3. The Ravens must rebuild the safety position
The Ravens will likely see some significant changes to their safety room in the offseason. The secondary remains a major point of emphasis given the team’s 32nd-ranked pass defense in 2021.
While some of that could be blamed on injuries, and the return of Marcus Peters should help matters, it’s obvious that more work needs to be done.
Chuck Clark will return as a starter in 2022, but it’s unclear what the position group will look like around him. DeShon Elliott is a free agent and the remaining young players on the roster aren’t guaranteed roles either.
Elliott is one of the more interesting free-agent cases for the Ravens this offseason. The former sixth-round pick is beloved in the building and has developed into a quality starting-caliber safety, but his injury history is a major concern.
He’s played in more than six games just once in his four seasons in the NFL. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Ravens rely on him as a starter in 2022. They could bring Elliott back, but it likely wouldn’t be for more than depth and competition.
Meanwhile, the Ravens like Brandon Stephens, but he’s probably better served as a part-time player at this stage. The likes of Geno Stone and Ar’Darius Washington have potential, but neither represents a true starting option either.
The Ravens need a true free safety — someone to fill that Earl Thomas role in their defense. Look for them to scour the free-agent market and the 2022 NFL Draft in search of that player.