With the NFL Trade Deadline less than 36 hours away, the Baltimore Ravens still have some work to do if they have aspirations of a Super Bowl run this year.
After dropping their week three primetime matchup to the Chiefs in embarrassing fashion, the Baltimore Ravens had a chance to show they can beat top opponents when they faced the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but penalties and poor decision-making by Greg Roman and Lamar Jackson dropped Baltimore to 5-2. With the NFL Trade Deadline less than 48 hours away, the Ravens are sitting in a good position to make a run to the postseason, but are facing several areas of uncertainty that could hamper their quest to finally make a deep playoff run in the Lamar Jackson era.
In some ways, the Pittsburgh game creates more questions heading into Tuesday. With Willie Snead and Miles Boykin both having their best performances of the season against the league’s top defense, maybe Eric DeCosta decides he doesn’t need more receiving help? Does the injury to Ronnie Stanley make adding a tackle a must? Perhaps the front office can look at the performance and feel like this roster, if it can clean up a few things, is already good enough to beat a team like the Steelers, so no major moves are needed. But the Ravens are now two games back in the division and lack a signature win against a top team, and DeCosta has shown he’ll be aggressive even before being provoked to do so. Will he feel comfortable standing pat with a club that is 1-2 against clubs with winning records?
If DeCosta does opt to make moves, the Pittsburgh game only further highlighted needs that already existed. Stanley’s season-ending ankle injury makes the offensive line picture that much cloudier, and even when Orlando Brown Jr. slid to the left side and D.J. Fluker stepped in, Pittsburgh was still more effective at generating interior pressure, spotlighting just how underwhelming the interior line group has been this year. The Ravens would probably be better off upgrading over either Matt Skura or Tyre Phillips than adding a tackle, even with Stanley done for the year. That 5″11 Snead was the go-to man on the last-second end zone shot highlighted the lack of a reliable big receiver. Terrell Bonds was exposed on multiple occasions, and for as strong as the defense looked for the majority of the game, the lack of cornerback depth behind Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters stood out.
Last week, I highlighted Calvin Ridley (WR), John Ross (WR), Hayden Hurst (TE), Desmond King (CB), and Frank Ragnow (C) as five players Baltimore could pursue in advance of Tuesday’s deadline. While Ridley seems unlikely to move, the other four should still all be given serious consideration by the Ravens front office to bolster the roster. But with another week in the books, standings have started to take better shape, which has further clarified what the trade market could look like over the next 36 hours. Need a few more prospective names to get your Trade Deadline fix? We’ve got ’em.