2022 Draft

Mike Preston of the Sun, the Eeyore of the shadow of once was a newspaper, panned the Ravens for passing on Jermaine Johnson II. Pretty much every other draft analyst on the planet has given the Ravens "A" grades for their first four picks in rounds 1 through 3.

Johnson dropped far enough to suggest more than just the Ravens found some flaws in his game, or had other concerns that don't show up on tape. But to say the Ravens blew the draft if Johnson becomes a great edge player? That's just Preston being Preston.

The simple fact is that no one can grade a draft until years after it happens. Hamilton had a top 10 grade, and would have gone higher if not for his 40 time. The guy plays faster than his tape and he can tackle. After last season, you can understand why the Ravens might focus on defensive players who can tackle.

Linderbaum was the highest rated center in the draft and widely considered one of the best center prospects in the past several years. You can argue tackle, cornerback, and edge are more pressing needs, but I think the Ravens are factoring analytics into these choices. Those three positions are expensive. Spending a high draft choice means getting a good deal on the rookie contract. The Ravens have shown their willing to pay $ for tackles (Ronnie Stanley) and CBs (Marlon Humphrey) but they've been willing to let Edge players walk for big free agency money. If Hamilton and Linderbaum are Pro Bowl level starters, the Ravens have a better chance of signing them long term.

David Ojabo is an interesting pick because he's probably not playing for his first year. Given that Ojabo is on the raw side (one year starting experience), having a year to rehab and learn the system isn't a bad thing.

Finally, Travis Jones is an interior DL who had a second round grade. The Ravens picked him up in the third. The Ravens need to get younger on the defensive line. This looks like a solid value and has the potential to add some inside pass rush, something the Ravens have not had lately.

Overall, the Ravens picked up three legitimate first rounders and a second rounder. That's not a guarantee all of those players will pan out, but they are positions where the Ravens have a strong history of developing talent (unlike WR). I think the Ravens will take advantage of a deep WR class in the 4th round, and double dip and add a second Edge player. I also wouldn't be surprised if they drafted a developmental QB. They also could add a couple of late round CBs. Should be fun to watch... for everyone but Mike Preston.

The opinions posted here are those of the writer of this article. They are in no way official comments from the team, the editors of this site or SB Nation as a whole, and should not be misconstrued as such.