One of the Baltimore Ravens’ early unsung heroes in 2022 is fullback Patrick Ricard, whose run-blocking and pass-blocking abilities have made him indispensable in the offense.
The Ravens made Ricard the second-highest-paid fullback in the league back in March, and so far, Ricard has been well worth the investment. The sixth-year fullback earned three consecutive Pro Bowls in the last three years and has proven himself as an extremely versatile and reliable weapon in Baltimore’s scheme.
Ricard can catch the occasional pass here and there, but he makes his bread and butter as an elite blocker — NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger breaks down how Ricard has facilitated the Ravens’ run game below:
Affectionately known as “Pancake Pat,” Ricard’s offensive snaps have steadily increased since joining Baltimore as an undrafted player back in 2017.
He’s currently playing a career-high 67 percent of offensive snaps through nine weeks of the season, which just goes to show how valuable he is to Greg Roman as an all-around player.
Ravens’ decision to extend Pat Ricard looks excellent in hindsight
The NFL has seen its share of three-wide-receiver sets and three-tight-end sets, but as Baldinger points out, Ricard transforms the Ravens into a three-guard offense that has unlocked the team’s rushing attack as of late.
With Ronnie Stanley, Ben Powers, Tyler Linderbaum, Kevin Zeitler, and Morgan Moses composing a stalwart offensive line, Ricard has commonly been used as an additional third guard, creating extra holes for the Ravens’ running backs to burst through in opposing defenses.
In their past four games, Baltimore has averaged 198 rushing yards, and the run game was uber-effective and dangerous in Week 9 even without the team’s top ball-carriers, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins. Imagine how much havoc the running back room can create once those two return from injury.
Ricard’s ability to play multiple positions and his familiarity in the offensive scheme has quietly made him one of the most underrated stars of the team, and his three-year contract extension appears to be aging better over time.
Whenever Lamar Jackson or one of Baltimore’s ball-carriers explodes for a huge rushing game this season, they’ll have a certain fullback to thank.