2023 NFL Draft: Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens limped into the playoffs with a second and third-string quarterback under center, as Lamar Jackson continues to be hampered with a knee injury. Whenever their postseason runs come to a close, Baltimore will enter the offseason with a problem: Lamar Jackson still wants to get paid.
It’s hard to imagine Jackson leaving Baltimore via trade or free agency, but if he does, a quarterback immediately becomes priority number one. Jackson is 26 years old, a former MVP, and the Ravens have now made the playoffs in four out of the five seasons Lamar has been in the league. The Ravens are not finding someone like Lamar Jackson in the 2023 NFL Draft and these last few weeks serve as a good reminder of just how valuable Jackson is to this team. In the unlikely event that the two sides cannot come to an agreement, I expect Baltimore to fill this void through free agency. There is too much talent on this team to not operate in win-now mode.
Top Draft Needs: WR, CB, OG
The more likely outcome is that Lamar Jackson and the Ravens agree to a long-term deal in the offseason. In this case, Baltimore needs to do everything they can to surround Jackson with the talent he needs to win the Super Bowl. Last year, we saw Marquise Brown traded on draft night to Arizona. Brown was Jackson’s favorite target outside of Mark Andrews. Jackson will hope for the inverse result this year. A speedster in the mold of Hollywood Brown would be a welcome addition.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens also have a decision to make on retaining cornerback Marcus Peters. The Ravens have long prized defensive playmakers, and Peters has been a good player for them. However, Peters just turned 30 years old and could want more money than the Ravens have to spend. After extending Roquan Smith to the tune of $100 million and with the Lamar contract looming, it’s fair to wonder if Peters is the odd man out.
The Ravens may also look to address depth on their offensive line. Kevin Zeitler will be 33 years old and is entering the last year of his contract. Adding someone they can develop to fill that void will surely be on their radar in the NFL Draft.