Ravens land No. 2 in ranking of Top-10 most complete NFL rosters

ravens land no. 2 in ranking of top-10 most complete nfl rosters

Ravens land No. 2 in ranking of Top-10 most complete NFL rosters

Now that free agency and the draft are in the rear view, we have a good idea how most NFL teams will look entering the 2024 season. While there are still some veteran free agent signings and possible trades to be made, the bulk of significant acquisitions have already occurred.

As such, it’s not too early to begin projecting how the Baltimore Ravens and their counterparts stack up against one another on paper. Many pundits and analysts around the league have begun to do just that.

On Wednesday, NFL.com’s Eric Edholm published a ranking of the Top-10 most complete rosters in the NFL for this upcoming season. The Ravens came in at second behind only the San Francisco 49ers, who occupied the No. 1 spot. Rounding out the Top-5 are the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, and Philadelphia Eagles.

There would have been little debate about the Ravens having the second-best, or even top overall roster at the end of 2023. However, the past free agency cycle saw them lose more than a dozen of their own free agents. Edholm notes this exodus of talent at the forefront of his description for the team.

“The Ravens felt the sting of an offseason that saw them lose depth and experience on both sides of the ball,” Edholm wrote. “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.”

Despite this exodus of talent, Edholm still sees the Ravens having an elite roster. That’s in large part due to the team’s offensive talent surrounding one of the league’s best quarterbacks.

“With reigning MVP Lamar Jackson at 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.”

The only offensive playmaker the Ravens lost this offseason was veteran wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Otherwise, they re-signed Nelson Agholor and drafted Devontez Walker in the fourth round — both of whom Edholm did not mention above. Replacing Beckham with a mid-round prospect alone is not an upgrade, but the Ravens’ group of skill position players remains one of the most talented Jackson’s had at his disposal in his career.

As Edholm also notes, the offensive line’s ability to come together is key for the Ravens to have success offensively. The Ravens are set to replace three starters up front at both guard positions and right tackle. How smoothly they can transition with a new-look group blocking for Jackson and Henry will be a paramount factor this season.

While the Ravens also have to replace several key contributors on defense from 2023, they still have a strong infrastructure in place.

“Kyle Hamilton and Roquan Smith are two of the very best at what they do,” Edholm proclaimed. “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.”

Between Hamilton, Smith, and Madubuike, the Ravens have three returning All-Pro players at key positions. That is a foundation most defenses around the league cannot attest to. What Edholm also did not note is the team’s additions at cornerback in the draft, where they double-dipped by taking Clemson’s Nate Wiggins and T.J. Tampa out of USC.

The Ravens had historic success on the defensive side of the ball in 2023, so replicating that entirely is very unlikely. However, they consistently have fielded one of the NFL’s best defenses over the years regardless of coordinator and personnel turnover.

As for the Ravens’ divisional counterparts on this list, the Cincinnati Bengals ranked No. 6 and the Cleveland Browns were placed at No. 9. The Pittsburgh Steelers did not make the cut in the Top-10.

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