Late for Work: Can the Ravens’ Defense Repeat Greatness? (2024)

Can the Ravens' Defense Repeat Greatness?

Replicating success year-over-year is a challenge in the NFL. Despite the changes the Ravens went through this offseason,’s Todd Karpovich believes the Ravens' defense which led the league in sacks, points allowed and takeaways in 2023 can be dominant again in 2024.

"With the recent re-signing of outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, the Ravens' defense has a solid foundation and could be in position to have another stellar season," Karpovich wrote. "The veteran Van Noy rejoins a roster that includes Pro Bowlers Justin Madubuike, Roquan Smith and Kyle Hamilton. Marlon Humphrey is among the NFL's best cornerbacks when he's healthy, and Brandon Stephens is developing into a top defensive back."

To repeat as No. 1, Karpovich sees the Ravens needing having to lean on their young talent.

"The Ravens have questions at outside linebacker. But they have confidence that Odafe Oweh can make a major impact, and that third-year David Ojabo is ready to bounce back from two injury-plagued seasons and become an effective pass rusher," Karpovich wrote. "Several young linebackers — Trenton Simpson, Tavius Robinson and Malik Hamm — have flashed their potential and will get more opportunities next season."

Karpovich also notes they can still add more talent in the draft.

"DeCosta will try to add playmakers with nine selections in this year's draft because the team needs depth at almost every position on the defense," Karpovich wrote. "… The starting lineup might include a mix of veteran players and rookies next season."

Ravens Tight End Unit Ranks No. 1 in the NFL

The Ravens tight end room has been one of the best in the NFL over the past few years. For Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame, Baltimore's talent and depth wins out. Verderame ranked the Ravens tight end room No. 1 in the NFL.

"For the past few seasons, the Ravens have had the luxury of having Mark Andrews on the field, a reliable target and blocker for two-time MVP Lamar Jackson. But now they have two versatile tight ends after the emergence of Isaiah Likely, who stepped up for the injured Andrews last season," Verderame wrote. "Once again, the Ravens showed why they're one of the best teams at drafting players — Andrews was a 2018 third-round pick and Likely was selected as a '22 fourth rounder."

The Ravens graced Verderame's list once more with their kicking unit being ranked No. 1.

"The Cowboys and Chiefs can quibble with this based on the way Brandon Aubrey and Harrison Butler kicked in 2023, but Tucker will likely remain the standard here until he retires," Verderame wrote. "Tucker is a five-time first-team All-Pro, and last year missed only six kicks between field goals and extra points."

Brian Baldinger Ranks Ravens the No. 2 Team in the AFC

The exciting additions of free agency further supplied teams in the AFC with talent. The Houston Texans and New York Jets have bolstered their rosters, the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in quarterback Russell Wilson and the conference could be even more competitive than last season. However, NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger isn't letting the moves change his opinion that the Ravens are a serious Super Bowl contender, ranking them No. 2 in the AFC.

"I think Derrick Henry coming to Baltimore, with Lamar [Jackson] … They lost a lot of offensive linemen in free agency, but they restock offensive linemen the way Wal-Mart stocks shelves," Baldinger said. "They're coming. They're coming in waves. You can count on it. They already got the replacement for John Simpson at left guard. He's already on the roster. They'll get that done."

Baldinger also has confidence in the defense.

"Defensively, they just re-signed Kyle Van Noy, who was a big factor last year," Baldinger said. "And you look at what they have defensively. Roquan [Smith] is still there. They'll replace Patrick Queen. They're still going to be very good defensively. I got Baltimore still in that No. 2 spot."

Quick Hits

  • CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin predicts the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers may return to the playoffs in 2024, citing all is riding on Deshaun Watson for the Browns and the Steelers have "holes at premium spots like wideout and cornerback."

The Ravens are currently -210 to take an offensive lineman with their first pick in the draft 👀

— PFF BAL Ravens (@PFF_Ravens) April 5, 2024

Ravens will have patience adding veteran running back

— (@BALSportscom) April 8, 2024

Career EPA/dropback vs playoff teams. I can't be held responsible for what you do with this information.

— MIBPJ (@mibpj2) April 7, 2024

What numbers are open? 53 might be solid! Number 3 would be dope! What else can I pick?

— Kyle Van Noy (@KVN_03) April 7, 2024
Late for Work: Can the Ravens’ Defense Repeat Greatness? (2024)
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