American Football

Ranking the Ravens’ biggest offensive needs for the 2023 offseason


AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens’ 2022 season came to a conclusion a few weeks ago, but the official offseason has still yet to kick into gear. This upcoming spring and summer is a pivotal one for the franchise as they face a lot of significant personnel decisions.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Ravens have some significant question marks but are also set to return a number of starters. Which positions on offense rank as the most pressing needs this offseason? Let’s break it down.

1) Wide Receiver

It goes without saying that wide receiver is the biggest area of need for the Ravens this offseason. This is true on either side of the ball. The position was again an Achilles heel for the Ravens in 2022 as they were plagued by injuries and lack of productivity.

Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay’s injuries forced the Ravens to turn to midseason veteran acquisitions like Desean Jackson and Sammy Watkins. Leaning on a core of these two with Demarcus Robinson and James Proche unsurprisingly did not work out too well. Baltimore’s wide receivers ranked last in the NFL as a collective in most statistical areas.

The Ravens badly need an influx of pass-catching talent, especially with Bateman and Duvernay returning from 2022 surgeries. Re-signing Robinson, who finished as the team’s second leading receiver last season, is an option. However, the Ravens need more established talent to complement Bateman atop the depth chart.

Adding a wide receiver in the draft, as early as the first round possibly, or making a move for a veteran or two in free agency should be priority No. 1. Additionally, the Ravens could explore trade possibilities for a big-name veteran who could be available like DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals.

2) Offensive Guard

Ben Powers is set to his unrestricted free agency after back-to-back seasons as the Ravens’ starting left guard. Powers enters the open market with his stock at a high point after a strong 2022 performance, where he ranked as one of the league’s best pass-blocking guards.

Powers likely priced himself out of the Ravens’ price range and they’ll be content settling for letting him walk and receiving a compensatory pick. That leaves a vacant starting spot on the offensive line. The in-house options to replace Powers include Ben Cleveland, Patrick Mekari, and Trystan Colon.

Mekari and Colon are primary backups at center and offensive tackle, though, and Cleveland has yet to prove himself as a viable starter-level player. Adding legitimate competition to this position group should be a priority this offseason.

3) Offensive Tackle

Last year, the Ravens entered the offseason needing potentially two new starting offensive tackles. With Ronnie Stanley’s status up in the air as he recovered from ankle issues, the left tackle spot in particular was completely in-flux.

The Ravens signed Morgan Moses in free agency and drafted Daniel Faalele in the fourth round last April. Then, Stanley returned to the lineup and —aside from some minor midseason injury hiccups — looked an awful lot like his old self. Now, the Ravens are four-deep at the offensive tackle position between these three and Mekari.

The argument for taking a flier on another tackle this offseason for depth purposes would be Stanley’s injury history, as well as Moses’ age and Faalele’s inexperience. Also, if the team prefers to have Mekari as the primary backup center or potentially starting guard.

4) Running Back

J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards were in-and-out of the lineup with injuries in 2022 after returning from season-long absences the year before. However, down the home stretch of the season, they settled into expanded roles and offered optimism heading into 2023.

Dobbins in particular began to regain his rookie-year form. He had double-digit rushing attempts in five straight games after December and should be able to handle a larger workload next season.

There is a world in which the Ravens release Edwards to create $4.4 million in cap savings, as he does carry a high cap hit for a No. 2 running back. However, with both Justice Hill and Kenyan Drake being free agents, the Ravens don’t currently have any other depth in-house, so that makes an Edwards’ departure less likely.

Either way, whether it’s re-signing one of Hill or Drake or adding someone else, the Ravens will be in the market for running back depth this offseason. They are set, though, in terms of the top of the pecking order.

5) Tight End

Tight end is one of the deepest position groups on the Ravens’ roster. Mark Andrews is solidified atop the depth chart and the Ravens drafted both Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar last year, who will both factor in the 2023 equation.

Towards the end of the last calendar year, the Ravens released veteran Nick Boyle before re-signing him the practice squad. It remains to be seen if there’s any room for Boyle to stick around in some capacity next season.

The wild card is Josh Oliver, who wound up playing 514 offensive snaps in 2022. Oliver improved as a blocker and took on an increased role, which ultimately made Boyle expendable. If the Ravens want to keep four tight ends on the depth chart, Oliver could be back in the mix.

Regardless, they do not need to another player to the mix here this offseason.

6) Quarterback

Ranking quarterback as the lowest among the Ravens’ offensive needs is with the assumption Lamar Jackson will be the starting signal-caller in 2023. If this proves to not be the case, obviously this position would then skyrocket to the top of the team’s needs list.

If the Ravens ink Jackson to a long-term extension in the next several weeks, they’ll have no need to draft, sign or trade for a starter next season or beyond. If Jackson played next season under the franchise tag, that would at least eliminate the immediate need to address the position as well. The only scenario where the Ravens need a new starting quarterback heading into next season is if Jackson is traded to another team.

Backup Tyler Huntlely is a restricted free agent and the Ravens will likely tender him a contract. Huntley should be back unless another team offered him a contract the Ravens chose not to match. Anthony Brown Jr. is also still in the mix as well.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login