The Ravens’ search for a first-round receiver: A look at the team’s top draft picks, including Breshad Perriman and Zay Flowers
Gordon McGuinness, PFF
Pick 27, 2021
Bateman’s career in Baltimore has been stalled by injuries, robbing him of previous development time early in his career.
There were flashes in his rookie campaign, as he surpassed 80 receiving yards in three of the final 11 games of the year. His second season started brightly — despite dropping four of the 15 catchable passes thrown his way in the first four weeks of the season — highlighted by a 75-yard score on a slant route against the Miami Dolphins.
He would see just six targets the rest of the season, though, as he was sidelined from Week 8. This coming season will be a crucial year in his development if he is to garner a second contract in Baltimore.
Pick 22, 2023
The latest swing at the position from the Ravens, there’s also a hint here that they perhaps realize what they lost in trading away Brown.
While he isn’t an exact replica of Lamar’s favorite WR target, he offers a downfield threat they have lacked since the trade. He finished the 2022 season with 500 yards from passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield. Like Brown, he can be tough to bring down in open space, as he forced 40 missed tackles on 199 receptions at Boston College.
Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic
The contract stalemate between former league MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens persisted for more than a year and challenged the organization on many fronts. It was critically important for the Ravens to find a resolution, and they agreed to a five-year, $260 million deal with Jackson just ahead of the draft. This offseason, the Ravens upgraded their wide receiver corps, added depth in several positions and welcomed a number of key players back from injuries. None of that would have mattered had the Ravens not secured Jackson’s future in Baltimore. As long as the Ravens have a healthy Jackson, they should be a legitimate threat in the AFC.
Jason Fitzgerald, Over The Cap
This reminds me a bit of when I looked at dead money a few years ago and came to the conclusion that some dead money is not a bad thing and in most cases is a good thing. I think the same holds true here when we look at restructured contracts. In a league where everyone is restructuring to maximize cap room teams should strongly consider making some restructures to maintain their position relative to other teams in the NFL rather than getting passed over by teams willing to move a little bit of money each season. You want to maximize your ability to take some risks every year…within reason.
My feeling is if you want to maximize risk and reward you should be using somewhere between 5 and 8% of that years salary cap limit. That seems to maintain your maximum cap position during free agency and for extensions without the exposure to the more likely comedown a year later. As a rule of thumb restructuring QB contracts and contracts of offensive linemen is probably far less risky than a cornerback or wide receiver who seem to tail off much faster. Most players should only be restructured on the front end of the first veteran contract.
One thing to keep in mind is that the salary cap should increase by a much larger than expected amount next season which may allow teams to be a bit more aggressive than usual with less threat of dead money hitting the cap as hard as it does now. That may create a small window for teams to really manipulate some things at least until contracts catch up somewhat with the growth in the salary cap.
Ranking NFL’s top 10 tight ends of 2023: Travis Kelce stands above the rest, George Kittle most well-rounded
Tyler Sullivan, CBS Sports
3. Mark Andrews
Andrews has been among the best tight ends in the league for a while now and has oftentimes masked Baltimore’s thin wide receiver room as he’s been a strong outlet for Lamar Jackson. Similar to the player just above him on this list, Andrews is a well-rounded tight end who can also help out as a strong run blocker in what has been a run-heavy scheme in Baltimore over the past few years. As a pass catcher, he ranked sixth among tight ends in DYAR and was solid in the red zone last year catching 10 of his 17 targets for five touchdowns. There’s a case to be made that he’ll be even more efficient in 2023 now that the Ravens have bolstered their wide receiver room with Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers. With those weapons now taking some of the attention away from Andrews, he could have a greater impact.
Best Kickers in the NFL 2023: Behind Justin Tucker and Daniel Carlson, Who Competes as Top-Tier Kickers?
Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network
Best Kicker in the NFL
Justin Tucker is the best kicker today, tomorrow, and likely of all time. While Adam Vinatieri is the more accomplished kicker, nobody has been more automatic than Tucker.
He’s the only kicker to ever make more than nine kicks out of every 10 on average. He’s the only one who can hit that high note, and he’s made his mark playing in the AFC North’s elements. There isn’t a single dome in the division, and Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio aren’t known for sunny beaches and calm conditions.
He had a bit of a down year in 2022, but that’s because he attempted the most 50+ yard field goals (14) and missed five of them, dropping his overall average. He made all 24 kicks inside of 40 yards and made four of five from 40-49 yards.