Welcome to the first Purple Friday of November, Flock Nation! After a week without Ravens football, I bet we’re all as happy as these guys that the Ravens will be back in action this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
How happy are we to be back to football? ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/8st2EyWAGZ
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 4, 2021
It was an extremely successful bye week in Baltimore. Not only did the Ravens retake first place in the AFC North without lifting a finger (thanks, Jets!), but they also appear poised to have at least one or two players return from injury for Sunday’s game.
Sammy Watkins returned to practice today, and his hamstring doesn’t appear to be bothering him.
A look at Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense in Thursday’s practice, which featured the return of WR Sammy Watkins pic.twitter.com/1IkTcmk8d2
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 4, 2021
This could finally be the first game in which Lamar Jackson has all four of his best targets–Watkins, Mark Andrews, Hollywood Brown and Rashod Bateman–on the field together at the same time. It’s kind of crazy to think that the Ravens are arguably a pass-dominant offense now given their success through the air and struggles on the ground.
Bateman’s emergence is emblematic of that transition. The rookie wideout has impressed thus far, and with Andrews and Hollywood tearing it up this season, he’ll continue to draw winnable matchups this season.
— Lacie DeCosta (@DeCostaLacie) November 5, 2021
The young wideout is Lacie DeCosta’s jersey pick of the week. I’m sure we’ll start to see more Bateman jerseys in the stands by the end of the season.
Speaking of wide receivers, the Odell Beckham Jr. era is over in Cleveland, as the team finally put an end to the drama and cut him loose. This led to some uh…interesting takes.
OBJ's best landing spot is Baltimore.
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) November 5, 2021
— Jaime Eisner (@JaimeEisner) November 4, 2021
We asked The Flock on Twitter, and at the time of writing, actual Ravens fans are about 80-20 “NO” on wanting to bring Beckham into Baltimore.
We’ll see…but it seems unlikely.
I really don’t get this.
1. Someone w/ higher priority will grab him (if salary reduction reports are true).
2. For the 1st time, well, ever, Ravens have legit young WRs who need to play. Why stunt that growth?!?
3. Cap space still be an issue. Why borrow more from future? https://t.co/d19bWmArPJ
— Brian McFarland (@RavensSalaryCap) November 5, 2021
The Vikings have placed starting C Garrett Bradbury on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 4, 2021
Even with Bradbury, Minnesota’s offensive line has struggled this season, so Calais Campbell could dominate on the interior as well. I think Justin Houston finally gets his 100th sack on Sunday as well.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 4, 2021
The last time the Ravens wore purple jerseys and black pants, he did this:
As the Ravens get their newly signed vets up to speed, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing RB Tyre Phillips in the backfield for a goal-line package. pic.twitter.com/ZZ9qEGJfTs
— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) September 11, 2021
The next time the second-year offensive lineman is at the podium for a post-practice press conference, I really hope a reporter asks him if he’d be willing to play running back in a pinch for the Ravens this season. I just feel like he’ll have a perfect response.
It’s too early to say for sure, but early returns from the Ravens’ draft this year are fairly encouraging, especially from Baltimore’s pair of first-rounders.
Round one of the 2021 draft for the Ravens:
No. 27: WR Rashod Bateman
No. 31: OLB Odafe Oweh
— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) November 4, 2021
Bateman has seven catches for seven first downs in his first two games, while Oweh is in the conversation for Defensive Rookie of the Year. That’s not bad, and both players are showing a ton of potential for the future. The rest of the rookie class has been set back by injuries (Ben Cleveland, Daelin Hayes) and lack of playing time (Tylan Wallace), but Brandon Stephens has emerged as a sneaky-good draft pick. He’s had to do a lot of learning on the job, but I think he projects as a future starting safety in Baltimore.
Speaking of rookies, it’s finally mock draft season with college football well underway.
But early results indicate that the so-called experts have no idea what the Ravens really need in the 2022 draft.
I need Bleacher Report to stop talking about the Ravens now 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/usTugq6rg3
— Ramey (@HoodieRamey) November 4, 2021
A running back in the first round? Sure, the Ravens took J.K. Dobbins in the second round last year, but that’s all the more reason they wouldn’t waste a first round pick on a running back. Even then, Hall is nowhere near first-round talent, at least in what he’s shown so far.
The Ravens add a promising tight end in the latest 2022 mock draft by CBS Sports https://t.co/gPawEh0jyV
— The Ravens Wire (@TheRavensWire) November 4, 2021
Tight end seems like an odd choice as well, with Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle already rostered. I could see a tight end getting drafted later; we all know how much the Ravens love their tight ends. But in the first round? It’s probably should be some help in the trenches, most likely at offensive tackle.
That’s all for today! Have a great weekend, and I’m looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at The Bank on Sunday!