Ravens earn 4th-best outlook in ESPN's NFL Future Power Rankings

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

We won't ever grow tired of rankings, will we? ESPN took this thing a step forward by releasing what they have termed "NFL Future Power Rankings," in an effort to arrange all 32 football franchises in order according to both their present and future winning upside.

In order to craft their ranks, ESPN "asked a panel of experts" to rate "each team's quarterback situation, remaining (non-QB) roster, drafting ability/capital, front office and coaching" using a particular scale. You can read about the full process in detail if you wish.

According to the grades handed out by the experts of ESPN involved in this exercise, the Baltimore Ravens are entering 2023 as the 4th-best NFL team for both the present and the future. Not bad!

Here is how the Ravens were graded (on a 50-to-100 scale) on the five different categories used by ESPN to come up with their final rank:

- Overall roster (non-QB): 88.0 (6th in the NFL)
- Quarterback: 92.7 (5th)
- Coaching: 92.7 (3rd)
- Draft Picks: 83.3 (8th)
- Front office: 93.0 (2nd)

That's a sweep in making it to the top-8 in all categories, a four-of-five inside the top-6, and a sublime three-of-five inside the top-5 teams in the league. Can't get much better than that.

Writing about the Ravens and giving "one reason for hope" about the present and the future of the franchise, Dan Graziano wrote that the "stability and a long track record of competence both in the front office and on the coaching staff are the main reasons there’s always optimism in Baltimore."

According to Graziano, "GM Eric DeCosta and HC John Harbaugh have kept the franchise competitive year in and year out," and when it comes to the actual product and the players on the field, the pundit said that "Lamar Jackson is still only 26 and one of the most thrilling players in the league."

When it comes to the "reason for concern," Louis Riddick took on writing the little blurb and he stated that a year ago he was "worried about the philosophical approach and offensive personnel going forward under then-OC Greg Roman’s direction," before adding that "the veteran addition of Odell Beckham Jr. and the drafting of Zay Flowers in the first round," have now put the team "in a much better place on the wide receiver talent."

Riddick added that "bringing in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken should take the passing game to levels it hasn’t achieved to this point," although the analyst's concern comes from the new offensive scheme being "still an unknown."

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