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4 sleepers on the Ravens for the 2023 season

Which under-the-radar players could exceed expectations?

Baltimore Ravens v New York Jets Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The start of the 2023 regular season is just about a month away. The Baltimore Ravens began training camp several weeks ago and will kick off their first preseason game this Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Needless to say, the football aura is here.

The Ravens have a number of big-name players who are some of the best at their position in Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Roquan Smith, and Mark Andrews, to name a few. There are also some well-established names beyond that as well across the roster.

Who are some lesser-known or under-the-radar players who could play a bigger part in 2023 than expected? Let’s break down a few sleeper candidates.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

DT Travis Jones

Heralded as a potential fourth-round steal in last year’s draft, Jones had a solid, albeit unspectacular rookie season. Heading into his sophomore season, the former UConn Huskie product’s name has not been buzzing a whole lot thus far. Still, the stage is set for him to make a significant impact in 2023.

Jones is one of the team’s trio of young defensive lineman who are looking to step up and replace the departed Calais Campbell. How the snaps will be divided up between Jones, Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington (along with veteran starter Michael Pierce) remains to be seen. The latter have been more talked-about names recently in-part because of contract extension ideas.

With a well-rounded skill set and high upside, Jones will be on the field often regardless, though, and could definitely become a household name as the season progresses. The key to his potential will be consistency.

Baltimore Ravens v New Orleans Saints Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

CB Jalyn Armour-Davis

With only one year of starting experience at Alabama, Armour-Davis was viewed as a developmental prospect after being drafted last year. That proved true in his rookie season, as he struggled early in September and was mostly benched moving forward. The ‘baptism by fire” route did not aid Armour-Davis immediately, but there’s plenty of possibility for growth in his second season.

At 6-foot-1 with good athleticism, the raw talent and traits are there for Armour-Davis to develop into a reliable cornerback. He fits the part of a prototypical outside corner with press-man ability, which the Ravens have long coveted. Armour-Davis has already reportedly been making strides in training camp over the past couple weeks and earning some first-team snaps on defense.

In a young cornerback room beyond veterans Marlon Humphrey and Rock Ya-Sin, “JAD” will get opportunities to prove himself. He’s a candidate to surprise many and wind up playing a much bigger role in 2023 than he did last year.

Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

RB Justice Hill

Amid J.K. Dobbins ongoing absence from training camp, the spotlight will begin to shift to the Ravens’ other running backs. Gus Edwards is the solidified No. 2 on the depth chart and next-in-line starter. Melvin Gordon was signed not long ago and undrafted free agent Keaton Mitchell has generated some buzz too. The name flying under the radar a bit in the mix is Justice Hill.

Hill, who was re-signed to a two-year contract this Spring, is coming off his most productive and efficient offensive season. Despite returning from a torn Achilles injury, Hill looked as explosive as ever in limited spurts. Hill’s ceiling will always be capped by the players above him on the depth chart but his pass-catching and change-of-pace ability are worthy of consistent snaps. If Dobbins were to not play come the regular season, this skill set would become even more vital and Hill’s role would obviously expand significantly.

Carolina Panthers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

FS Geno Stone

The re-signing of Stone earlier in free agency was a quiet move, but one that may ultimately end up being looked back in much more positive light. After the Ravens traded away Chuck Clark and with Kyle Hamilton now moving into a full-time stater role, Stone’s snaps are in-line to increase. The former seventh-round pick started seven games last season in relief of the injured Marcus Williams and filled in admirably.

Somewhat like Williams, Stone possesses range in the backend which gives him the ability to play deep in coverage. That’s a pivotal skill set and one that should keep Stone in the defensive back rotation, particularly in potential three-safety looks. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald could lean into that personnel grouping at times given the team’s lack of proven talent down the depth the chart at the cornerback.