It’s becoming apparent that many NFL pundits don’t think Lamar Jackson is going to be a Baltimore Raven in 2023. His potential successor? Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
Jackson and the Ravens still have a little over a month to hammer out a long-term extension, and even if they don’t come to a mutual agreement, the Ravens can still place a franchise tag on him.
In the unlikely event that the Ravens end up trading Jackson this offseason (the Falcons and Panthers have been the two main names in the conversation), Baltimore could pick up its quarterback of the future in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema believes Anthony Richardson and the Ravens are a perfect fit.
"Jackson could not play on the tag, forcing his way out, in which case Richardson could take over an offense that has been well-equipped to emphasize the rushing ability of a quarterback. Though Richardson finished 2022 with a passing grade of just 69.4, he earned an 85.1 rushing grade."
He presents another scenario in which Jackson plays on the franchise tag and the Ravens still draft Richardson to allow him to learn from Jackson and develop into a starting-caliber quarterback by Year 2.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks also have the Ravens taking Richardson with the No. 22 overall pick.
Baltimore has only selected three first-round quarterbacks in their history: Kyle Boller in 2003, Joe Flacco in 2008, and Lamar Jackson in 2018.
Anything can happen, but given the Ravens’ supreme confidence in Jackson as their franchise quarterback, the team may more likely use their early draft picks on a wide receiver or cornerback.
Here’s what’s trending in Ravens news around the web
Demarcus Robinson named Ravens’ unsung hero in 2022 season (Nick Shook, NFL.com)
Shook deliberated between Devin Duvernay and Robinson as the Ravens’ unsung hero of 2022 and ultimately went with the veteran. Robinson finished as the wideout with the most receiving yards, eclipsed by only tight end Mark Andrews.
"Instead of fully breaking out, Robinson finished with another solid season: 48 receptions, 458 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He’s my unsung hero, though, because he did this while again playing a secondary role with a team that ended up trotting out three different quarterbacks in 2022. No matter the passer, you can count on Robinson as a quality supporting cast member."
How should the Ravens upgrade at wide receiver? (Garrett Downing and Ryan Mink, Ravens.com)
Both Downing and Mink don’t think Baltimore will swing the pendulum too far away from the ground game and will make only mid-level acquisitions (if any) to boost the wide receiver room.
DeAndre Hopkins remains a pipe dream for now, but it is wholly possible that the Ravens target a cheaper option either via trade, the draft, or free agency. Many mocks have Baltimore selecting a wideout with a first-round pick; as for free agency, some mid-range receivers include Allen Lazard, Parris Campbell, Mecole Hardman, D.J. Chark, and JuJu Smith-Schuster.