It’s been almost a month since the 2022 NFL draft concluded and the hype for the Baltimore Ravens’ impressive 11-man haul is still high. Often overly optimistic and sometimes unfair projections are placed on first-year players entering the league before they even take a preseason snap.
With that in mind, the return of my annual realistic expectation article series has arrived.
RB Tyler Badie
Round 6, No. 196 overall
The former University of Missouri Tiger was the Ravens’ last pick in this year’s draft, but he could be potentially among the most impactful in the rookie class early on in this season. Returning incumbent running backs J.K Dobbins and Gus Edwards are returning from injuries that cost them the entire 2021 season. Therefore, Badie will have ample opportunity to ingratiate himself in the offense during the remainder of the offseason program, training camp, and into the preseason.
What he lacks in size at only 5-foot-8 and 197 pounds, Badie compensates by being a dynamic weapon that can be utilized in both the running and passing game. For a running back of his stature and weight, he possesses impressive balance after contact and tackle-breaking ability.
Tyler Badie runs hard, something that the Ravens love in their running backs pic.twitter.com/l2fP6SliA6— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) April 30, 2022
Badie can also make defenders miss in space and quickly gain separation as a receiver out of the backfield with crisp route running. Even though he has yet to put on pads, Badie has already begun impressing as a pass catcher and pass protector during in rookie minicamp and OTAs.
The addition of Badie could add another dimension to the passing game on screens. He can get lost behind a wall of blockers and emerge through a sea of defenders for big plays and quick conversions.
Expect to see Badie on the field early and often to start the regular season, as long as he proves he can hold up in pass protection. Even when Dobbins and Edwards return to full strength, the rookie could by then have carved out a regular role on offense. Greg Roman might not want to put Badie back in his “vault” because he will likely have proven to be a reliable, potentially dangerous option as a third-down running back.