The Baltimore Ravens and General Manager Eric DeCosta proved that patience is a virtue yet again on Friday night. They came away with arguably the highest value picks with both of their selections in the second and third round.
After taking David Ojabo of Michigan in Round 2 and Travis Jones of UConn in Round 3, pundits gave them high remarks for the second day in a row.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports
“Incredibly high upside because of his burst/bend and pass-rush move flashes. Suffered torn Achilles at his pro day, so his rookie season is in doubt. Such a shrewd Ravens pick. With more power --- which he needs — Ojabo can be a perennial Pro Bowl rusher.” Grade: B+
“Big, wide-bodied NT with some pass-rush ability thanks to his nasty club move. For his size, he moves well upfield but won’t threaten most interior blockers with his quickness. Good run defender too. Extreme Ravens pick. Shrewd.” Grade: B+
Sheil Kapadia, The Athletic
“Ojabo (6-foot-4, 250) was on track to be a first-round pick, but he tore his Achilles during Michigan’s pro day. He came on strong last year with 11 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles in 14 games. He had the highest sack rate (3.8%) of any edge rusher in this year’s class.
But Ojabo had played just 26 defensive snaps prior to last season, and now he faces a tough recovery from a serious injury. The Ravens are the right team to take this gamble. They have an information edge, given that Ojabo’s defensive coordinator from Michigan, Mike Macdonald, is now in Baltimore. And because the Ravens draft for volume, they can afford to take these types of swings on upside.” Grade: A-
“Jones (6-foot-4, 325) could end up being the Day 2 version of Georgia’s Jordan Davis. He had 47 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss in 11 starts last year. SIS tracks true pressure rate (how often a player produces pressure on straight dropbacks) and quick pressure rate (how often a player produces pressure in 2.5 seconds or less). Jones ranked first and third, respectively, in those two categories last year.
In terms of athletic testing, only Davis was better among defensive tackles. I like this pick a lot for the Ravens.” Grade: A-
Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report
“Ojabo was a slam-dunk first-round prospect before he got injured during Michigan’s pro day. In the short term, the unfortunate situation cost him. In the long run, the still-developing edge-rusher couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot where he can play with his friend Odafe Oweh. The two can eventually become a dynamic duo rushing off the edge once Ojabo is ready to return.” Grade: A
“Jones adds another big, burly body to the team’s defensive interior. Simply put, the Ravens are old in the trenches with Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe and even Michael Pierce, who turns 30 later this year. Adding another powerful body to take up space while the other athletes on defense run and make plays is both an excellent approach, and it’s how the Ravens play football.” Grade: B+
Walter Cherepinsky, Walterfootball.com
“I don’t understand why David Ojabo fell so far. He tore his Achilles, but he’ll be 100 percent by 2023. He should have gone late in the first round, and he would’ve been a top-10 pick had he been completely healthy. This is a terrific value, and it’s my favorite pick thus far in the 2022 NFL Draft.” Grade: A+
“The Ravens are great at drafting because they let teams in front of them draft crappy players, allowing them to take the best prospects available. This happened yet again, as the Ravens just landed someone who could’ve landed at the end of the first round without many complaints. Jones is a massive, but athletic nose tackle who will fit in very well in the middle of Baltimore’s front.” Grade: A+
Kevin Hanson, SI.com
“Ojabo is reunited with Mike Macdonald, his college defensive coordinator, and will be coached by another Harbaugh. Relatively new to football (he started playing as a junior in high school), Ojabo finished last season with 11 sacks—second in the Big Ten behind teammate Aidan Hutchinson. Ojabo’s pass-rush moves are more developed than one would expect given his limited experience. While a torn Achilles will delay his NFL debut, he offers the Ravens a discount on his long-term upside as the explosive and bendy edge rusher would have been a (high) first-round pick if not for the injury.” Grade: A
“The Ravens continue just to pick good players. I mocked Jones to Baltimore in Round 2 (after the Eagles leapfrogged them for Jordan Davis on Thursday). Jones was the best player on a bad UConn team (1–11 in 2021). He’s a stout run defender with the ability to push the pocket on passing downs and has impressive mobility for a player his size. Jones is my 38th-ranked prospect.” Grade: A
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
“The Ravens love Odafe Oweh, their late first-rounder from 2021. Ojabo is his best friend and also was inspired by his explosive, relentless play in getting after the quarterback, a reason why he rose up boards fast through the Combine before suffering an Achilles’ injury at his pro day. Baltimore can stash Ojabo for the future as an impactful situational pass rusher at first.” Grade: A+
“The Ravens continue a strong draft by working on a replacement for Calais Campbell, going into his Age 36 season. Jones also brings a massive frame with strength to overpower blockers from the 3-4. He can also help out at nose when needed.” Grade: A
Chad Reuter, NFL.com
David Ojabo & Travis Jones
“The Ravens got value in Ojabo, who likely would have been a first-round pick had he not suffered an Achilles tear at his pro day. His upside is worth the selection, and he reunites with former high school mentor Odafe Oweh. Jones was worthy of a third-round pick based on his tape, but he had an outstanding NFL Scouting Combine and looked good at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. No. 76 was a good spot to grab a guy who can fill a big need in the middle of the defense after the team missed out on Jordan Davis in the first round.” Grade: A
My grades —
To land a Top-15 talent in the second round even, if he doesn’t play until midway through or any of his rookie season, is still quite the coup for the Ravens with this pick. Ojabo still gets to have a Harbaugh as his head coach and reunites with both his college defensive signal-caller in Mike MacDonald and high school teammate in Odafe Oweh.
His potential to develop into an absolute game wrecker once he recovers from his torn Achilles is exponentially high.
It was comical to see the Houston Texans leapfrog the Ravens for the second round in a row only to have the best player available fall to DeCosta and Co. in both instances. Jones is much more than a two-gap run stuffer. He proved it against top competition both in 2021 and at the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl, where Baltimore has historically heavily scouted and picked from. Jones’ ability to generate pressure up the middle will improve their pass rush inside and out.