Ravens

Ravens’ young roster bodes well for future

OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens’ window to win a Super Bowl should be open well past this season.

The team has one of the NFL’s best young rosters and the player]should continue to develop.

Heading into the 2024 season, the Ravens have the third-best roster for the number of players under the age of 25 led by safety Kyle Hamilton, center Tyler Linderbaum and wide receiver Zay Flowers, according to a poll by ESPN.

Only the the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions were ranked ahead of the Ravens.

“First-team All-Pro Hamilton leads the Ravens’ young talent as one of the most valuable defensive players in the NFL,” ESPN’s Aaron Schatz wrote. “He ranked first in success rate and fifth in coverage DVOA among safeties last season and is just 23 years old. Linderbaum made his first Pro Bowl last season after his second NFL season. He posted the fifth-best pass block win rate (96.4%) and is 24. The Ravens’ receiving corp is also youthful. Flowers, who led the team with 858 receiving yards, is 23; Rashod Bateman, who had 367 yards, is 24 years old.”

Hamilton, 23, is already one of the team’s marquee players. Hamilton earned All-Pro honors in just his second season after setting the Ravens’ single-season record for defensive backs with 10 tackles for a loss. He had 13 passes defensed, which was tied with Detroit’s Brian Branch for the most by a safety this season.

Hamilton had three sacks in the first half against the Colts on September 25th, which tied an NFL record by a defensive back.

“I try to go out there and be an energy guy and just allow guys to build off what I’m doing on the field, whether it’s making a play, communicating, giving guys confidence – stuff like that,” Hamilton said. “And I feel like that’s something that I’ve grown into this year. In terms of vocally, I feel like I can build on that a little more going into … I’m still [23] and trying to find my way, in that sense, but we’ve got time for that.” 

Linderbaum, 24, made the Pro Bowl in his second year. He was named the third-best center in the NFL behind Creed Humphrey (Kansas City Chiefs)  and Frank Ragnow (Detroit Lions), according to Pro Football Focus.

“After taking like a duck to water in his rookie season, Linderbaum went one better and improved in his sophomore campaign,” wrote PFF’s Thomas Valentine. “He improved his overall grade from 74.7 to 78.3, including a dramatic shift in his pass-blocking grade from 54.7 to 76.1. He also allowed just 15 pressures without a single sack in 2023. The sky is the limit for one of the best young emerging offensive line talents.”

Flowers, 23, was selected Flowers with the 22nd overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. He led the team with 77 receptions for 858 yards and five touchdowns. Flowers is expected to make more strides this season as he becomes even more comfortable with quarterback Lamar Jackson and the offense.

“[I feel] way more comfortable,” Flowers said about heading into his second year. “It happened so fast, and I had to learn a new playbook so fast that in my head, I was always rushed. So, this year, I’m more patient and just learning everything to the last detail.”

 

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