Training camp is officially underway for everyone across the NFL. With that comes waves of excitement and predictions from fans and pundits alike. Rankings are a particularly hot topic this time of year. Sports Illustrated’s Connor Orr decided to throw his hat in the ring with his own power rankings list of all 32 teams at the start of training camp.
“Too high? Perhaps,” Orr wrote. “I’m not smitten by the pomp of the Odell Beckham Jr. signing as much as I’m excited for what someone like Todd Monken can bring to Lamar Jackson. I don’t think Baltimore is going to look fundamentally different, but I do think they will be in fewer positions where they have to throw their hands up offensively because of how their scheme boxed them in. The Ravens are not an organization that makes a lot of bad decisions, and so if they’re paying Lamar Jackson like a quarterback who may one day fulfill his wishes of throwing for 6,000 yards, then they believe he can, and will install a system to buoy that belief.”
The Ravens were not quite as high on Bleacher Report’s rankings but still made the Top-10, landing at No. 8 on the list with the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and Miami Dolphins joining the previous teams ahead of Baltimore. This list was a collaborative effort between Bleacher Report NFL Analysts Gary Davenport, Maurice Moton, and Brent Sobleski.
“While the Ravens should be a playoff team with Jackson healthy, they’ve undergone significant offensive changes that may result in a slow start to the season,” Moton wrote. “The Ravens parted ways with offensive coordinator Greg Roman and hired Todd Monken. Baltimore also revamped its wide receiver group, adding Beckham, Flowers and Nelson Agholor. Though those additions look good on the depth chart, there’s no guarantee that everything will click right away.”
Moton raises a valid point regarding Baltimore’s new-look offense. With so many new faces in the unit, some time should be allotted for the group to gel without sky-high expectations out of the gate.
“Beckham hasn’t played in an NFL game since Super Bowl LVI,” Moton continued. “He’s also coming off his second ACL tear in three years. Agholor has seen a decline in his receiving numbers since his 2020 campaign with the Las Vegas Raiders. Flowers may have a bit of a learning curve in an adjustment to the pro level. Bateman is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery.”
It is fair to remain cautious about the Ravens' wide receiver corps given the aforementioned reasons Moton gave. The sky is the limit for Jackson and his new supporting cast, but a variety of factors, most notably health, will determine if the group can reach those heights or if the experiment will end in disappointment.