The Baltimore Ravens ended their offseason program on June 15. Here's a look at how they fared:
Offseason goals/Grade: Improve the secondary and pass rush. The Ravens' playoff hopes were dashed in the final four games last season, when Baltimore allowed 264 yards passing (sixth-most over that span) and managed three total sacks. As a result, the Ravens lost three times, including a last-minute defeat to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers that eliminated Baltimore from the postseason. This offseason was a reaction to the disappointing finish in 2016. The Ravens upgraded the secondary by investing $19 million guaranteed in free-agent safety Tony Jefferson and using the No. 16 overall pick on cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Baltimore also brought in young legs to get after the passer, drafting Tyus Bowser in the second round and Tim Williams in the third. Grade: B
Move I liked: Signing WR Jeremy Maclin. Call it a lucky break or taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity, but the Ravens' most critical move was their latest one. Baltimore beat out Buffalo and Philadelphia for Maclin, who was unexpectedly released by the Chiefs on June 2. Maclin immediately becomes the Ravens' most complete receiver and could emerge as the No. 1 receiver for Joe Flacco. Trying to find a reliable target was essential after Baltimore lost two of its top three pass-catchers from last season. The retirement of Steve Smith Sr. and the release of Dennis Pitta meant the Ravens had to replace 156 receptions. So, Baltimore should feel fortunate to get a receiver the caliber of Maclin, who has averaged 68 catches, 900-plus receiving yards and six touchdowns in his seven-year NFL career.
Move I didn’t like: Selecting Humphrey over O.J. Howard in the first round. Humphrey is a legitimate first-round pick and could end up being a starting cornerback for the Ravens as a rookie opposite Jimmy Smith. But Howard was the higher-rated prospect among most draft experts. He was the No. 1 tight end in the draft who averaged 15.1 yards per catch and scored seven touchdowns at Alabama (where his teammate was Humphrey). It made sense for the Ravens to take Howard, given all the questions at tight end. Baltimore could definitely use Howard now after Pitta re-injured his right hip. But few are plugged into Alabama like general manager Ozzie Newsome. So, there has to be some level of confidence in the Ravens' decision to go with Humphrey instead of Howard.
Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: The state of the offensive line. The Ravens parted ways with two three-year starters (right tackle Rick Wagner and center Jeremy Zuttah) and have yet to find definitive replacements for them. Ryan Jensen and John Urschel are competing at center, and James Hurst has been working at right tackle. But Jensen and Urschel have combined for seven starts at center, and Hurst has been one of the lowest-graded offensive linemen by Pro Football Focus over the past three seasons. It wouldn't be surprising if Baltimore adds a right tackle in training camp. The top available are are: Ryan Clady, Austin Pasztor and Orlando Franklin.
Salary-cap space: $8,729,611 (source: Overthecap.com)
Undrafted rookie free agents signed: P Kenny Allen, WR Quincy Adeboyejo, WR C.J. Board, ILB Bam Bradley, S Daniel Henry, C Brandon Kublanow, RB Taquan Mizzell, FB Ricky Ortiz, WR Tim Patrick, ILB Donald Payne, DE Patrick Ricard, G Maurquice Shakir, WR Tim White, LB Randy Allen, WR Aaron Bailey, CB Jaylen Hill and OT Roubbens Joseph.
Unrestricted free agents signed: NT Brandon Williams (re-signed), WR Jeremy Maclin, S Tony Jefferson, RB Danny Woodhead, CB Brandon Carr, QB Ryan Mallett (re-signed) and DB Anthony Levine (re-signed).
Players acquired via trade: None.