The Baltimore Ravens are fresh off a disappointing home loss to their division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals. They currently sit as the fifth seed in the AFC playoff race. The team trails only the Bengals in the competitive AFC North. The franchise is once again led by one of the favorites for the league’s most valuable player award in quarterback Lamar Jackson. The 24-year-old quarterback has enjoyed one of the best starts to his four-year NFL career.
He is completing nearly 65 percent of his passes. The University of Louisville alumn is also averaging a career-high 13.3 yards per completion while tossing ten touchdown passes. Continuing to be stout against the run, the Ravens defense has given up just 86 yards per game on the ground. However, they have struggled in the back end, leading them to give up over 296 passing yards per contest. The trade deadline is a week away. Here are three deals general manager Eric DeCosta can make as he looks to upgrade his group.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Trade Deadline Previews.
The Ravens’ Current Status
Current Record: 5-2
Division Standings: 2nd in the AFC North
In the Playoff Picture: Yes
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
Current NFL Draft Slot: 31st Overall
Potential Trade #1: A 2022 Fourth Round Pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Andre Dillard
Baltimore suffered yet another injury to their offensive line in week 7. Starting right tackle, Patrick Mekari suffered a high ankle sprain that will likely force him to miss some time. Already thin at the tackle position, All-Pro Ronnie Stanley was already lost for the season after he underwent season-ending ankle surgery. Forced to move veteran Alejandro Villanueva over to the left tackle spot, look for the team to explore the tackle market as they look to sure up their protection.
Drafted to be the left tackle of the future for the Eagles, Dillard has been beaten out by former seventh-round pick Jordan Mailata. Already beginning to receive trade calls around the league, the former first-round pick has played well in spurts during his 2021 campaign. He has surrendered just one sack against. This is while committing just six penalties, leading to a grade of 68.5, according to Pro Football Focus. The 26-year-old could remain part of the Eagle’s long-term plans. However, look for them to move off of him at the deadline. A day three pick is the likely compensation.
Potential Trade #2: A 2022 Fifth Round Pick and a 2023 Seventh Round Pick to the New York Jets for Marcus Maye
Despite their 5-2 start, the Ravens defense is searching for answers in the secondary. Picked apart by Joe Burrow and company in Week 7, the second-year signal-caller tossed for a career-high 416 yards while adding in three touchdowns. Unable to slow down any of the Cincinnati wide receivers, Ja’Marr Chase continued his quest for the offensive rookie of the year title. He hauled in eight catches for 201 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown. With over 400 yards allowed against in four of their seven games to begin the season, the team remains in desperate need of help after losing cornerback Marcus Peters early on to injury.
Enter Maye, who at 29 years old is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. He has racked up 35 tackles, two pass breakups, and one sack in 2021. This had made him one of the lone bright spots for the struggling Jets early on. On the hook for $10.1 million if they are able to agree to terms on a trade for him this would require some cap juggling for the cash-strapped Ravens.
Potential Trade #3: A 2022 Sixth Round Pick to the Indianapolis Colts for Marlon Mack
There has been a revolving door of running backs in Baltimore’s backfield in 2021. They are without second-year man J.K. Dobbins after he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. In addition to this, veteran Latavius Murray was also held out of their matchup with the Bengals after he sustained an ankle injury in week 6. Forced to turn to veterans Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman after signing both backs, acquiring Mack would give the team some much-needed depth at the position.
A former 1,000-yard rusher in 2019, the fourth-round pick missed the entire 2020 season with an Achilles injury. Playing behind Jonathan Taylor this year in Indianapolis, he has recorded 101 rushing yards on 28 carries. Still possessing the speed to run past opposing defenders, he would add another element to the high-powered Ravens rushing attack. The 25-year-old counts for just $2 million against the cap in the final year of his deal. Adding him would be good business for a franchise with Super Bowl aspirations.
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