2022 NFL Offseason: Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens (Last Year: 8-9)

2022 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
RB Mike Davis, OT Morgan Moses, DE Steven Means, DT Michael Pierce, CB Kyle Fuller, S Marcus Williams.
Early Draft Picks:
S Kyle Hamilton, C Tyler Linderbaum, DE David Ojabo, NT Travis Jones, OT Daniel Faalele, CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, TE Charlie Kolar, P Jordan Stout, TE Isaiah Likely, CB Damarion Williams. Ravens Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
RB Devonta Freeman, RB Latavius Murray, WR Sammy Watkins, C Bradley Bozeman, DE Derek Wolfe, NT Brandon Williams, OLB Jaylon Ferguson, LB L.J. Fort, CB Tavon Young, CB Anthony Averett, S DeShon Elliott, P Sam Koch.

2022 Baltimore Ravens Offense:
Lamar Jackson was the 2019 NFL MVP after a magical season. The passing yardage wasn’t great (3,127), but he threw for 36 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions. More impressively, he broke the single-season quarterback rushing record with 1,206 yards on the ground. Most defenses had no answer for Jackson.

Things have changed a bit since. Jackson’s completion percentage has dropped nearly two points in each of the past two years, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio worsened to 26:9 in 2020 to an even worse 16:13 in 2021. He also rushed for 16 fewer yards per game following 2019. The big difference was the play of the offensive line. Future Hall of Fame guard Marshal Yanda retired, which severely diminished the interior blocking. Making matters worse, left tackle Ronnie Stanley suffered a season-ending injury at the midway point of the 2020 campaign and then was never healthy in 2021, playing in only one game.

Stanley will presumably return to the field in 2022, which will provide a huge boost to the front. There’s an injury question with Stanley’s bookend, however, as Morgan Moses signed in free agency. Moses remarkably hasn’t missed a game since his 2014 rookie year, but he’s constantly banged up and not 100 percent. Now 31, Moses’ health could continue to get worse. While he’s healthy, however, he’ll give the Ravens an upgrade at the position.

Speaking of offensive line upgrades, Baltimore obtained one more in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, selecting Tyler Linderbaum with their second choice in the opening round. Linderbaum will fill a huge hole at center, vacated by the departed Bradley Bozeman. Linderbaum will be flanked by Tyre Phillips and Kevin Zeitler. While Zeitler is an excellent guard, Phillips figures to be the weakest link up front, provided there aren’t any injuries.

That said, even if Jackson’s blocking improves, there’s no guarantee he’ll revert to 2019 form, given what has transpired with the receiving corps. Baltimore decided to trade its No. 1 receiver, Marquise Brown, to the Cardinals, leaving the Ravens with a huge void at the position. Rashod Bateman, chosen in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, will have to step up after a fine rookie campaign in which he caught 46 passes for 515 yards in 12 games. Mark Andrews, one of the best tight ends in the NFL, will also need to up his performance even more. That’s because there’s no clear-cut No. 2 wideout on the roster. The Ravens’ other options are Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace. Between the three of them, they caught 51 passes for 497 yards in 2021. Baltimore may want to sign Will Fuller or trade for D.K. Metcalf.

Things seem bleak at running back as well. Baltimore has talent at the position with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, but both backs are coming off ACL tears. John Harbaugh expressed concern about their availability to begin the year, which is why the front office attempted to sign Melvin Gordon, but had to settle for Mike Davis once Gordon returned to Denver.

2022 Baltimore Ravens Defense:
Running back wasn’t the only position ravaged by injury in 2021. The Ravens also saw countless cornerbacks get hurt, which destroyed their ability to stop the pass in the second half of the season. Aerial attacks constantly torched them, making it difficult for Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley to outscore the opposition.

Between Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, the top two cornerbacks on the roster, they played just 12 combined games in 2021. Both will be back this season, and if they can manage to stay on the field this time, Baltimore’s pass defense will be so much better. The depth has improved as well. The Ravens used two fourth-round picks on Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams, and they also signed Kyle Fuller. Formerly of the Bears and Broncos, Fuller is often a capable corner, but he’s coming off the worst season in his career. He’s only 30, so he should have one or two more strong seasons remaining in the tank.

Fuller and the two rookies weren’t the only new defensive backs the Ravens obtained this offseason. Baltimore made a huge splash in free agency by signing Marcus Williams. Only 25, Williams is one of the top safeties in the NFL, which is why the front office gave him a $70 million contract. On top of that, the Ravens used their initial first-round choice on Kyle Hamilton, a talented defender from Notre Dame. There’s some question about whether Hamilton will have to play safety or linebacker in the NFL. If Hamilton’s home is eventually linebacker, Baltimore has a capable safety starting next to Williams in Chuck Clark.

