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Wishlist for the Ravens’ 2023 season

Some things to hope for on both sides of the ball this season

Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

With training camp now in full swing, the start of the regular season is just around the corner for the Baltimore Ravens. After an exciting offseason, there’s a number of developments to look forward to this year.

What are some things to be hopeful for with the Ravens this coming season? Here are seven wishes that, if came true, would spell great things for the team in 2023.

1. Lamar Jackson plays the entire season

Jackson’s absence in December and January each of the past two seasons has derailed the Ravens’ playoff hopes. In 2021 and 2022, the Ravens were near the top of the AFC before Jackson suffered a season-ending injury.

With a new contract and retooled group of playmakers around him, Jackson’s stock is high and so are expectations. He’s well-positioned for a big bounce-back season, where he can re-solidify himself as one of the league’s elite quarterbacks. None of this will be possible, however, if he’s not on field for the majority of the year.

2. Todd Monken revitalizes the Ravens’ offensive attack

The hype surrounding the teams’ new offensive system has been building continuously since Monken took the coordinator reins a few months ago. All the talk has been glowingly positive thus far: giving Jackson more control at the line of scrimmage, a more diverse and spread passing attack, better run-pass balance, optimizing personnel — you name it.

The best case scenario is that these propositions come to fruition and result in the Ravens having one of the best offenses in the NFL this season. While they had success during Greg Roman’s four-year tenure as the offensive coordinator, there had long been a growing sentiment among many for something fresh and new. Monken’s offense will be that; the hope is that it results in a jolt to what had recently become somewhat stale.

3. Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman remain healthy

Like Jackson, injuries have plagued this wide receiver pair in recent years. Beckham has battled back from torn ACL injuries in 2020 and again in 2022. His arrival in Baltimore has brought much excitement as this big-name wideout fans have been longing for.

During his stint with the Los Angeles Rams, Beckham showed he can still produce at a high level. He’s due for a good bill of health and his impact for the Ravens will only go as far as his availability does. Bateman, meanwhile, has started only nine games through his first two career seasons. A clean return from last year’s Lisfranc injury is paramount both for his own development and for the Ravens’ offensive success.

At least one of Beckham or Bateman being healthy and full-go in the lineup, but better yet both, will shape the team’s offensive ceiling.

4. J.K. Dobbins takes the field and is featured

Another factor in the Ravens’ offensive potential is the status of running back J.K. Dobbins. The starting has yet to participate in offseason activities to date in what is being dubbed a “complicated” situation. Dobbins’ absence appears injury related but may also very well be contract related.

Like Bateman, we’ve yet to see Dobbins at his full potential. However, the flashes of elite play have been there in stretches. He’s been challenged with injuries the past two seasons as well as being underutilized on offense. The success he could have as a featured piece in Monken’s system is tantalizing.

5. Tyler Linderbaum and Kyle Hamilton make sophomore leaps

After promising rookie seasons, expectations are high entering Year 2 for Hamilton and Linderbaum. Both players have been billed as breakout candidates who have Pro Bowl-type upside and for good reason. Linderbaum was a full-time starter from Day 1 last year and by season’s end, Hamilton was an integral piece to the team’s defense as the primary nickel.

If either of these 2022 first-round picks can make the “good to great” jump this upcoming season, the Ravens could have another blue-chip player on one side of the ball. That’s ultimately a decisive factor in making the climb to Super Bowl status.

6. Young cornerbacks develop into trusted rotation players

Outside of the starting tandem of Marlon Humphrey and Rock Ya-Sin, the Ravens’ cornerback depth chart is quite young. Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams are rising sophomores. Kyu Blu Kelly is a rookie. It’s an even younger group overall if you factor in Brandon Stephens or Ar’Darius Washington, who are hybrid defensive backs.

The Ravens will need someone to step into the No. 3 cornerback role as the team’s starting nickel defender. Even beyond that, though, it’d be ideal if more than one of these young corners can develop into reliable rotational pieces in 2023.

7. A breakout season from a young defensive lineman

After losing Calais Campbell this offseason, the Ravens will be relying heavily on a trio of young players on their defensive interior. Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington, and Travis Jones will all see their roles increase in 2023.

To replace Campbell’s production and presence, both against the run and as a pass-rusher, the Ravens will need all to step up. However, if at least one of them takes a significant leap as a breakout player, it could elevate the team’s defense to another level.