Friday, September 8, 2023

Baltimore Ravens Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Baltimore Ravens in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 8

On the hot seat: WR Rashod Bateman

This season will determine whether the Ravens pick up Bateman's fifth-year option next offseason. The No. 27 pick in 2021 has struggled to stay on the field, missing a total of 16 games in his first two seasons. He has flashes where he looks like a No. 1 wide receiver, but he has produced only three career touchdowns. It's going to be more challenging for Bateman to get catches this season after Baltimore signed Odell Beckham Jr. and drafted Zay Flowers in the first round. -- Jamison Hensley -- Rank: 7

Cornerback has been the position earning the most preseason hand-wringing, considering the injuries the Ravens have incurred there. But what about the pass rush? Tyus Bowser will miss at least the first four weeks on the non-football injury list. That likely means Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo and Jadeveon Clowney will be the top three rushers for the first month of the season, and Ojabo has missed some practice time with injury. Oweh is likely to be a better player than we saw a year ago, but this setup puts him squarely in the spotlight in a pivotal Year 3. The pass rush can help mitigate any issues in the secondary, but that's only if this group shows early on it can significantly impact games.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 8

Lamar Jackson will be fun to watch playing for Todd Monken in the new offense. The defense has some major questions, which have to be answered if they are to be a Super Bowl contender.

USA Today -- Rank: 8

A bit mystifying that QB Lamar Jackson played zero preseason snaps even as Baltimore installs an entirely different offense under new coordinator Todd Monken? Maybe, but opening at home against Houston should be preseason enough for Jackson and Co.

The Athletic -- Rank: 6

Best-case scenario: After taking a few games to fully grasp the concept of "wide receivers" and being encouraged to "throw" the ball to the outside, Lamar Jackson sets a new high for passing yards and starts every game of the season for the first time in his career. Zay Flowers wins Offensive Rookie of the Year and Odell Beckham Jr. turns back the clock. On the other side of the ball, Mike Macdonald continues to look like one of the best young defensive coordinators in football as Marlon Humphrey returns ahead of schedule and Roquan Smith puts to rest concerns about resource allocation at his position.

Worst-case scenario: Ravens fans kick themselves for thinking the guy whose last two stints as an NFL offensive coordinator included finishes of 21st and 11th in EPA (expected points added) per drive was going to be their schematic savior. Flowers never blossoms, and the rest of the important offensive players remain as injury-prone as their recent histories suggest. They watch as the other three AFC North teams make the playoffs.

FOX -- Rank: 6

It all looks so, so fun on paper. Finally, an electric talent like Lamar Jackson is teamed with weapons like Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers. In reality, the big question is how quickly Jackson and his playmakers can jell with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. If they can hit the ground running, this could be one of the most entertaining attacks in the league. They'll need to be in order to offset their lacking pass rush, not to mention Marlon Humphrey's lingering foot injury.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 10

Jadeveon Clowney was a late signing and while he's a big name as a former No. 1 overall draft pick, don't overstate his potential impact. He'll be a good role player. He helps because the Ravens were thin at outside linebacker, a possible problem on an otherwise solid roster.

PFT -- Rank: 12

The Ravens have the players, but Todd Monken has never been confused with Bill Walsh. They need the offense to work if they hope to seriously contend.

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