Ravens News 5/23: Most Complete Teams

May 23, 2024

Practice Report: What Stood Out on Day 1

Ravens News 5/23: Most Complete Teams - Baltimore Beatdown

Ryan Mink, BaltimoreRavens.com

Overall, the Ravens have excellent attendance at the voluntary OTAs. Harbaugh said he’s “very excited” that most of the team is practicing and that there are some players in attendance at OTAs but who weren’t on the field practicing.

A welcomed sight on the practice field is defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, fresh off inking his four-year contract extension this offseason. Madubuike said at the time that the mega deal wouldn’t change his work ethic and he’s putting those words to action. It’s not full contact, but Madubuike picked up where he left off, blowing plays up and coming up with what would’ve been a sack on Jackson.

Inside linebacker Malik Harrison made the play of the day with a leaping interception on a pass over the middle by Josh Johnson. Harrison, who was re-signed to a one-year deal this offseason, hasn’t recorded an interception yet in his NFL career, but maybe that’s about to change.

Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh is off to a good start after the Ravens picked up his fifth-year option a few weeks ago. Oweh had a sack when he didn’t bite on a play-action fake by Jackson.

Twelve Ravens Thoughts at start of organized team activities

Luke Jones, Baltimore Positive

Either because of injury or the discretion afforded non-quarterback veterans, Ronnie Stanley typically hasn’t taken part in OTAs over the years. But with the 30-year-old taking a pay cut and now entering a contract year, I’m curious to see whether he’ll be participating prior to the mandatory minicamp in mid-June.

Though the opener in Kansas City is still more than three months away, I’m somewhat surprised we haven’t seen a post-draft veteran signing since the compensatory pick formula no longer applies. A No. 3 safety to free up Kyle Hamilton remains a clear need, but options are still out there.

I don’t have many strong opinions regarding the unveiling of the 2024 schedule, but an edge in rest over opponents has long been regarded as a meaningful competitive advantage. The Week 14 bye could also pay dividends for January if the Ravens can make it that long staying relatively healthy.

Congratulations to director of college scouting David Blackburn, who will reportedly depart to become Washington’s director of player personnel. It’s a good opportunity for advancement, and the Ravens likely feel confident about giving others in their scouting pecking order more responsibility.

Every NFL team’s top three players entering the 2024 season

Trevor Sikkema, PFF


Lamar Jackson, 7th season

Roquan Smith, 7th season

Kyle Hamilton, 3rd season

Lamar Jackson earned an elite PFF overall grade with an 83.0 passing grade and a 92.5 rushing grade in 2023 on his way to earning a second MVP award.

Roquan Smith has been a game-changer on defense since arriving from Chicago, and Kyle Hamilton had a breakout 2023 season, earning elite grades as a pass rusher and in coverage as an extremely versatile defensive back who earned All-Pro honors.

Justin Madubuike made this one a close call, with his 13-sack 2023 season helping him solidify his role as the centerpiece of the team’s defensive line.

Also Considered: DI Justin Madubuike, TE Mark Andrews

NFL’s top 10 most complete teams for 2024 season: 49ers robust; Browns, Jets could contend

Eric Edholm, NFL.com

2. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens felt the sting of an offseason that saw them lose depth and experience on both sides of the ball. Their offensive line ranks have been depleted, the loss of Patrick Queen takes away one emerging playmaker and they arguably took a small step backward in talent at receiver.

They’re also debatably less deep in the backfield, even if the addition of Derrick Henry and the return from injury of Keaton Mitchell provide hope. With reigning MVP Lamar Jacksonat the peak of his powers, helped by a strong supporting cast of Henry, Mark Andrews, Zay Flowers and others, the offense should keep humming — assuming the offensive line can find enough pieces to man all the positions ably.

Defensively, this remains a very good group, even with the losses of Queen, Jadeveon Clowney and Ronald Darby. Kyle Hamilton and Roquan Smith are two of the very best at what they do. Keeping Justin Madubuike was crucial; he teams with Michael Pierce to form a very stout middle up front. The hope is that young pass rushers Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo and Adisa Isaac can keep the rush unit effective after a 60-sack season.

The Ravens’ special teams might not have been quite as dominant last season as in years past, but this remains a group that ranks up there with the best rosters in the NFL.

AFC Teams’ Biggest Roster Decisions: Who Stays and Who Goes

Gilbeeto Manzano, Sports Illustrated

Baltimore Ravens

Biggest decision: Will they add depth at wide receiver?

The Ravens once again head into another training camp with concerns at wide receiver. They lack depth and proven playmakers behind Zay Flowers, last year’s impressive rookie. And they gave Rashod Bateman, their 2021 first-round pick, a two-year extension after three uneven seasons with one year left on his rookie deal. Perhaps they look to sign a free agent wideout such as Michael Thomas.