year’s momentum and take another step forward. Hamilton would need gaudy statistics and a number of impact plays to garner Pro Bowl recognition.
However, he already has a strong league-wide profile and will be a big piece in what should again be a top-end defense in 2023. A Pro Bowl nod is certainly within reach.
Queen had his best overall career season in 2022. He began to turn a corner as the middle of the season approached and the arrival of Roquan Smith elevated his level of play even further. Queen has always been able to fill the stat sheet, and did so again with 117 combined tackles, five sacks, and 14 quarterback hits.
However, it was his consistency in open-field tackling and pass coverage that noticeably steadied in Year 3. Queen was viewed as a Pro Bowl snub by many but it was his teammate, Smith, and C.J. Mosley that represented the AFC as inside linebackers.
It will again be a challenge for Queen to one-up his linebacker partner in the Pro Bowl voting hierarchy, and it’s unlikely both Smith and Queen could both make it from the same team at the same position. However, given Queen was on the cusp of a Pro Bowl nod last year, and that’s now entering a pivotal contract season, a true breakout season in 2023 can’t be ruled out.
Which Raven has the best chance of making the Pro Bowl for the first time?