Baltimore Ravens: Three Bold Predictions for the 2018 Season
The Baltimore Ravens were a play away from making the playoffs in 2017 but with a very promising offseason, they are a team trending up heading into 2018.
With a loaded 2018 NFL draft class and a few key free agents, the Baltimore Ravens could definitely be back in the playoffs in 2018 after missing the playoffs the last three years. The highlights of their offseason this year has been the additions of Lamar Jackson, revamping the pass catchers with 2 tight ends in the draft and 5 wide receivers in the free agency/ draft, and more defensive depth in the secondary especially. Here are 3 bold predictions for the Baltimore Ravens in 2018.
3. Lamar Jackson will not play in 2018 unless Joe Flacco is injured.
Despite all the excitement over the former 1st round quarterback Lamar Jackson, I think he should not be used as a gadget type player. Cut the wide receiver talk, Lamar Jackson can be a starting caliber quarterback but with Joe Flacco looking promising this offseason, I do not see a reason to rush him in when Flacco can be a better than average quarterback that will have more weapons now with upgraded pass catchers from the NFL Draft and free agency this offseason. Jackson can develop for a year before starting under Flacco and could also learn from Robert Griffin III, another former Heisman winner. Sure, everyone wants to see an electrifying playmaker added to the offense but sitting him for some time could be the right decision as he needs development and could benefit as the future starter.
2. The Baltimore Ravens will have a 1,000-yard receiver in 2018 among their additions from the NFL Draft and free agency.
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The Ravens knew they need to add wide receivers and tight ends in the NFL Draft and in free agency following an abysmal 2017 season in terms of the receiving game. They did just that and signed Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead in free agency. The Ravens also drafted Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott in the NFL Draft while getting back Tim White from injury last season. In the NFL Draft, they also drafted Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews to strengthen their tight end position as a two tight end offense should help Joe Flacco and the offense move the chains.
The Ravens haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Mike Wallace in 2016 and he led all the Ravens pass catchers last year in receiving yards with only 748 yards.
I think Michael Crabtree has a good shot in getting back to his old self and amassing over 1,000 yards receiving as he had a down year in 2017 with the Oakland Raiders but fits the mold of a possession receiver Flacco can rely on with the rest of the new pass catchers contributing as well. While it is bold, I think it is possible with the various targets the Ravens added this offseason.
1. With Tavon Young back and the additions through the NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens secondary will be Top 5 in the NFL.
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The Baltimore Ravens have something they have not had in a while, depth or almost too much talent in their secondary. Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphery, and Brandon Carr were a pretty good trio before Smith went down with a season-ending injury but there is a lot more optimize this year with depth, especially in the cornerback position. The Ravens drafted Anthony Averett in the 2018 NFL Draft and still have young cornerbacks in Maurice Canady, Jaylen Hill, and Tavon Young coming off a season-ending injury from 2017. They still have Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson but drafted a potential replacement for Weddle in Deshon Elliott and still have Chuck Clark from last years draft. The Ravens secondary took big strides last year but could be even better with a new defensive coordinator in 2018.
How do you feel about the 2018 Baltimore Ravens? Leave a comment below.
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