The Ravens didn’t look like they needed a lot of outside help Sunday.

In a 38-6 shellacking of the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions, they exploded on offense and dominated again on defense. Quarterback Lamar Jackson thrust himself back into NFL Most Valuable Player discussion. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald further elevated his profile for future head coaching jobs.

But as the 5-2 Ravens prepare for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, their roster is far from perfect. And the window for the team to tighten its grip on the AFC North is closing quickly. The league’s trade deadline is 4 p.m. on Halloween, one week from Tuesday.

Will Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta orchestrate another deal as significant as last year’s trade for inside linebacker Roquan Smith? Probably not. But the team has been active at the deadline under DeCosta, and with $6.3 million in salary cap space, according to Over The Cap, there’s room to take on at least a modest contract.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

So where could the Ravens look to make a move? The running back market is thin, especially with the New York Giants eager to keep Saquon Barkley. The team’s cornerback depth has also improved with the return of Marlon Humphrey.

But the two positions that were offseason question marks are still question marks. Here’s a look at why the Ravens might address their wide receiver and edge rusher groups, and with whom.

Wide receiver

The Ravens’ wide receiver room has not come together quite as planned. Despite the team’s collection of former first-round picks, the best-in-franchise-history expectations heaped upon the group now seem misplaced, or at least premature. Only rookie Zay Flowers and Nelson Agholor rank among the top 60 qualifying wide receivers in yards per route run, according to Pro Football Focus, a measure of overall efficiency on passing plays.

Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman have shown signs of improvement recently, but both have already missed time this season with injuries. Devin Duvernay and Agholor both faded down the stretch last season in Baltimore and New England, respectively. If Ravens officials don’t feel as though Jackson has a reliable third option, after Flowers and tight end Mark Andrews, could they make another splash at the position?

Courtland Sutton, #14 of the Denver Broncos, reacts after a reception in the first quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Empower Field At Mile High on Oct. 22, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

Courtland Sutton: It wasn’t long ago that the Ravens made clear their interest to Denver. According to The Athletic, they nearly acquired the 28-year-old early last offseason, before the Broncos backed out of trade talks. The 6-foot-4, 216-pound Sutton is coming off one of his strongest games of the season: six catches on six targets for 76 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Green Bay Packers. He’s on pace for his second straight 800-yard season — well short of the heights of his 1,112-yard 2019, but still impressive.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Sutton would give Jackson another playmaker who can win on an island. According to Sports Info Solutions, he had 420 yards when lined up as an isolated wide receiver last season. Entering Week 7, only two Ravens wide receivers had more than 25 such yards: Flowers, whose value comes in his positional versatility, and Beckham, whose injury history is worrisome. If Sutton’s cap hit is at all prohibitive, Denver could offer to absorb some of his remaining salary — over $8 million — to close the deal.

Darnell Mooney, #11 of the Chicago Bears, runs with the ball against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Soldier Field on Oct. 1, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Darnell Mooney: Ravens officials will remember Mooney as the Chicago Browns wide receiver who caught just five of his career-high 16 targets in a 16-13 loss two years ago to the Tyler Huntley-led Ravens. They’ll also remember he turned those five catches into 121 yards and a touchdown. Despite Chicago’s carousel of quarterbacking ineptitude, the speedy Mooney has become a solid complementary receiver who can line up wherever he’s needed. He had 1,055 yards in 2021 and 41.1 receiving yards per game last season, when an ankle injury limited him to 12 appearances.

Mooney, who turns 26 on Sunday, had a slow start to this season, finishing two of the Bears’ first four games without a catch. But he has six catches on seven targets for 80 yards over the past two weeks, and his primary quarterback in that stretch has been undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent. Mooney’s also in the final year of a cheap rookie contract — his base salary for the entire season is just $3 million — which should make him more attractive as a short-term rental.

Edge rusher

The Ravens lead the NFL with 29 sacks but entered Week 7 ranked just 13th in ESPN’s pass rush win rate. They’re also 15th in pressure rate, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, suggesting a comedown may be inevitable. Considering the elite pass rush groups that have forced their way to the Super Bowl in recent years, that might not be good enough.

Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh’s return from an ankle injury bolstered the unit Sunday, but it’s unclear how much more help is on the way. David Ojabo, rehabilitating a sprained knee and high-ankle sprain, has had a limited impact when healthy. Tyus Bowser’s timetable for a recovery from his agitated knee is unclear. And for as well as Jadeveon Clowney has played, his injury history has to be accounted for, too.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Wyatt Davis, #67 of the New York Giants, tackles Chase Young, #99 of the Washington Commanders, in the second half at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 22, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

Chase Young: The No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft has long been the subject of trade speculation, especially once the Commanders declined his fifth-year option in April. If Washington prefers to re-sign fellow defensive end Montez Sweat, a more reliable and more productive edge rusher over the past few years, team officials would have to seriously consider shopping Young and his manageable $5.3 million base salary around before he hits free agency next offseason.

Young, an Upper Marlboro native, has five sacks in six games this year and entered Week 7 with the 18th-best pass rush win rate among edge rushers, according to ESPN. Even if Young’s stay in Baltimore is short, the Ravens could recoup some of his value through the compensatory-draft-pick process. Yannick Ngakoue was a disappointment in Baltimore in 2020, recording just three sacks in nine games, but the Ravens received a 2022 fourth-round pick after he signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. Young has a higher ceiling and could turn into a third-round pick.

Carl Lawson, #58 of the New York Jets, looks on during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on Jan. 1, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Carl Lawson: Lawson has been the victim of a numbers game in New York. With the Jets’ considerable depth at defensive end, the 28-year-old has played in just four games this season, averaging only 18.3 defensive snaps per appearance. Lawson has yet to record a sack, a quarterback hit or a tackle for loss.

But the Ravens know what he’s capable of. Lawson had 20 sacks over four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before signing a three-year, $45 million deal with the Jets in 2021. He had seven sacks last season, and his 49 quarterback pressures were 28th most among edge rushers, according to PFF. If Lawson wants to bolster his stock before he hits free agency next offseason, leaving the Jets’ crowded depth chart could be smart business. His small 2023 base salary ($1.1 million) wouldn’t be a deterrent, either.

jonas.shaffer@thebaltimorebanner.com

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring.

More From The Banner