The 2022 season has just ended, and as of March 13, the 2023 campaign will open its doors. Touchdown Actu therefore takes the opportunity to offer you an overview of the different franchises during the off-season. Which players to keep and cut? Which free agents to extend? Which rookies to watch? Here are some ideas, franchise by franchise. In the spotlight today, the Baltimore Ravens.
An end to the season that looks like deja vu … As in 2021, with the notable exception of qualifying for the playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens had a complicated end to the year, truncated by injuries and a clear offensive slowdown.
Three defeats in four games to end the campaign, no more than 17 points per game from December… Although the absence of Lamar Jackson was costly, the poor offensive performance prompted head coach John Harbaugh to review his copy.
Undoubtedly arrived at the end of the cycle, the coordinator Greg Roman was thanked and was replaced by Todd Monken, freshly crowned university champion with Georgia.
The objective will be to be at the same level as the local defense, as often satisfactory, even for the first season of the coordinator Mike MacDonald. The upcoming work promises to be titanic, between the complex negotiations around the end of Jackson’s contract and the many high-skill positions in need of refreshment.
How can Baltimore find a parade again?
1. Mark Andrews (TE)
2. Roquan Smith (LB)
3. Marlon Humphrey (CB)
In attack, the strengths are fewer, but the impact of Mark Andrews remains undeniable. Certainly, the former Oklahoma was less valuable at the time of conclusion (5 touchdowns in 2022), but with two games missed and chronic problems at the quarterback position, the tight end did not go so far from a new campaign at 1,000 yards (847).
Defensively, if he still has to confirm the big contract that has just been offered to him, Roquan Smith has well justified the last-minute exchange made by the franchise last year to recover it. Third best tackler of his own, having played half of the meetings, the former captain of the Bears wants to register in continuity in Maryland.
Another big investment for the future, Marlon Humphrey who, although still perfectible on the cover, contributed defensively by his large volume of play on the run stop as on the pass rush. He can still progress, and that’s what should worry his future opponents.
– Chuck Clark (S)
– Gus Edwards (RB)
– Kevin Zeitler (G)
Already uncertain about his future in 2022, Chuck Clark has no more confidence at the end of this season. In a spring when the Ravens may need some extra cash, the safety may be collateral damage, a year after Kyle Hamilton was drafted in the first round. Able to be a solid asset in the rotation, Gus Edwards, like many local runners, seemed to be marking time. It could allow a significant saving of 4 million dollars.
Finally, the Kevin Zeitler case is a bit trickier. With a cut, the former New Yorker would offer a mattress of almost 7 million to his franchise. In an offseason where the solid Ben Powers is a free agent, it is still difficult to imagine a total overhaul of the position.
The summer man
Todd Monken (offensive coordinator)
Renowned in college, with a past as a head coach at Southern Miss and a successful last experience with the two-time defending champion Georgia, Todd Monken has not always had only good experiences in the NFL.
He is a coach who seems to correspond to the new identity sought by Eric DeCosta and the staff of the Ravens. Known for setting up rather aerial and very vertical attacks, Monken arrived without making waves in a formation of Georgia very anchored on the ground game.
Three years later, it was thanks to quarterback Stetson Bennett and a stretched offensive sector that the Athens program conquered the FBS title. The objective of the 57-year-old coach is “simple” in Maryland: relaunch the attack, since the ground game seems to have become moribund, relying on a more pronounced alternation; the one that Greg Roman no longer seemed able to put in place.
It will of course be dependent on the choices of its front office and the staff made available to it, but the game may be worth the effort.
The main free agents
1. Lamar Jackson (QB)
2. Marcus Peters (CB)
3. Justin Houston (EDGE)
4. Ben Powers (G)
5. Demarcus Robinson (WR)
Others : Tyler Huntley (QB), Kenyan Drake (RB), Ja’Wuan James (OT), Jason Pierre-Paul (EDGE), Geno Stone (S), Kyle Fuller (CB).
It’s hard not to make this chapter one of the most crucial, given the rather inextricable situation around Lamar Jackson.
Injured at the end of the season, and constantly hampered by his knee, the quarterback does not seem (yet?) in phase with his direction. He would claim a massive contract close to what Deshaun Watson was able to ask for last season.
In defense, the qualities of Marcus Peters and Justin Houston are well established, but at 30 and 35 respectively, they no longer necessarily represent the future, especially if the amounts requested do not match the intentions of the franchise.
On the offensive line, Ben Powers is a real satisfaction, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Eric De Costa do his best to bring him back and not completely overhaul the offensive line.
Top 5 Needs
3. Running back
5. Ligne offensive
As mentioned above, many are the offensive sectors on which the Ravens will have to look. In addition to the question of the quarterback, and the negotiations around Lamar Jackson, it is necessary to find a new running back number 1 in form. JK Dobbins seems to have struggled to embody it since joining the league.
On the spread target side, Baltimore has a real problem with receivers over 1,000 yards, because only Mike Wallace in 2016 (1,017) and Marquise Brown in 2021 (1,008) have reached this level in the last seven years.
On the line, beyond the situation already mentioned for the guards, the health of the tackles will be predominant, starting with that of Ronnie Stanley, good but constantly injured since his arrival with the pros. On the cornerback side, it is important to find a counterpart to Humphrey in the days to come.
Jamaal Williams (RB, Lions)
There is no doubt that given the class of running backs present in the next draft, Baltimore will be tempted to choose a rookie in the intermediate rounds to get a good deal.
But if the franchise wants to find a number one runner from day one, to put healthy competition to JK Dobbins, Jamaal Williams may have an interesting profile. Called upon by a committee of runners in Detroit, this powerful and lively player was the symbol of a rediscovered Lions attack, and finished the season at more than 1,000 yards, for 17 touchdowns (a franchise record previously beaten). owned by a certain Barry Sanders).
Needy, applied, although relatively one-dimensional, Williams has a perfect profile to acclimatize to Maryland, and will probably not be the most expensive runner on the market, behind Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs or Miles Sanders. But its price will obviously be a factor to be taken into consideration.
The new blood
Jalin Hyatt (WR, Tennessee)
Then comes the eternal question of the receiver, a position that does not reassure many people on the free agent market … or within the draft vintage.
A profile could however intrigue the Ravens: that of Jalin Hyatt.
Revelation of the 2022 season on the Tennessee side, the prospect has two advantages: he knows Tee Martin well, the current receivers coach, for their common past on the Knoxville side. And two, his ability to be a true vertical threat could match the identity that Todd Monken wanted. If his layouts can be improved, and his size far from optimal, the number 11 is rarely reluctant to block and could bring his stone to the building on the ground game.
Alternative : Jordan Addison (WR), Kelee Ringo (CB), Andrew Vorhees (G), Kenny McIntosh (RB).
#Intersaison #Baltimore #Ravens #attack