The Baltimore Ravens traded away Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals. Will Baltimore look to add to the WR room?
The Baltimore Ravens had an amazing draft haul this past weekend for the 2022 NFL Draft. Grabbing value at most positions, Baltimore covered almost all of their needs, and from top to bottom, their roster is pretty complete overall.
Among their 11 selections, including six picks in the fourth round, the wide receiver position was not addressed at all after trading Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Cardinals. Now, after the draft, wide receiver is easily the biggest need on the team, but maybe the Ravens have something in the works in the offseason.
Baltimore should definitely still be active in the free-agent market, as a veteran is seriously lacking within their young wide receiver group. Trading for a big-time receiver like Deebo Samuel sounds too farfetched to come true at this point so if anything, free agency sounds like the more plausible option.
The first round of this year’s draft was full of surprises, including two receiver trades, with one involving A.J. Brown heading to the Philadelphia Eagles. The other receiver trade, which was Marquise Brown heading to Arizona, was worth it on paper and shocked almost everyone when both trades went down.
The Ravens gave up Brown and a third-round pick (100th overall) for Arizona’s first-round pick (23rd overall). That first-round pick was used on Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum and Baltimore used their own first-round pick (14th overall) on Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton.
Brown was taken in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft (25th overall) and getting three solid years out of him then getting a higher pick in return is plus value in general. In his three-year career with the Ravens, he had 195 catches for 2,361 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air as the main downfield speed threat for Baltimore.
The former Ravens pass catcher was the first wide receiver taken in a star-studded receiver draft (2019) and now joins the Cardinals, where he will likely get paid next season after playing on his fifth-year option. Looking for more production opportunities potentially, the former Oklahoma receiver joins former Oklahoma quarterback and college teammate Kyler Murray in Arizona.
Brown had his best year yet with the Ravens this past year with over 1,000 receiving yards but with how it started, that yard mark was disappointing due to injuries and missed opportunities. Catching 91 passes, he was certainly schemed up to get targeted but he and Lamar Jackson just weren’t on the same page at times.
Baltimore did bolster the offensive line this offseason to hopefully help Jackson’s protection and the run game upfront. Adding more receiver tight ends and adding a receiving back through the draft helps the passing game as well.
In free agency, the Ravens signed veteran offensive tackle Morgan Moses to potentially start at the right tackle position. In the draft, other than getting a starting center in Linderbaum, Baltimore drafted Daniel Faalele, the massive offensive tackle from Minnesota, to address their right tackle depth with potential in the fourth round.
Tight end depth behind Mark Andrews was also covered, as Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar and Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely were also taken in the fourth round and filled a need the Ravens were trying to address last season. And for running back depth, Missouri’s Tyler Badie was drafted in the sixth round, as he could carve out a potential scatback role that Baltimore was lacking last year.
Health and injuries last season crippled both sides of the ball immensely last year. Other than Kevin Zeitler, literally, everyone on the offensive line was hurt at some point in 2021 as well as the starting quarterback for five weeks to end the season.
Getting back key starters from injury like Ronnie Stanley, J.K. Dobbins, and Gus Edwards will certainly help the outlook for their offense this coming season. Other depth players and backups on offense that also missed time due to injury last season include Ja’Wuan James, Patrick Mekari, Tyre Phillips, Ben Cleveland, Ben Powers, Nick Boyle, and Justice Hill.
There are options for the Baltimore Ravens in free agency, but in-house options could step up. Let’s dive in there.