Speaking of Baltimore’s linebackers, this is an area that sorely needed to improve. Patrick Queen, another former first-round pick of Baltimore’s, has been a colossal disappointment thus far in his career. He’ll likely continue to start next to Josh Bynes, who has been a much better player. Bynes is especially strong against the run, while his coverage ability is mediocre. The issue with Bynes is that he’ll turn 33 before the start of the season, so regression could be coming soon.

The Ravens used two other early draft choices this April on the front seven. The most interesting pick was David Ojabo, an athletic freak of an edge rusher who would have likely been a top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft had he not suffered a torn ACL in pre-draft preparation. There’s some optimism that he’ll be available at the end of the season, but it’s more likely that he’ll make his debut in 2023. In the meantime, the edge rushing will have to be done by last year’s first-round pick, Odafe Oweh, as well as Tyus Bowser. The latter is a capable pass rusher who recorded seven sacks last year, but he’s coming off a torn Achilles that he suffered in the 2021 finale. He may not be 100 percent this year. Oweh, meanwhile, notched five sacks as a rookie. He was seen as a raw prospect with tons of upside entering the pros, so perhaps he’ll have a breakout 2022 campaign. If not, the recently re-signed Justin Houston will try to improve upon the 4.5 sacks he notched in 2021.

With Bowser limited and Oweh a question mark, the Ravens will be counting on Calais Campbell to continue to cause disruption. Campbell was retained with a 2-year contract this spring. He has been one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL over the years, but that may be changing soon because he’ll turn 36 right before the season begins. Campbell will play alongside Michael Pierce and Justin Madubuike up front. Pierce is very talented, but he has played in only eight games since 2019. Madubuike is just a mediocre talent. Baltimore also has third-round rookie Travis Jones waiting in the wings.

2022 Baltimore Ravens Schedule and Intangibles:
John Harbaugh has done a terrific job of maintaining a dominant home-field advantage during his tenure as Baltimore’s head coach. The Ravens are an outstanding 85-33 as hosts since 2008.

Harbaugh used to be a special-teams coach, so it’s not surprising that the Ravens have outgained the opposition on punt and kickoff returns most years. Last year was unusual in that Baltimore allowed a touchdown, but failed to score one.

Justin Tucker is the best kicker in the NFL. He whiffed on just 14 of his 210 attempts in the past six years, drilling a remarkable 30-of-36 tries from 50-plus in that span. Tucker has missed just four extra points in his career. He also nailed an NFL-record 66-yard field goal to beat the Lions in Week 3.

The Ravens are moving on with a new punter this year. They drafted Jordan Stout in the fourth round.

Baltimore has a mixed schedule. It’ll have to deal with the Bills, Buccaneers, Broncos and Patriots, but there are easy games against the Giants, Falcons and Saints.

2022 Baltimore Ravens Rookies:
Go here for the Ravens Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2022 Baltimore Ravens Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2022 Baltimore Ravens Analysis: There are a wide range of outcomes for the Ravens in 2021. If the offensive line and secondary can stay healthy, and the edge rush can improve, Baltimore will make the playoffs. Conversely, the team plays in a difficult division, so if one of these things doesn’t occur, it could be another long season for the Ravens. It seems more likely that the former scenario will occur.

Projection: 11-6 (2nd in AFC North)

2021 Projection: 11-6. 2021 Actual Result: 8-9.
2020 Projection: 12-4. 2020 Actual Result: 11-5.
2019 Projection: 5-11. 2019 Actual Result: 14-2.
2018 Projection: 6-10. 2018 Actual Result: 10-6.
2017 Projection: 7-9. 2017 Actual Result: 9-7.
2016 Projection: 9-7. 2016 Actual Result: 8-8.

NFL Draft Team Grade: B Grade

Goals Entering the 2022 NFL Draft: The Ravens have a ton of resources, owning nine picks in the first four rounds. They’ll be able to fortify their roster, especially at some major positions of weakness like the offensive line, secondary and linebacking corps.

2022 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Ravens often assemble one of the best draft classes each year, and this haul was no different. They made 11 picks, and seven of them scored A- or higher!

Of course, part of the reason the Ravens had 11 selections was because they traded Marquise Brown. They dealt Lamar Jackson’s favorite target, and even worse, they failed to replace him with one of the talented wideouts in this class. That will certainly hurt Baltimore’s overall grade.

That said, I can’t go down too far because I loved so many of the picks. Tyler Linderbaum, used with the pick acquired for Brown, should be a rock-solid center for years to come. David Ojabo was a top-10 talent acquired in the second frame because of his injury. Travis Jones was a mega steal in the third round as a potential first-round nose tackle. I also really liked the Jalyn Armour-Davis and Charlie Kolar picks.

