OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Even though the Cincinnati Bengals are the defending AFC champions, the Ravens are getting a lot of hype to win the AFC North next season.
A healthier Baltimore roster could make a huge difference.
"It’s difficult to imagine a better draft for the Ravens, who seemed to be spinning the entire board like a lazy Susan, having a premium player of need land in their laps in every round," SI's Connor Orr wrote. "People are going to complain about a lack of help at the wide receiver position, though I’d argue that if wide receiver was a position central to their near-future plans, they would not have let Hollywood Brown go. They also wouldn’t have drafted about 13 tight ends. When a team knows itself as well as the Ravens do, they can create some real art on draft night. Imagine a 400-pound Daniel Faalele securing the edge for Lamar Jackson on boot action runs this year.
"They are, at the moment, my runaway favorite in the AFC North."
The Ravens entered last season with Super Bowl aspirations but finished 8-9 and ended a streak of three consecutive trips to the playoffs. The Ravens ended the year with 19 players on injured reserve.
The Ravens also dealt with COVID issues and quarterback Lamar Jackson was limited to 12 games because of an illness and ankle injury.
Baltimore also lost their top two running backs — J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards — both of their starting cornerback — Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters.
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley and tight end Nick Boyle also were not able to contribute because of injuries.
If those players come back, the Ravens will be a dangerous team.