Ravens Placed High Within ESPN’s Offseason NFL Power Rankings

Lamar Jackson

Getty Lamar Jackson during a playoff game in 2020.

It’s been a while since the Baltimore Ravens have seen themselves in some national NFL power rankings, but after the first few weeks of free agency have wrapped, there’s a fresh set of ratings to look at.

Baltimore’s position is pretty good, too. The team placed in the No. 2 position in the newest set of ESPN rankings, only trailing the Kansas City Chiefs for overall supremacy in the league at this point in the offseason.

Baltimore has made a few key moves, trading for Calais Campbell, signing Derek Wolfe and bringing back Jimmy Smith as well as Matt Judon. At this point, those moves could be enough to keep them near the upper crust of the league as these rankings are concerned.

Lamar Jackson Shares 2020 Motivation

During the Pro Bowl a few months back, Jackson, the team’s quarterback, talked about improving in 2020 and was an open book. As he said in a piece by ESPN’s Jamison Hensley at the time, he is ready, motivated and willing to improve in any way possible, and nothing is off the table.

“Asked what he needs to improve upon as a passer, Jackson said, “Everything. I’m not the best, I’m not the greatest. I’m going into my third year, and I’m trying to get somewhere. I’m trying to get to the Super Bowl. So I gotta work on everything.”

At the start of the season, there were questions about whether Jackson could become a legitimate passer in the NFL. He responded by leading the league with 36 touchdown passes and finishing third with a 113.3 passer rating.”

Jackson was elite last season, so to think he isn’t resting on his laurels is great news. Clearly, he’s more motivated than ever to remain elite and continue to live up to some of the nicknames he has been given. That factor alone could have the Ravens surging up the rankings lists.

Ravens Already High in 2021 Super Bowl Odds

A look at some very early odds was revealed by Caesars a few months back, and perhaps surprisingly, the Ravens were high on the list in spite of their frustrating finish to 2020. As a whole, the Ravens have the second best odds to take home the Lombardi Trophy at 7-1 a year from now.

Here’s a look at some of the early odds for next season at the time:

At this point, of course, very little of this matters considering the roster building is not finished as of yet. Little is known about what shape teams will take moving forward and what will play out next year in terms of injuries or other pitfalls that take place.

For now, though, Las Vegas isn’t exactly betting on the stench of failure hanging over the Ravens for very long. That could be especially true given what the team has done this offseason.

Ravens Credited For Offseason Defense Moves

Another Pro Football Focus contributor Gordon McGuinness recently tweeted about the approach the Ravens have with Eric DeCosta building his team, and lauded the fact that Baltimore seems to be building around players who are solid and stout on the back end and know the team’s scheme incredibly well. As he says, that’s how a defense should be constructed.

The Ravens recently re-signed Jimmy Smith, which was a huge move in order to keep a group together which has been very solid. That’s in addition to what they already have on the roster and what they will get back in 2020.

Obviously there’s a long way to go, but for now, the team still has the look of one of the best in the league as the offseason continues on.

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