4 Bold Ravens Predictions For The 2023 NFL Offseason

This is where we talk about the Baltimore Ravens’ 2022 campaign, the upcoming NFL offseason, and make some bold Ravens offseason predictions. There’s really only one Ravens past, present or future issue that matters right now, though, and that’s whether Lamar Jackson will return for 2023 and beyond. We’ll get to that in due time, but first, let’s do some other Ravens offseason predictions before we hit the elephant in the room.

4. OG Ben Powers leaves the team

Let’s start light here and move towards Lamar Jackson’s final prediction. First, let’s start with the offensive line.

The Ravens look for excellent continuity up front with starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley, center Tyler Linderbaum, right guard Kevin Zeitler and right tackle Morgan Moses, along with swing tackle Daniel Faalele returning for 2023. The only major free agent on the line is left guard Ben Powers.

Also returning are backup guards Patrick Mekari and Ben Cleveland, whom Powers beat out for the starting job last year. These two should be able to compete for the starting job next season, so the team won’t have to break the bank for Powers, who should have several suitors.

The drop between Powers and Mekari or Cleveland shouldn’t be bad, and anyone taking plays behind that line should be fine next season.

3. The Ravens re-sign Justin Houston

On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens had another solid season, coming in as the No. 3 scoring defense in the NFL in 2022.

On the defensive line, the team has some decisions to make in the 2023 NFL offseason, as two of the franchise’s veteran pass-rushers, Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul, are free agents.

Both players are 33 years old, and the Ravens have young running backs Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo waiting in the wings. Still, Houston led the team in sacks last season at 9.5, and the team should bring him back for one more season.

For what it’s worth, after the team’s heartbreaking playoff loss to the division rival Cincinnati Bengals, Houston told reporters that he enjoyed his season in Baltimore, and gave the impression that he would happily return for a season. more if they had had him.

And the bold Ravens’ offseason prediction here is that they will.

2. GM Eric DeCosta continues his search for a WR1

General manager Eric DeCosta and Ozzie Newsome before him have had some of the best and most consistent drafts in NFL history. However, there is one type of player that has eluded both Ravens’ personnel leaders: a true WR1.

Since selecting Lamar Jackson in 2018, the team has selected four WRs in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. Despite the capital draft commitment, Miles Boykin, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman failed to become the team’s favorite pass catcher.

In 2023, he can add Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba to the list of high draft picks, but hopefully not on the bust side of the ledger.

Smith-Njigba was the leading receiver (in both receptions and yards) in 2021 on a team with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. Injuries limited him in 2022, but that just means he’ll move on to the Ravens with the 22nd pick in 2023.

The Ravens’ front office has tested big, fast wide receivers, but Lamar Jackson has always ended up preferring his tight ends over the middle. Smith-Njigba is a silky-smooth road runner who can work across the field. His style might be more conducive to Jackson’s skill set…

If Jackson is the QB in 2023, that is.

1. Lamar Jackson’s future on the biggest issue of the NFL offseason

OK, we’ve stalled long enough. The biggest and boldest prediction of the Ravens’ 2023 offseason, and perhaps of the entire NFL offseason, is that Lamar Jackson will remain a Raven for both the 2023 season and beyond.

Initially, the Ravens will use the exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, which allows them to continue to negotiate a long-term deal or trade him if the right offer comes along. And there will be offers.

However, the two parties are too committed to each other, especially John Harbaugh, to start over. In the end, a cool head will prevail, and the Ravens will give Jackson a historic contract, though not the guaranteed $230 million Deshaun Watson got and Jackson is reportedly seeking.

Ravens fans can take a deep breath knowing that Jackson will be locked up for the next four to six years. And once that happens, the franchise can rebuild around its MVP QB and work to get him to a Super Bowl.

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