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Ravens News 5/2: Rookie Expectations and more

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NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Championship-Iowa vs Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2022 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams - PFF


Day 2: Ojabo reunites with close friend and high school teammate Odafe Oweh and Michigan defensive coordinator Mike McDonald. The pass-rusher was once seen as a possible top-20 pick, but after a ruptured Achilles at his pro day, he slid to the middle of Round 2, where he became a great value. Ojabo is an extraordinary athlete who flashed top-tier talent this past season, producing multiple elite pass-rush game grades above 90.0. At the same time, his production was somewhat inconsistent, and his run defense is a big issue. He played just 560 snaps in college and has been playing football for less than five years. Nonetheless, while he’s far from refined, he has a high ceiling with his tools.

Travis Jones has first-round talent and lasted to the middle of the third round of the draft. Unfairly labeled as just a run-stuffing nose tackle, Jones wins as a pass-rusher as well, racking up 25 pressures last season. He played inferior competition to other high-end prospects, but when he did play Power-5 competition, he was dominant. Baltimore has a long history of succeeding with players of this body type.

Day 3: There are legitimate injury concerns with Armour-Davis, whose only full season as a starter came last year. Despite that, Armour-Davis found his way into the top 100 on PFF’s Big Board as a speedy corner with good size who plays with patience on the outside. He earned an 81.5 PFF coverage grade in 2021 with Alabama, allowing a passer rating of just 52.3.

Draft Grade: A+

NFL draft 2022 takeaways: What we learned about the QB class, WR value and the new trade-happy NFL - Matt Miller

The Baltimore Ravens are good at this

In the 2022 draft, the Ravens drafted three of my top 30 players and four in the top 40 overall. Each came at a position of need and represented an incredible value where they were selected.

Safety Kyle Hamilton (ranked No. 4 overall) was arguably the steal of the draft at pick No. 14. By trading Brown to the Cardinals, the Ravens picked up an extra first-rounder and used pick No. 25 overall to select center Tyler Linderbaum (No. 19) to anchor the offensive line.

The award-winning class continued on Day 3 with Minnesota offensive tackle Daniel Faalele (No. 58) being selected at No. 110 overall — one of the best values in the entire draft — and filling an immediate need at right tackle. Even in Round 4, selecting a high-upside cornerback in Alabama’s Jalyn Armour-Davis was a steal.

In its first six selections, each player drafted by Baltimore was ranked as a top 100 player on my final rankings. That’s how you own a draft class.

Five takeaways from Ravens’ 2022 NFL Draft: Great value in grabbing Travis Jones in Round 3 - Jeff Zrebiec

Biggest question mark: It was well documented that the Ravens wanted to come out of this draft with a pass-catching complement to All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews. Still, the Ravens double-downed on the position in a span of a dozen picks, while not using any of their six fourth-round picks on a wide receiver. Likely, who had 27 touchdowns and over 2,000 receiving yards in four seasons at Coastal Carolina, could essentially be used as a big-bodied receiver in Greg Roman’s offense. But after trading Marquise Brown on Day 1 of the draft, it was expected that the Ravens would have prioritized adding another receiver and they didn’t.

Post-draft outlook: DeCosta and company figure to get high marks for their work in this draft. They certainly did after Day 1 and Day 2. It’s easy to see why. The board fell well for the Ravens and they were able to get a few potential impact players early in the draft and fill some holes while adding depth on Day 2 and 3.

DeCosta built nice depth at certain positions and there will be opportunities in the coming days to augment the depth by adding a few veteran free agents. It seems imperative that the Ravens add a veteran wide receiver, edge rusher and perhaps even a cornerback.

What to expect from 2022 Ravens draft picks this season and beyond - Luke Jones

S Kyle Hamilton

2022 projected role: Though a crowded position group and seniority could prevent Hamilton from becoming an official starter by Week 1, his versatility and traits should immediately make him a major part of the secondary in various sub packages.

Long-term outlook: His 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame and football IQ should make Hamilton a fascinating hybrid defender in the years to come as he teams up with free safety Marcus Williams on the back end of the defense. No one should be compared to the legendary Ed Reed, but safeties aren’t taken in the top half of the first round without Pro Bowl aspirations.

C Tyler Linderbaum

2022 projected role: The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Linderbaum should step right into the starting lineup after becoming the first center ever drafted by the Ravens in the opening round.

Long-term outlook: Having not valued the center position over the last decade and typically preferring bigger options there, the Ravens clearly loved the former Hawkeyes captain who should be their center for years to come. Saddling even a first-round pick with Pro Bowl expectations seems unfair, but Linderbaum needs to be that kind of a success to justify the pick from a positional value standpoint.

Evaluating The Baltimore Ravens’ 2022 NFL Draft Picks And Undrafted Free Agents - Ken Zalis

What could the Ravens have done different? (the nitpick section)

1) Taken Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning in Round 1. Kyle Hamilton was the best player available, so I have no issue with the pick. This is more about how super duper sure the Ravens are about Ronnie Stanley.

2) Taken Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II over Tyler Linderbaum with the 25th pick. Johnson was ranked in my top 10 and plays a position of need. One could argue EDGE was a bigger need than center.

3) Selected Louisiana tackle Max Mitchell instead of Daniel Faalele. Mitchell may be readier to handle the left side immediately if Ronnie Stanley isn’t ready by Week 1.

4) Taken Nevada receiver Romeo Doubs or Fayetteville State cornerback Joshua Williams instead of Jordan Stout. Receiver and corner were bigger needs, and a punter could have been selected with a later pick.

5) Drafted Texas-San Antonio cornerback Tariq Woolen instead of Damarion Williams. Woolen is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound corner who ran a 4.26 at the Combine and is a better prospect than Williams, in my opinion.

Overall, the Ravens had a great draft, but there are still some holes to fill, especially at EDGE and receiver.