BALTIMORE — The 2022 NFL Draft runs through Saturday, and every Baltimore Ravens draft pick will be analyzed here.
The event takes place on the Las Vegas Strip, in the area adjacent to Caesars Forum, two years after its original date. The 2020 draft has been turned into a virtual event due to COVID-19.
Here’s a look at how each player Baltimore has selected will fit.
Round 1, No. 14 overall: Kyle HamiltonS, Notre Dame
My opinion : The selection of Kyle Hamilton pointed out what Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has said many times: Baltimore takes the best player available. After the Philadelphia Eagles took a place ahead of Baltimore to take Georgia’s defensive tackle Jordan Davis — a frequent Ravens-linked target — Baltimore drafted Hamilton even though safety was at the bottom of the team’s needs. The Ravens’ biggest hit in free agency was safety Marcus Williams (five-year, $70 million deal). It’s a value bargain: Baltimore gets Hamilton, who was Mel Kiper’s No. 4 prospect, to No. 14. He slipped due to slower-than-expected times in the 40-yard dash and of the fact that teams ‘t draft high safeties in the first round. The Ravens are now loaded into the secondary with Hamilton joining safeties Williams and Chuck Clark and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters.
Draft ‘unicorn’: Hamilton is considered a unique talent due to his combination of size, speed and versatility. New Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald should have a lot of fun moving Hamilton all over the field. He can descend into the box to stop the run. He can play center field in coverage. It can line up in the slot or line up on a tight end. Baltimore is set with Williams and Clark as starting safeties. But the Ravens haven’t used their highest pick in six years on someone who will sit out.
Why not meet a greater need? : Hamilton’s draft will lead to doubts. The Ravens continued to meet their greatest needs – pass-rusher, cornerback and offensive tackle – even though there were some highly rated prospects there. Baltimore preferred Hamilton to Washington Trent McDuffie (third-best cornerback), Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson (fourth-best passing thrower), and Northern Iowa Trevor Penning (fourth best offensive tackle). Hamilton, however, will help a Ravens pass defense that finished last in the NFL in passing yards (4,986) and had the fifth-fewest interceptions (nine) last season. When Hamilton was the primary defenseman, opposing quarterbacks were 6 for 20 (30%) with an overall QBR of 9.7. His eight interceptions since 2019 are tied for fifth among Power 5 players in that span.
Round 1, No. 25 overall: Tyler LinderbaumC, Iowa
Check out highlights from Iowa man in the middle Tyler Linderbaum.
My opinion : Baltimore continued a night of surprises by filling a need few expected to be filled so early in the draft. By taking Linderbaum, the Ravens drafted a center in the first round for the first time in the franchise’s 27-year history. Maybe it shouldn’t have been such a shock, because Ravens officials have said the offensive line will be a “point of attention” this offseason. Baltimore used a pick he acquired in the trade for wide receiver Marquise Brown to get Linderbaum, who proved just too good to pass up. “Someone said it on TV: If he was an inch taller and his arms a half inch longer, he would have been a top 5 pick,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. . “And I think he’s probably one of the best centers we’ve seen come out in a long time.”
Protect Lamar Jackson: The Ravens’ season fell apart when Jackson missed the final four games of the season with an ankle injury. Jackson was hit 16 times per game last year, the most of any quarterback in the last 15 years. That should improve with Linderbaum, who has given up three career sacks, according to Sports Info Solutions. He allowed a pressure rating of 1.1% on his pass blocks. Linderbaum could also help return the ball to Jackson more consistently. In the past five years, Baltimore has had 13 aborted snaps, fourth in the NFL.
Ensure stability in the middle: Linderbaum should stop the revolving door in the center. Baltimore has had three different season-opening centers in three years. But the Ravens have rarely made this type of investment in this position. The last time the Ravens drafted a center higher than the fourth round was Chris Chester in 2006. Linderbaum isn’t your typical Baltimore center because the Ravens have talked about wanting bigger players there. . At 290 pounds, Linderbaum is Baltimore’s only offensive lineman under 300 pounds. “The big guys don’t affect him,” Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz said. “He can take advantage of guys. You’ve seen the struggle. He’s just a really great athlete.”
Round 2, No. 45 overall: David OjaboO.B.L., Michigan
Check out some highlights from Michigan’s outstanding linebacker David Ojabo.
My opinion : The Ravens essentially landed their third first-round pick of this draft with Ojabo, who was considered a potential top-10 pick before tearing his Achilles in pro practice exactly six weeks ago on Friday. At the time, Ojabo was ranked as the No. 1 outside linebacker prospect by Mel Kiper Jr. He was still Kiper’s 26th-best draft prospect. Given the timing of the injury, the Ravens may have to wait until 2023 before seeing Ojabo on the court. He was seated with his left leg in a protective boot when he was drafted. So this pick doesn’t meet Baltimore’s greatest need right now, but it is an investment in the future. Ojabo delivered 11 sacks and five forced fumbles (which led all Power 5 players) in his only full season of college football. He is reunited with Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who was Ojabo’s defensive coordinator at Michigan last season. Baltimore has struggled with its passing rush, ranking 22nd last season with 34 sacks. Once Ojabo is healthy, he’ll team up with former high school teammate Odafe Oweh, a first-round pick a year ago, to provide a young tandem to tackle division quarterbacks like Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson.
Round 3, No. 76 overall: TravisJonesDT, Connecticut
Check out some of the best plays from UConn defensive lineman Travis Jones as he prepares for the NFL Draft.
My opinion : The Ravens continue to crush this draft in value. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said Jones would have been a top-20 pick had he played at a Power 5 school. Baltimore reunited with Michael Pierce on a three-year, $16.5 million deal this offseason, but Jones will have a chance to become the future nose tackle starter. Baltimore was successful in selecting interior defensive linemen in the third round, from Brandon Williams to Justin Madubuike. Jones is explosive and can get penetration down the middle, recording a total of eight sacks over the past two seasons. Jones showed his athleticism at the combine with an impressive rush time of 40 yards (4.92 seconds). He has worked to get in better physical shape, losing 30 pounds since arriving in Connecticut four years ago. He is listed at 6-foot-4 and 333 pounds. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said after the season that this would be the year the team got younger. This is the first step to achieve this.
And after: The Ravens can meet many needs with a historic 3 day. Baltimore has six fourth-round picks, which would represent the most single-round picks in the first five rounds of the common draft era (since 1967). In this fourth round, the Ravens’ half-dozen picks are: Nos. 110, 119, 128, 130, 139, and 141. Baltimore concludes its draft with a sixth-round selection (No. 196). The Ravens have pass-rusher, cornerback, offensive tackle, wide receiver, inside linebacker, running back and tight end needs.