The Ravens would have scored an “A” grade for this class, if it weren’t for the Brown ordeal. Once again, I can’t go very high because the Ravens put Jackson in a poor position without much receiving help. I understand trading Brown because of financial situations, but how did Baltimore not find a viable replacement for him?

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

14. Kyle Hamilton, S/LB, Notre Dame – C Grade
This is misleading value. Many will think the Ravens are getting a bargain, but many teams soured on Kyle Hamilton. Not only did he run a 4.7 at his pro day; he didn’t really have a natural position, much like Isaiah Simmons from two years ago. Teams didn’t know whether or not to put Hamilton at safety or linebacker. We’ll have to see what the Ravens do with Hamilton, but he could easily be a bust.

25. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa A- Grade
Once upon a time, I had Tyler Linderbaum slotted to the Ravens at No. 14. I thought that was a bit early for him, but I loved the fit. Linderbaum fills a huge need, but thought Baltimore needed to trade down for him. Well, the Ravens did that (sort of), and they got their man. Linderbaum should be an excellent starter for the Ravens over the next decade.

45. David Ojabo, DE, Michigan – A+ Grade
I don’t understand why David Ojabo fell so far. He tore his Achilles, but he’ll be 100 percent by 2023. He should have gone late in the first round, and he would’ve been a top-10 pick had he been completely healthy. This is a terrific value, and it’s my favorite pick thus far in the 2022 NFL Draft.

76. Travis Jones, NT, Connecticut – A+ Grade
The Ravens are great at drafting because they let teams in front of them draft crappy players, allowing them to take the best prospects available. This happened yet again, as the Ravens just landed someone who could’ve landed at the end of the first round without many complaints. Jones is a massive, but athletic nose tackle who will fit in very well in the middle of Baltimore’s front.

110. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota – B+ Grade
It should come at no surprise that the Ravens drafted an absolute mauler to fix their offensive line. Daniel Faaelele is one of the largest human beings on the planet, so the question is if he can move well enough in the NFL. The Ravens believe he can, and if so, he’ll fill a big need at right tackle. He’s worth the risk in the fourth round.

119. Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama – A- Grade
It turns out that the Ravens still pick players from Alabama after all! I like this selection, as I had Jalyn Armour-Davis slotted a bit earlier than this. He’s a tall cornerback who will help with Baltimore’s abysmal depth that killed them last year.

128. Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State – A- Grade
The Ravens, as usual, are making a solid value pick. Charlie Kolar is a nice route runner with good hands, and I thought he could’ve gone a bit earlier than this. He doesn’t fill a need, but Baltimore has so many picks.

130. Jordan Stout, P, Penn State – O’MILLEN GRADE
Rich Eisen says that punters are people. I disagree. They are demonic abominations. Regardless of what they are, they do not belong in the fourth round of any draft, even in one as weak as this class.

139. Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina – C Grade
OK, I get picking one tight end for the value, but two seems a bit ridiculous. It’s not like this is a good tight end class. Isaiah Likely has nice upside, but the Ravens now have a log jam at the position.

141. Damarion Williams, CB, Houston – C+ Grade
I get that the Ravens want to obtain another cornerback, given the big problems they had there last year. Damarion Williams, however, is a bit of an underwhelming prospect, as I had him in the sixth-seventh range.

196. Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri – A- Grade
I’ve had Tyler Badie going a bit earlier than this in my mocks, so I like the value. Badie is a small back, but he has positive strength and quickness. He’ll provide needed depth for the Ravens, who have nothing but injured running backs on their roster.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Season Summary:
The Ravens began the year 8-3, but didn’t win a single game after that. Baltimore’s roster was severely ravaged by injury, so it’s tough to really blame anyone for this collapse.

Offseason Moves:
  • Ravens sign CB Kyle Fuller
  • Ravens sign RB Mike Davis
  • Ravens sign DT Michael Pierce
  • Ravens sign OT Morgan Moses
  • Ravens sign S Marcus Williams
  • Ravens announce retirement of OT Alejandro Villanueva

    Team Needs:
    1. Offensive Tackle: The top priority is protecting Lamar Jackson, which is something the Ravens haven’t done well the past two years. Ronnie Stanley will be back, but the team will reportedly move on from Alejandro Villanueva.

    2. Two Interior Offensive Linemen: Only one will be needed if Bradley Bozeman re-signs. An upgrade at guard should be acquired, as this has been a weak spot since Marshal Yanda’s retirement.

    3. Two Linebackers: Baltimore’s greatest priority on the defensive side of the ball is upgrading linebacker. This is a huge weakness, and that includes Patrick Queen, who has been a major bust thus far.

