General Manager Eric DeCosta has only been manning the Baltimore Ravens ship for two years but has put a number of cornerstones in place that will help the team be competitive on both sides of the ball for a long time. The 2019 Ravens finished the season with an NFL best 14-2 record thanks to a total team effort. Baltimore sent the most players to the Pro Bowl in their franchise’s history and of any team on the year. Their 12 Pro Bowlers were split, five on offense, four on defense, and three on special teams.
With all the quality that head coach John Harbaugh has had placed around him, there are many a lot of options for who best represents the team in 2020. Their style of running the ball and playing stingy defense has almost become outdated in the modern-day NFL but Harbaugh showed he still has it in him to coach a powerhouse using an older total-team based philosophy. Baltimore finished the season as the number-one ranked scoring offense and fourth-ranked total defense last season.
DeCosta and Harbaugh have gone all-in on quarterback Lamar Jackson as their franchise quarterback and have thus turned over the roster in a big way during the last few off-seasons. 2019 was the first look of the new era in Baltimore, fully succeeding Joe Flacco, and if their regular-season dominance from last season was any indicator, they’re going to be a perennial contender under Jackson for a lot of the near future.
With this year’s NFL training camps just weeks away, Last Word on Pro Football will be taking a look at which players on each of the 32 teams will be the ones to lead the franchise this season. These are the faces of the 2020 Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore Ravens Faces of the Franchise 2020
Lamar Jackson – Quarterback
In the modern-day NFL, the quarterback is the image of a team. There is no team and player that better demonstrates this principle than the Ravens and Jackson. After the Flacco era came to an end two seasons ago, the Ravens completely revamped their offense to suit the skill-set of Jackson. His dynamic athleticism made him an easy centerpiece of the Ravens run-heavy offense and since his first start against the Cincinnati Bengals Week 11 of 2018, Jackson has looked like maybe the greatest athlete of all-time to ever play the quarterback position successfully in the NFL.
There really has been no Ravens quarterback outside of Jackson to ever play the position in a way that embodied the team. He’s each humble, a great leader, a hard worker, a showman, and above all else will do whatever it takes for his team to win.
Last season, Jackson soared to new heights. He helped Baltimore set the all-time record for rushing yards in a season and became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 3000+ yards and rush for 1000+ yards. His 1206 yards on the ground shattered Michael Vick‘s previous record by almost 200 yards and his 80.4 rushing yards per game was the highest in a single season for a quarterback by over 10.0 per game.
Though his season may not have ended the way he liked, the 2019 unanimous NFL MVP is still just 23 years old. If his jump from year-one to year-two is any indicator, he still has a lot of room to grow as well. Jackson is a one of a kind player as of now and is one of the poster children for not only the 2020 Baltimore Ravens but the new era of the NFL.
Justin Tucker – Kicker
At his point in NFL history, very few teams even hold on to their kickers long enough for them to be associated with the franchise. Tucker is a huge exception. The Ravens kicker has been at the top of the league in quality for about a decade and has always been a large part of his team’s success on a year-in-year-out basis.
After Billy Cundiff missed a game-tying field goal with 15 seconds left in the 2011 AFC Championship game, it didn’t take long for the Ravens to make a change at the kicking position. Tucker won the starting job out of camp in 2012 and has since become the picture of consistency at the kicking position. He is the all-time most accurate kicker in NFL history with a career field goal percentage of 90.8%, the fastest kicker ever to score 1000 points, and was part of the Ravens Super Bowl XLVII winning team. There were even clamorings of him potentially getting MVP votes in 2016 when he went 38-39 (the miss being a block) on field goals, 10-for-10 from beyond 50 yards (tied for the most ever in a single season), and perfect on PATs.
There really isn’t a lot Tucker hasn’t done for the Ravens and it’s important to note he is still just 30 years old. During his nine-year Ravens career, he’s made three Pro Bowls, five All-Pro teams, and was selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s.
A lot of teams don’t have kickers as part of the faces of their franchise because there simply aren’t a lot of kickers like Tucker. However, he’s one of Baltimore’s most important players every year will continue to be at the Hall-of-Fame pace he has set.
Calais Campbell – Defensive End
If you’re looking for a defense with one face, don’t look at the Ravens. Since the retirements of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, the Ravens defense has harbored stars to become a complete unit — often from front to back. This was the case in 2019 when three more Ravens made their first Pro Bowl. In 2020, half of the Ravens projected starting 11 defenders will have made a Pro Bowl in their career. However, the face of the defense going into next season might be Campbell.
Even though he was just acquired this past off-season, Campbell brings a personality and frame that are both hard to ignore. The 2019 Walter Peyton Man of the Year recipient has been one of the NFL’s most consistent interior pass rushers over the past decade and is looking to revitalize a Ravens pass rush that has been maybe the weakest spot of the team for three straight years. Baltimore has always been known for having defensive ends and linebackers that scare you off the field and Campbell fits the mold. He is best known as a primary run stopper but his 31.5 sacks and 77 quarterback hits over the past three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars show he is as complete an interior lineman as you can find.
Though Campbell will be 34 years old entering 2020, he is coming off of five Pro Bowls, and three All-Pro appearances in the last six years. He has also missed just six games in his entire 12-year career. The Ravens pass rush has been missing an elite pass rusher and face since the departure of Terrell Suggs and Campbell should bring both to the 2020 Baltimore Ravens.
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