What could the Baltimore Ravens offense look like in 2023?

Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws on the run during the second half against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

  • Greg Roman out, Todd Monken in: The Baltimore Raven replaced their previous offensive coordinator with the man who led the Georgia Bulldogs' offense to two straight national championships.
  • Monken's offense should be more well-rounded: While Roman's offense's were constantly critiqued, Monken's offense should round out Baltimore's offense, making it more difficult to defend.
  • Best WR corps of Lamar Jackson‘s career: With Odell Beckham Jr and Zay Flowers added to the group, Baltimore's WR corps is the best its ever been with Jackson under center.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Despite the long-term continuity of re-signing Lamar Jackson at quarterback, this has been an offseason of change for the Baltimore Ravens offense.

Former offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who masterminded a 2019 offense that was almost unstoppable with Jackson at the helm, is gone, and the pair combined to see the then-second-year quarterback lead the league in touchdown passes while breaking the single-season rushing yardage record at the position.

He is replaced by Todd Monken, who spent time as the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before winning back-to-back national championships with the Georgia Bulldogs during a three-year stint in Athens.

The Ravens return most of their offensive personnel but made big splashes at wide receiver, adding Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency and Zay Flowers in the first round of the NFL draft, drastically overhauling arguably the worst group in the NFL from last season.

So how different will the 2023 Ravens offense look compared to the 2019-2022 group? Well, let’s first remind ourselves of what the Ravens offense looked like over that span.


Roman’s Baltimore Ravens

One of the most run-heavy teams in football, the Ravens ranked 30th with just 51.8% of their plays resulting in the quarterback dropping back in the pocket, removing garbage time and two-minute situations. They used heavier personnel groupings as well, with just 37.2% of their snaps coming in 11 personnel (one running back, three receivers and one tight end), using that grouping on just 12% of plays last season. To put that in context, the Atlanta Falcons ranked 31st in 2022 and still used 11 personnel on 34% of their snaps, and only four teams in the entire NFL finished under 50%.

When the Ravens ran the ball, they used power or counter runs on 40% of their designed rushing attempts. No other team in the NFL finished above 22% in that category over the past four seasons.

When Baltimore passed the ball, tight end Mark Andrews was the primary target, with 100 or more targets going to the former Oklahoma standout in every season that Roman was the offensive coordinator. However, it is worth noting that in 2020 and 2021, Marquise Brown ranked 25th and 10th among wide receivers in terms of targets, so the notion that wide receivers don’t see the ball in Baltimore was slightly exaggerated.


Todd Monken in the NFL

Monken spent four seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator with the Buccaneers and Browns between 2016 and 2019. In his three seasons with the Buccaneers, the team ranked fourth with dropbacks on 61.1% of plays in addition to ranking 18th at 59.7% in 2019 with the Browns. 

Monken’s Buccaneers offense deployed 11 personnel on 64.6% of plays, which ranked 12th in the NFL, and ranked 23rd in the league at 56.8% in 2019 with the Browns. Both are a world of difference from the offense we saw in Baltimore under Roman.

In Tampa Bay, inside and outside zone made up 49% of their rushing attempts; however, in Cleveland, they made up 46% — another big difference from the Ravens' offense over the past four seasons. What’s interesting here is that in Tampa Bay used inside zone runs on 30% of rushing attempts, but in Cleveland, outside zone was used most often, coming in at 35%.

Run concept frequency

Team/Years Inside/Outside Zone Power/Counter
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2016-2018 49% 13%
Cleveland Browns 2019 46% 11%
Baltimore Ravens 2019-2022 22% 40%

In all four seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator, the top target in a Todd Monken-led offense was a wide receiver. However, it should be noted that in that four-year period, he had talented playmakers at the position in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin with the Bucs in addition to Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry with the Browns. While wide receivers were the most frequently targeted players, tight end Cameron Brate did still see 78 and 73 targets respectively in 2016 and 2017.


Todd Monken at Georgia

The 2020-2022 Georgia Bulldogs passed the ball on 49.3% of offensive snaps, ranking 56th out of 65 Power Five schools. Like the 2019 Ravens, they were frequent front runners, allowing them to lean on their running game to close games out.

While 11 personnel was their most frequent offensive grouping at 46.7%, they utilized 12 personnel (one running back, two wide receivers and two tight ends on the field) 45.0% of the time. Given that he has been able to rely on tight ends like Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington during his time in Athens, tight ends being featured heavily shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

Like with the Buccaneers and Browns, outside and inside zone made up 51% of their rushing attempts in his time with the Bulldogs, and inside zone was used most often at 42%.

Unlike his time in the NFL, tight ends were more prominent in the passing game at Georgia, as Bowers tied for the team lead in targets with 82 in 2022 and led the way with 71 in 2021. Back in 2022, the trio of George Pickens, Jermaine Burton and Kearis Jackson saw 53, 52 and 52 targets respectively, with no other player finishing with more than 20.


2023 Baltimore Ravens

When you consider all of the above, Monken is the sort of offensive coordinator who is happy to adapt to the players around him. We’ve seen him lean on wide receivers like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in Tampa Bay and Cleveland, and then focus more on the strength of tight end Bowers at Georgia over the past two seasons.

That’s where this gets really interesting. For as much as the Ravens pass catching situation has been ridiculed over the past few seasons, they head into this season with a really diverse group. If everyone can stay healthy, the trio of Beckham, Rashod Bateman and Zay Flowers look like the strongest trio they have had in a long time, perhaps even in the history of the franchise. 

Bateman has been significantly hindered by injuries in his first two seasons in the NFL, but in limited work last season, he was averaging 2.24 yards per route run, the fourth-best mark of any receiver from the talented 2021 NFL Draft class.

Then you have Andrews at tight end, who trails only Kansas City’s Travis Kelce and San Francisco’s George Kittle with 4,433 receiving yards and a 91.7 PFF receiving grade at the position since entering the league. We’ve seen what Monken can do when he has a tight end worth heavily featuring in the offense, and behind Andrews, there’s the talent of Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar from the 2022 draft class.

The wild card is Patrick Ricard at fullback. On the field for 747 snaps in the regular season and playoffs in 2022, he plays a position that we’ve not seen a Monken offense heavily deploy, but he’s also never had one as good as Ricard, whose 88.6 PFF run-blocking grade in 2022 was the best by a fullback since 2015. To assume that his role in the Ravens' offense will simply fade into obscurity somewhat ignores the adaptability to the talent around him that we’ve seen from Monken, even if a reduction in usage should be expected.

And then you have Jackson. The most unique talent at the quarterback position in the NFL right now. At his height, he led the NFL in touchdown passes and broke rushing records at the quarterback position. Now, he heads into his sixth season in the NFL with a more balanced offensive coordinator and the best receiving group he’s ever had in the league.

His career high in passing attempts is 401, set back in that incredible 2019 season, and nobody would be shocked to see him go beyond that in 2023. However, Jackson’s strength as a runner is not something that the Ravens should ignore, and it would come as a surprise to see that be the case. Since entering the league in 2018, his 91.4 PFF rushing grade is second among quarterbacks, behind only Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, and his 142 missed tackles forced are the most by a non-running back. It’s hard to see the Ravens and Monken abandoning still relying on that talent as part of a more balanced offense.

Monken is the most exciting addition to the Ravens' offense since it made Jackson the 32nd overall selection of the 2018 NFL Draft. We won’t know what his offense is going to look like until the Ravens take the field, but if his history is anything to go by, he’s going to lean on the strengths of the players he has at his disposal.

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