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What position should the Ravens address in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft?

Baltimore has enough picks to cover all its needs but in the first round, they should probably follow a two-way path.

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NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Arkansas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In his latest Mock Draft, The Athletic’s draft analyst Dane Brugler gave to the Ravens Minnesota offensive tackle Daniel Faalele in the first-round. Addressing the pick, Jeff Zrebiec explained why if the Ravens choose to select an offensive tackle in the first round, he needs to make an immediate impact on the offensive line.

The Ravens currently have a hole left by the injured Ronnie Stanley on one side of the offensive line and another one on the opposite side left by Orlando Brown Jr, who got traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. For Baltimore, addressing the offensive line is an immediate need and they should focus on a potential new cornerstone tackle. The gigantic Daniel Faalele, who’s 6-foot-9 and 380 pounds, has impressive athleticism for his size and high upside but is still raw technically with the use of his hands. The talented Minnesota offensive tackle is more of a developmental prospect rather than a plug-and play-player. This could force Baltimore to invest in another starter during the offseason.

The Ravens will have a multitude of needs to cover once the 2021 season is over, as they’re set to lose multiple players at some crucial positions. This includes the defensive line and the safety spot, while they will also likely try to add another center and a cornerback. Baltimore currently has 11 total picks, including nine in the Top-150 — enough to cover all its needs and add some much needed depth at certain positions. For the first round though, it should probably be a choice between two positions: offensive tackle or interior defensive line.

As said earlier, adding a franchise offensive tackle is a major need for the Ravens. Even though we don’t know where the Ravens will pick yet, it’s safe to assume that they will get to select their player somewhere past the 20th overall pick. Looking for an impact tackle, there are two profiles that could be available past pick No. 20: Nicholas Petit-Frere and Sean Rhyan. Ohio State product Nicholas Petit-Frere has experience both at left and right tackle. He is a rock-solid pass protector who’s also a people mover in the run game. UCLA star Sean Rhyan is a technically sound offensive tackle who’s excellent as a run blocker and has some of the best hand technique in the class, but still needs to be more consistent in pass protection. Both profiles perfectly fits with what the Ravens could be looking for coming April and should both be considered serious potential targets.

With Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams potentially set to leave the team in free agency at the end of the season, the interior defensive line will be another position that will require an immediate impact player. At the moment there are only two surefire first-round caliber defensive tackles and it has to be said that neither of them could be available past the 20th pick.

Georgia DT Jordan Davis has been of the most dominant defenders in College Football this season but his limited pass rush upside could cause him to slide down draft boards. The 6-foot-6, 340-pound defensive tackle is as dominant of a run defender as you could ask for, but his huge frame really limits his explosiveness and ability to be an effective pass rusher. At Georgia, he rarely gets asked to rush the quarterback. Davis, though, could be a plug-and-play 0-technique and 1-technique at the NFL level. He would be a perfect replacement for Brandon Williams as a player who can absolutely control the run game.

The other player is Texas A&M’s hybrid lineman DeMarvin Leal. Leal’s skillset is pretty much the opposite of Davis’, as Leal is a pure 3-technique who can also play as a defensive end thanks to his natural ability to get to the quarterback. If available, these two prospects could also be serious targets for the Ravens. They both fit a huge need of the team while also having NFL-ready profiles.

As Jeff Zrebiec rightfully pointed out, the Ravens are known for “being a best player available” team at a position of need. So, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them select the best offensive tackle or defensive tackle available on their board if a can’t miss prospect doesn’t slide to them.

As the cornerback and center classes will be fairly deep, the Ravens should probably focus on adding an NFL-ready offensive or defensive tackle in Round 1.