Baltimore Ravens Breakout Candidates: RB Keaton Mitchell, LB Trenton Simpson and more

2T5X9CM Baltimore Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell, center, outruns Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams, left, and cornerback Riq Woolen for a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. (Kenneth K. Lam/The Baltimore Sun/TNS)

Keaton MitchellEven though he won't be ready to start the 2024 season, Mitchell has the tools to break out this season once he is fully healthy.

Trenton SimpsonA strong performance against a division foe last year provides optimism that Simpson can replace Patrick Queen in the Baltimore Ravens defense.

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The 2023 season ended in disappointment for the Baltimore Ravens, as they fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game in late January.

As they look to regroup in 2024, bringing in running back Derrick Henry as a free agent was the headline move of the offseason but, while pairing him with Lamar Jackson will be a nightmare for opposing defenses, the Ravens' success this upcoming season will likely be determined by the overall strength of the roster.

Here are five players who could break out, or reach another level, in 2024.

LG Andrew Vorhees

Filling the void left by John Simpson, who departed as a free agent, Vorhees looks set to step right into a starting role coming off a redshirt rookie season due to a torn ACL suffered at the 2023 NFL combine. His production in college before the injury warranted going higher than the seventh round, as Vorhees earned 80.0-plus PFF pass and run blocking grades in each of his final two seasons at USC.

RB Keaton Mitchell 

Coming off his own ACL injury, though this one occurred late in the NFL season, Keaton Mitchell won’t be ready for the start of the 2024 season, so this is more of a potential late-season breakout option. When he does get back on the field though, his ability to create big plays will add another layer to the Ravens offense. As a rookie, he forced 15 missed tackles from just 47 carries while producing a 15-plus-yard run on 14.9% of his rushing attempts.

DI Travis Jones

Jones improved from a solid rookie year in 2022 to earn a 68.1 PFF grade on a higher snap count in his second year last season. The Ravens coaching staff seemed to lean on him more as the season progressed. Only Justin Madubuike logged more snaps than Jones on the defensive interior in the six games from Week 15 through the AFC Championship game. Expect that to continue into the 2024 season if Jones can continue his upward trajectory.

LB Trenton Simpson

Moving into the spot left by Patrick Queen, who left to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency, Simpson has huge shoes to fill in Baltimore this season. He does not have a huge body of NFL work to evaluate — the 2023 third-round draft pick out of Clemson played just 114 snaps (including the preseason) as a rookie. He flashed impressive ability in an extended run out against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 18 though, as Simpson earned an 80.3 PFF grade from 26 snaps and finished the game with three tackles resulting in a defensive stop.

CB Brandon Stephens

Already a starter on the Ravens defense in 2023, Stephens has the opportunity to make a lot of money in the final year of his rookie deal. The 2021 third-round draft pick out of SMU has found a home as an outside cornerback, as he's previously been moved around, playing at safety and in the slot. His 2023 season saw him earn a 65.5 PFF coverage grade, giving up just two touchdowns in coverage despite being targeted 118 times in the regular season and playoffs.


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