The Baltimore Ravens don’t have any clear and obvious weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball. The work they did in free agency and in the draft looks to have set the Ravens up to have one of the best defensive units in the entire league.
However, coming off back-to-back second-team All-Pro seasons, it is not every day that players with Roquan Smith’s ability become available. The talented young linebacker will elevate any team he ends up on, but Smith makes a lot of sense for the Ravens.
Last season, the Ravens struggled at the linebacker position. In his second season, Patrick Queen appeared to regress at the start of the year and failed to pick up where he left off in his rookie year where he was a candidate for Defensive Rookie for the Year.
Queen was missing tackles and making multiple mental errors that were leading to big plays for opponents. He was inconsistent at best.
Queen was replaced by Josh Bynes at middle linebacker and was moved to the weak side. This relieved Queen of a lot of his responsibilities as the ‘quarterback of the defense.’
He was no longer required to communicate and gave him the freedom to fly around and make plays. The switch in position helped him and he improved significantly.
Adding Roquan Smith takes the Ravens from one of the best defenses in the league to possibly even one of the best defenses of the last decade. Smith is a sideline-to-sideline playmaker who is as good mentally as he is physically.
His ability to read defenses would raise the level of the entire team and be the difference-maker on a unit that already boasts All-Pro-caliber players on all levels.
Smith’s addition would also go a long way toward helping Patrick Queen iron out his game and benefit the Ravens in more ways than just his play on the field. A big personality to go with the likes of Marlon Humphrey, Calais Campbell, and various others. Smith would fit right in.
Can the Ravens get a deal done for Roquan Smith?
It would, of course, require a lot just to get the Chicago Bears to listen. But then again, it only took a second-round pick for the Los Angles Chargers to acquire Khalil Mack so Smith could also be available for a discounted price.
However, the Ravens would need to be prepared to make Smith the highest-paid linebacker in the league. That could be the main stumbling block for Baltimore, but they do have the money. The Ravens have the sixth most cap space in 2023 so if they decided to take the leap, it’s within their means.
It remains unclear how likely a Roquan Smith trade is for the Ravens, but it’s a move they should absolutely explore.