Ravens FB Pat Ricard could turn into an underrated weapon in 2022
The Baltimore Ravens may enter the 2022 season with one of the most unproven pass-catching corps in the league, but don’t underestimate the sneaky prowess of Pat Ricard.
The Ravens fullback recently signed a three-year contract with the team, but Ricard staying with the Ravens wasn’t a guarantee — Justin Tucker and John Harbaugh reportedly helped influence his decision to re-sign.
Ricard could have tested the free agency market this offseason, but the fact that he’s staying in Baltimore bodes good news for the Ravens’ passing offense, which could rely on Ricard more than ever in 2022.
Ricard ranked as the top fullback in the entire league last season, recording eight catches for 63 yards and one touchdown in 11 games played.
Those numbers aren’t anything to write home about, but the Ravens could be incentivized to include Ricard more in the passing offense if their current wideout corps underperforms.
In the Ravens’ OTAs, Ricard stood out on the field as one of the most productive pass-catchers, but then again, these could also be considered way-too-early overreactions to player performances.
Ravens fullback Pat Ricard may carve out a significant role for himself in 2022
Ricard is currently the second-highest-paid fullback in the league behind the San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Juszczyk and has now received two contract extensions with Baltimore, showing just how much the team continues to value him.
“Pancake Pat” has garnered a reputation as a ferocious run-blocker, a skill the Ravens highly covet given their run-heavy offensive scheme.
Despite hardly making a dent in the receiving game, Ricard was on the field for 57 percent of the Ravens’ offensive snaps last season, utilized as a traditional fullback, a red-zone receiver, and even an extra offensive tackle.
The do-it-all fullback has managed to stay healthy for the majority of his Ravens career and will look to put together a career-best season in 2022.
With the anticipated returns of J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, Ricard — along with the Ravens’ O-line — will play a vital role in facilitating the rushing attack.
As for the passing offense, the Ravens’ bet on their young and unproven wide receivers may not pay off, and Ricard could lend a hand as a receiver to get crucial downs and even the occasional touchdown.
Each team has its own underrated talent heading into the season, and Pat Ricard could serve as the Ravens’ most unexpectedly productive star in 2022.