Clifton Brown, BaltimoreRavens,com
Ojabo blossomed when Macdonald was the defensive coordinator at Michigan, and he’s thrilled they’ve been reunited in Baltimore. Ojabo and Odafe Oweh’s performances will be critical to the pass rush.
Staying with defense, tackle Broderick Washington posted workout pictures on Instagram, showing he’s putting in serious work prior to training camp. The Ravens will be counting more heavily on Washington and Justin Madubuike to control things up front, and both looked impressive at minicamp.
Madubuike is a strong candidate to be Baltimore’s breakout player on defense. He had career-highs in sacks (5.5) and quarterback hits (nine) last year and figures to play more snaps. He’s in a contract year and he’s still improving. That’s a good combination.
Training camp and the preseason will be critical for any Ravens cornerback not named Marlon Humphrey or Rock Ya-Sin. Beyond those two, a significant role in the defense isn’t guaranteed for any cornerback. The battle for playing time should be intense.
Until Justin Houston signs elsewhere, I’ll continue to believe he’ll be back in Baltimore. I’m not worried about the Ravens’ pass rush yet, but it’s hard to ignore that Houston led the team with 9.5 sacks last season. His return would be welcomed.
Reese Kunz, Last Word on Sports
One significant factor contributing to the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive potential is the return of Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Both are now two years removed from their devastating knee injuries. In addition, both players enter contract years and are eager to prove themselves on the field.
Under the guidance of a new offensive coordinator, the Ravens are expected to adopt a more fast-paced and pass-happy attack. Monken’s philosophy emphasizes empowering the players and allowing them to make decisions on the field. This approach gives Jackson more freedom to adjust plays and utilize his playmaking abilities effectively.
The offensive line of the Ravens is another strength that contributes to their offensive prowess. Led by standout left tackle Ronnie Stanley and anchored by center Tyler Linderbaum, the Ravens’ offensive line is considered borderline top-five in the league. The solid protection this talented group provides will give Jackson the time he needs to create plays, both with his arm and legs. Not to mention creating lanes for the returning running back tandem of Edwards and Dobbins.
Baltimore lost a lot of talented veterans on defense. But the good news is they have young talent ready to step into increased roles. They likely won’t be a top-three defense like they were last season. Still, there’s plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball to boast a top-ten defense.
Riley Sheppard, Sports Illustrated
“This time around the NFL landscape, Monken will have a much better quarterback than Baker Mayfield with Lamar Jackson under center, but we shouldn’t expect Baltimore’s offense to click right away,” Bleacher Report writes.”Other than All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews, Ravens pass-catchers must clear some hurdles to get on the same page with Jackson.
“Rookie wideout Zay Flowers has an obvious learning curve in a transition from college to the pros. He’s an explosive playmaker, but Monken may need some time to figure out how to fully unlock his dynamic skill set.”
This defense - led by the linebacking tandem of Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith - will need a resurgence following several notable departures in free agency.
“Between wholesale changes on offense and question marks on defense, the Ravens’ playoff buzz should come with healthy skepticism.”
Jordan Dajani, CBS Sports
Ravens to make playoffs (-160)
Baltimore has made the postseason in four out of the last five years. Lamar Jackson doesn’t miss the playoffs if he’s healthy. While Jackson saw both of his last two years ended prematurely, I think there are good vibes around the Ravens entering 2023. Jackson finally got the contract he was looking for, and Baltimore has brought in a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken. The offense also added Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers at wide receiver.
The AFC is loaded, but give me the Ravens to make the playoffs.
Liam Hanley, Clutch Points
With the off-season additions of free agent Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie first-round pick Zay Flowers, plus competition from newly-signed veteran Nelson Agholor, Devin Duvernay enters training camp in 2023 as the fourth wideout on Baltimore’s depth chart. The fourth-year man out of Texas is most well-known around the league for his return skills (back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2021 and 2022) but will also be a free agent after this year.
The Ravens will save $4.3 million in cap space if they trade Duvernay at this point in the summer, and although they do not have another true kick returner on the roster, money could be the final decider in this move. Don’t be surprised if Baltimore gets a mid-round draft pick in return for All-Pro kick returner Devin Duvernay.