Ravens have NFL's top roster, prognosticators say
The Ravens edged the Kansas City Chiefs for the league's top roster, according to the betting markets analyzed by Pro Football Focus.
Baltimore is coming off the best regular season in franchise history with 14 wins and set the NFL's single-season rushing record with 3,296 yards.
The Ravens have most of their core roster intact and also made some key additions on both sides of the ball.
"The Ravens edge out the Chiefs by the slimmest of margins on the strength of their defense making up enough ground to overcome the Chiefs' league-leading offense," PFF's Ben Brown wrote. "They have the sixth-easiest schedule in this rating system, making their path to the AFC championship clear from the outset. Their implied probability of 23.8% to reach the Super Bowl sits just 1.2% behind the Chiefs' chances.
"Despite fonder memories for how the Chiefs wrapped up their 2019 season, betting markets have these teams much closer than what the general public currently sees."
The Cowboys were ranked third, followed by the Vikings, Saints, 49ers, Patriots, Packers, Rams, Seahawks, Colts, Eagles, Steelers, Chargers, and Buccaneers.
In addition to NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and 12 other players who made this past season's Pro Bowl, Baltimore boosted the defensive line by acquiring Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars and signing Derek Wolfe as a free agent from the Denver Broncos.
The Ravens added 10 players in this year's draft, including first-round pick Patrick Queen who is expected to make an immediate impact at middle linebacker. Baltimore is one of the favorites to dethrone Kansas City as Super-Bowl champions.
All three of Baltimore's running backs — Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill — are still on the roster from last season. The Ravens added Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins in the second round of this year's NFL draft and he has the talent to shoot up the depth chart as a rookie.
Baltimore has a young group of wide receivers that have a huge upside. Marquise Brown, the 25th overall pick in the 2019 draft, should be even more explosive after being hampered with a foot injury last year.
The Ravens are confident they picked up two more solid wideouts in this year's draft — Devin Duvernay and James Proche. The Ravens have the sure-handed Willie Snead on the roster and he's also adept at blocking. Baltimore expects second-year player Miles Boykin (13 receptions for 198 yards with two touchdowns) to have a bigger impact.
Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle could be the best tight-end duo in the NFL.
The Ravens could have the most talented secondary in the league with cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and Jimmy Smith, along with safeties Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark.
The trio of Campbell (6.5 sacks), Wolfe (7 sacks) and Brandon Williams (one sack) will boost in the interior pass rush. All three players are adept at stopping the run.
The Ravens added a pair stout defensive tackles in the 2020 NFL Draft — Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington. Daylon Mack, a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, had his rookie season cut short because of a knee injury. However, he will have an opportunity to compete for more playing time in 2020.
In addition to Queen, the Ravens drafted another talented middle linebacker Malik Harrison who will push for a starting job. Matt Judon, who led the team with 9.5 sacks last season, leads a strong group of outside linebackers that includes second-year player Jaylon Ferguson.