4. Mike MacDonald, Ravens defensive coordinator
No one has lived through the Harbaugh experience the way Mike MacDonald has.
Originally an assistant under Mark Richt at the University of Georgia, MacDonald joined John Harbaugh’s staff with the Baltimore Ravens as a coaching intern in 2014. He was promoted to defensive assistant the following year then spent time as the defensive back coach and linebacker coach.
He left the NFL in 2021 to join the Michigan staff and was the defensive coordinator for Jim Harbaugh. He made a record salary for the Wolverines and led them to a top-10 defense, a Big-Ten Championship and a berth in the College Football Playoffs. He then headed back to Baltimore when the Ravens moved on from Wink Martindale.
Now back with John Harbaugh, he’s a defensive coordinator in the NFL and has had no problem adapting to this role. He’s also replaced one of the best coordinators in the game without missing a beat. In fact, they’ve even improved thus far.
After 12 games, Baltimore is second in points and yards surrendered — up from third and ninth in 2022. His defense has held four teams under 10 points including the Lions, who are one of the best in the game. They even held Kellen Moore’s Chargers to just 10 in Week 12. That should be enough to get MacDonald some interest this offseason and New England could wind up being a potential landing spot.