The Baltimore Ravens have no shortage of elite defenders heading into the 2022 season, but the team will need to figure out an effective defensive scheme in the backfield.
Way-too-early takeaways of the Ravens’ first OTAs revealed just how good rookie Kyle Hamilton was, and there’s a fair chance Hamilton could start in the lineup on Day 1.
The No. 14 overall pick joins veterans Chuck Clark and Marcus Williams in the safety unit, and his addition could put Clark’s job in jeopardy if the Ravens run the same safety scheme they did last year.
However, one NFL pundit proposed that the team will implement more three-safety looks on defense, thereby including all three talented defenders.
The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen thinks defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald could bring over some of his Michigan safety packages to Baltimore:
"“Though using three safeties isn’t anything new in college and NFL teams have dabbled with it, I think this year we’ll see teams actually make it a bigger part of their defenses based on how some teams drafted and coach’s comments made afterward.Mike Macdonald used three safety packages with the University of Michigan and I can’t imagine they are just going to have quality players sit on the bench.”"
The Ravens have three talented safeties on the roster in 2022
Each Ravens’ safety comes with his own skill set but also happens to be extremely versatile, with Hamilton, Clark, and Williams all capable of playing anywhere on the field.
Last season, Clark served as defensive play-caller and took varied snaps in the box, at free safety, and in the slot.
Back on the New Orleans Saints, Williams assumed a role as a free safety, and though his year-to-year tackling numbers are slightly inconsistent, he offers big-play ability in the backfield.
Hamilton, the unicorn talent among the three, has arguably the most versatility and has been adapting well to the competition, making a tremendous leap from Notre Dame to the NFL.
The rookie made a great impression at OTAs and may simply be too skilled to put on the bench — for that reason, many believe the Ravens will get creative with their safety packages and somehow keep all three of their elite defenders on the field.
There are still many months to go before the start of the season, but so far, the Ravens’ pass defense seems much more prepared and ready to face any challenge in 2022.