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Ravens rookie class gets Top 5 grade after Year 1

Strong early returns

Carolina Panthers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

With a season of play now in the books for the 2022 NFL Draft class,’s Nick Shook and Eric Edholm took on the task of ranking all 32 team’s rookie classes from their debut season. The Baltimore Ravens' 11-man draft class came in at No. 5 behind the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs.

“Kyle Hamilton didn’t start every game at safety, but he fit rather nicely in coordinator Mike Macdonald’s defense, making a notable impact while filling a slot role in the nickel package in the second half of the season,” Edholm wrote. “He finished with a strong Pro Football Focus grade of 82.3 on defense, displaying an ability to play effective coverage and provide quality run support while taking the first steps in what could be a long, productive career. Tyler Linderbaum was another solid pick, stepping into a starting role immediately and serving as the Ravens’ No. 1 center for his entire rookie season. Both Linderbaum and Hamilton earned Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team selections.”

It would be hard to find fault with the first-year results for the Ravens’ pair of first-round selections. Both players look to be integral pieces to their respective side of the ball for years to come with Pro Bowl potential if Year 1 is any indication.

“David Ojabo made three appearances (including the playoffs) and only logged considerable snaps in one of them (Week 18), but the fact he played at all after tearing his Achilles during his Pro Day workout was an achievement,” Edholm wrote. “With one sack recorded, Ojabo briefly demonstrated why the Ravens risked a second-round pick on him. Travis Jones followed a route that was typical of a third-round pick, filling a rotational role and showing occasional flashes of a brighter future — he finished with 24 tackles and one sack.”

Both Ojabo and Jones will be relied upon to play bigger roles in 2023. Ojabo in particular will need to prove Baltimore right in selecting him in the second round over wide receiver George Pickens and should have plenty of playing opportunities to do so, especially if free agent outside linebacker Justin Houston does not return.

“Daniel Faalele didn’t see a ton of snaps and thus didn’t have much of a chance to show off his skills or improvement. He’s a project player at this point. Jalyn Armour-Davis is another developmental player who arrived with an Alabama pedigree but only played in four games before landing on injured reserve near the end of November. Charlie Kolar lost most of his rookie season to sports hernia surgery in August, but he did show off his potential in the final week of the regular season, catching four of six targets for 49 yards. Jordan Stout replaced longtime Raven Sam Koch and did a decent job, finishing with a per-punt average of 45.9 yards. Likely’s 2022 season was a pleasant surprise; the backup tight end finished with the third-most targets of any pass-catcher on Baltimore’s roster, putting up quality numbers (36 catches, 373 yards, three TDs) for a non-starter and shining in place of Mark Andrews when the star wasn’t available. Still, Baltimore’s passing game wasn’t prolific or effective enough to allow Isaiah Likely to break out. He’s a promising second option opposite Andrews.”

The Ravens made a whopping six selections in the fourth round, although only a few of the players selected contributed in a meaningful way last season. Likely’s performance in the regular season was touch and go after a dominant preseason showing, but the talented tight end showed enough on the field in certain games to have earned a larger role in the offense heading into the 2023 season. Stout enjoyed a solid season replacing longtime punter Sam Koch, but considering that Baltimore spent a fourth-round pick on him, he will need to take his game to the next level.

“Baltimore attacked its lack of secondary depth by adding plenty of options at the position in the offseason, and Damarion Williams received some early chances to prove his worth. It didn’t quite pan out, as his snap totals dropped in the second half of the season, but he has room to grow with the Ravens. Tyler Badie missed the final 53-man roster and spent most of his season on the practice squad before signing with Denver in late December. Anthony Brown was forced into action due to injuries to Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley, and looked very much like a rookie who should have spent 2022 adjusting to the pro game.”

With running backs Justice Hill and Kenyan Drake set to hit the open market as unrestricted free agents in March and veteran back Gus Edwards being a potential cut candidate to free up cap space, Badie would have had a chance to earn a role with the Ravens in his second season, so it was disappointing to see him scoring a touchdown elsewhere to end his rookie season. Brown could see himself in a position to compete for the No. 2 quarterback role considering that Huntley enters the offseason as a restricted free agent and Baltimore will likely explore any avenue to save money this offseason with quarterback Lamar Jackson expected to be franchise tagged.

Overall, the Ravens should be satisfied with the production from their 2022 rookie class and excited about the untapped potential of multiple players heading into their second season.