    4. Edge Rusher: The Ravens blitz frequently because they cannot get to the quarterback with only four players. Odafe Oweh performed well as a rookie, but Baltimore must obtain another edge rusher.

    5. Two Defensive Linemen: Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams are set to hit free agency. Retaining Campbell will be crucial. Williams, on the other hand, has regressed recently. Re-signed Calais Campbell; signed Michael Pierce

    6. Cornerback Depth: Baltimore will get Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters back from injury, but they’ll need better depth after what happened last year. Signed Kyle Fuller

    7. Safety: Re-signing or replacing DeShon Elliott or Tony Jefferson is important. Signed Marcus Williams

    8. Wide Receiver Depth: The Ravens will need a third receiver to go along with Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman, given Sammy Watkins’ impending free agency.

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2022 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Marcus Williams, S, Saints. Age: 26.
      Signed with Ravens (5 years, $70 million)

      Marcus Williams has emerged as one of the best safeties in the NFL, and yet he’s still in his mid-20s. He’ll continue to dominate in the secondary for the next five-plus years.

    2. Kyle Fuller, CB, Broncos. Age: 30.
      Signed with Ravens (1 year)

      Kyle Fuller was a terrific cornerback for the Bears, but he regressed considerably in Denver last year, which was odd because he was coached by Vic Fangio again. Perhaps he’ll rebound next year.

    3. Morgan Moses, OT, Jets. Age: 31.
      Signed with Ravens (3 years, $15 million)

      Durability has always been Morgan Moses’ primary issue, but he managed to stay on the field the entire 2021 season. Moses is now 31, but he’ll be able to play on a high level for 2-3 more years as long as he remains healthy.

    4. Mike Davis, RB, Falcons. Age: 29. — Signed with Ravens
    5. Steven Means, DE, Falcons. Age: 32. — Signed with Ravens
    6. Corey Clement, RB, Cowboys. Age: 27. — Signed with Ravens

    Baltimore Ravens Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Calais Campbell, DE/DT, Ravens. Age: 36.
      Re-signed with Ravens (2 years, $12.5 million)

      Despite his age, Calais Campbell somehow continues to be one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. He turns 36 on Sept. 1, so regression is bound to hit at some point.

    2. Patrick Ricard, FB, Ravens. Age: 28.
      Re-signed with Ravens (3 years)

      Patrick Ricard is one of the best run-blocking fullbacks in the NFL.

    3. Bradley Bozeman, C, Ravens. Age: 27.
      Signed with Panthers

      Bradley Bozeman has made great strides throughout his young career thus far. He was an excellent center in 2021 in both pass protection and run blocking.

    4. DeShon Elliott, S, Ravens. Age: 25.
      Signed with Lions

      DeShon Elliott played just five games in 2021. The Ravens missed him, as he’s a young, well-rounded safety.

    5. Josh Bynes, LB, Ravens. Age: 32.
      Re-signed with Ravens

      Josh Bynes is a solid, two-down linebacker who specializes in run support. Age is becoming an issue, however.

    6. Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Ravens. Age: 33.
      Re-signed with Ravens

      Justin Houston has seen his sack total drop from 11 to eight to 4.5 in the past three years. He’s still a functional pass rusher who played better than the 4.5 sacks indicate, but he’ll continue to regress now that he’s in his mid-30s.

    7. Brandon Williams, NT, Ravens. Age: 33.
      Brandon Williams was once a fierce run-stuffer, but things have changed in recent years. Williams has regressed now that he’s in his mid-30s.

    8. Sammy Watkins, WR, Ravens. Age: 29.
      Signed with Packers (1 year, $4 million)

      Time is running out for Sammy Watkins to meet expectations. He’s great in some games, but disappears in many others.

    9. Tavon Young, CB, Ravens. Age: 28.
      Signed with Bears (1 year, $4 million)

      Tavon Young has played well in the past as Baltimore’s slot cornerback, but he has dealt with way too many injuries over the years.

    10. L.J. Fort, LB, Ravens. Age: 32.
    11. Devonta Freeman, RB, Ravens. Age: 30.
    12. Latavius Murray, RB, Ravens. Age: 32.
    13. Anthony Averett, CB, Ravens. Age: 27. — Signed with Raiders (1 year)
    14. Justin Ellis, DT, Ravens. Age: 31. — Signed with Giants
    15. Josh Johnson, QB, Ravens. Age: 36. — Signed with Broncos
    16. Pernell McPhee, DE/OLB, Ravens. Age: 33.
    17. Chris Board, LB, Ravens. Age: 27. — Signed with Lions
    18. Anthony Levine, S, Ravens. Age: 35.

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

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