What role will each Ravens safety play in 2022?
The Baltimore Ravens have the safety position locked down for the 2022 season — the bigger question is how will the team use each of their starting-caliber safeties?
This offseason, Baltimore brought on Marcus Williams and Kyle Hamilton as two potential starters in the backfield, and the two join veteran leader Chuck Clark to form a truly elite safety corps.
Assuming Clark doesn’t get traded, the Ravens have three equally talented defenders who can elevate the team’s pass defense, perhaps bringing Baltimore back into top-10 territory.
Doug Farrar of USA Today identified the role Williams, Hamilton, and Clark could play in 2022 that maximizes each defender’s strengths on the field.
Farrar pegged Williams as the “deep third defender” with full-field range who excels in particular at “getting in place for deep deflections.”
In 2021, Williams showed his elite coverage skills by recording 74 combined tackles, eight passes defended, and two interceptions, all the while allowing a ridiculously low opponent passer rating of 54.2.
But even Williams has his faults, as shown in his year-to-year inconsistency:
Ravens’ safeties Marcus Williams, Kyle Hamilton, and Chuck Clark each get unique roles in 2022
As long as the Ravens don’t ask Williams to do too much, he can grow into his own as a true deep safety.
As for Kyle Hamilton, Farrar labeled him as a “do-it-all rookie” who the Ravens can build their entire defense around. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Hamilton has the refined skillset and versatility to work the field in either man or pass coverage.
The Ravens didn’t think twice about taking Hamilton off the board at pick No. 14, and the unicorn talent offers enormous upside as an extremely productive defender for years to come.
Don’t forget about Chuck Clark, who has been at the center of trade rumors after the Hamilton selection but nonetheless remains a crucial cog of the defense.
The green-dot wearer has stayed consistent for the last five years in Baltimore and could be best utilized as the Ravens’ “box guy,” according to Farrar.
Clark suffered a slight decline in 2021 possibly because the team was playing him most at free safety. With Williams and Hamilton in the lineup, Clark can now maximize his efficiency closer to the line of scrimmage either as “a box player, blitzing, or faking a blitz look to cover a tight end underneath.”
Compared to his peers, Clark isn’t the smoothest transition player, but he’s earned defensive play-calling duties given his high intelligence and leadership and can continue to flourish even in Baltimore’s crowded safety room.
The Ravens got their guys to lock down the backfield. Now, it’s a matter of tweaking the system and maximizing both player potential and team success.