Defending the pass was the bane of the Baltimore Ravens’ existence during the 2021 NFL season. The combination of an injury ravaged secondary and a pass rush that failed to live up to expectations made the Ravens a favorite target for opposing quarterbacks.
Baltimore surrendered 4,742 yards through the air, the most in the league. Fixing the problem will demand a two-pronged approach from general manager Eric DeCosta. He must add at least one prolific edge-rusher, while also finding a ball hawk of two for the back end.
The latter shouldn’t be too difficult if the Ravens dip into free agency for an opportunistic safety who plies his trade in the NFC West. He’s been named an ideal “fit” for the Ravens by one NFL writer.
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Seahawks’ Safety Ideal for Ravens
The defensive back in question is Quandre Diggs of the Seattle Seahawks. He fits with the Ravens, according to CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr: “Mike Macdonald’s defense is going to be aggressive, so getting to the quarterback will be paramount. His scheme will also play to his players’ strengths in the secondary, which is where Diggs and his turnover-creating ability comes into play. Even if the pass rush doesn’t get home. having a player who has a knack for the ball like Diggs will be a major asset for a pass defense that finished last in the league in pass yards allowed.”
It’s a good argument because of Diggs’ laudable track record forcing takeaways. The 29-year-old has snatched five interceptions in each of the last two seasons. He’s also broken up 17 passes across that span.
The former Detroit Lions cornerback has transitioned brilliantly to safety. He loves to stay deep and read a quarterback’s eyes before baiting him into an ill-advised throw.
Diggs is a Pro-Bowl talent the Seahawks surprisingly opted against hitting with the franchise tag. It means he’s going to at least test the market, which is when DeCosta should make the player an offer he can’t refuse.
Adding Diggs would almost guarantee a secondary getting healthy again returns to form in 2022. Starting cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey are recovering from injuries and would both benefit from the security provided by a shrewd center fielder like Diggs, something the Ravens have lacked since Eric Weddle left town in 2019.
Diggs is also the perfect partner for another key member of the Ravens’ defensive backfield.
Diggs Would Be One Half of Stud Safety Pairing for Ravens
Signing Diggs would complete a stud safety pairing for the Ravens once they partnered the new arrival with Chuck Clark. The latter is a classic box safety, at his best offering run support and threatening the pass pocket on the blitz.
What Clark needs is a free safety he can trust to handle deep coverage behind him while he roams closer to the line of scrimmage. Diggs already knows how to handle this responsibility, having spent two seasons alongside Jamal Adams in Seattle.
Like Clark, Adams is a glorified linebacker who impacts games when he’s given seek-and-destroy missions closer to the trenches. Diggs became the perfect foil for Adams, even helping his fellow safety make plays in coverage, like for this interception against the Washington Football Team from Week 12:
A Clark and Diggs double act would surely work the same way. Combined with having healthy corners again, this safety partnership would instantly transform the Ravens’ secondary from a liability to a team strength.
It would also leave DeCosta free to use the 14th pick in the 2022 NFL draft to address a suspect offensive line that gave up 57 sacks last season.