When the Ravens selected defensive tackle Travis Jones out of UCONN with the 76th pick in 2022 NFL Draft, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah remarked “I thought he was a top 40 player in this years draft...they love big people in Baltimore and he is going to fit right in.” This comment from former Ravens scout Jeremiah has proved to be spot on, as Jones has done exactly that in his first week of training camp.
In an elite class of big-bodied humans, the 22-year-old Jones has stood out amongst the defensive line group. Nose tackle Michael Pierce was the most recent veteran to take notice. The wide-eyed veteran proclaimed, “He’s going to be special man...They don’t make too many like him.”
Michael Pierce’s reaction and response of what he’s seen from rookie DL Travis Jones.— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) July 31, 2022
“Did you see him today? That’s all you need to know. He’s special man, he’s special. Physically gifted. For a big dude, he can really, really move. They don’t make too many like him.” pic.twitter.com/8lYAk8Fz4w
The endorsement from Pierce is encouraging as Jones has a legitimate chance to bolster the Ravens defensive line in 2022.
The Ravens want to have the mobility to rotate players frequently among the defensive line. The addition of Jones gives the team this ability and helps to supplant the loss of defensive tackles Brandon Williams and Justin Ellis this offseason. Similar to Williams, Jones’ athleticism is impressive. While he has not shared any backflip videos like Williams, Jones’ 4.92 40-yard dash is freakish and put best by NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper.
“He is a potential monster inside...if he would have gone to Ohio State/Michigan he would have been a top 10 to 15 pick,” Kiper said.
With 8.5 sacks over his final 22 collegiate games, Jones also has real ability to put pressure on the quarterback. The rookie uses large hands and a powerful wide base to take on double teams and shed blocks. This will be key as the team looks to build on their lowest sack total (34) since 2016. We are only one week down but early indications are confirming that the Ravens got one of the steals of the draft in Travis Jones at No. 76 overall. Best put by the veteran Pierce, the Ravens could have a ‘special’ player manning the middle for years to come in Baltimore.