How is Mark Andrews the Ravens’ most underrated player in 2022?

Ravens, Mark Andrews (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ravens, Mark Andrews (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

We’d call Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews a lot of things — elite, productive, reliable, uber-talented, one-of-a-kind — but underrated is not one of them.

Andrews enjoyed a breakout season in 2021 that saw him record a league-high 107 catches for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns, and the most impressive part of that performance may be the fact that he achieved those numbers under the arm of Tyler Huntley for half the season.

Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle also ranked as two of the league’s best tight ends in overall production last year, but they had the luxury of playing with their respective starting quarterbacks all year.

Heading into 2022, we personally wouldn’t consider Andrews an “underrated” player given his monster performance last season, and other Ravens candidates arguably deserve the title more.

Nonetheless, Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr listed every AFC team’s most underrated player and picked Andrews for the Ravens:

"“I don’t think it’s controversial to argue that it’s both more rewarding and more difficult to be a tight end in the Ravens’ system for several reasons, including the increased focus on physical run blocking and the increased number of improvisational plays.Andrews’s inclusion on this list may raise some eyebrows from people who think he’s too good to be here. But the point we are making is that he is even better than you already think he is.”"

Mark Andrews is surprisingly considered the Ravens’ most underrated player in 2022

There’s no question that Andrews has been worth every penny of his contract extension, finishing the 2021 season as arguably the best tight end in the NFL.

Andrews is the only tight end in league history to be ranked in the top three in both single-season catches and receiving yards, and unlike other elite tight ends, he also made a significant impact as a blocker as well.

The only reason we can think of why Andrews is considered underrated is that he hasn’t earned as sterling a reputation in the league as Kelce or Kittle. 2021 was the first season he eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards, not to mention he plays in a less pass-heavy offensive scheme compared to, say, Kelce on the Chiefs.

Still, Pro Football Focus naming Marcus Williams as the Ravens’ most underrated player feels more on the money, and players like Chuck Clark, Tyus Bowser, and Rashod Bateman could reasonably win that superlative, too.

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We just personally wouldn’t pick Mark Andrews as the team’s most underrated member as everyone in Ravens camp already knows his unrivaled value, and he’s perhaps ranked only behind Lamar Jackson in terms of superstar talent.