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Ravens
Baltimore Ravens

Ravens 2022 Draft Grades: Baltimore Does It Again!

  • Kyle Crabbs
  • May 5, 2022
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Ravens 2022 Draft Grades

Where to start with the Baltimore Ravens? I mean honestly. Do you want to talk about the willingness to draft the best player available and land Kyle Hamilton in the middle of the first round? Or perhaps you’d like to acknowledge the savvy trade to offload Hollywood Brown to land another first-round draft choice this year? No? Okay then. Why don’t we talk about securing sure-fire top-20 selection David Ojabo at No. 45 overall after an Achilles injury derailed his draft process?

Perhaps you’re of the same school of thought as me and subscribe to the idea that the middle rounds are the money rounds. Wait until you get a load of this: Baltimore picked six times (SIX!) from No. 110 to No. 141 to start Day 3, taking advantage of an abnormally deep player pool in that area of the draft. General manager Eric DeCosta acknowledged as much himself to legendary journalist Peter King, who sat in on Baltimore’s Draft Room on Saturday. DeCosta was quoted by King for NBC Sports:  

“We thought this pool would be rich and fertile… we wanted as many third- and fourth-round picks as possible.”

Well, my guy, mission accomplished. 

While 31 general managers spent draft weekend coursing through intel and making picks, DeCosta’s weekend seemed to be something different entirely. It felt like a grand heist, only delayed when Baltimore was forced to wait through stretches without making a pick. 

The Los Angeles Rams may have made the trailer about stealing the draft, but Baltimore actually did it. But then again, we really should have come to expect nothing less.

Ravens 2022 Draft Grades

Round 1 (No. 14 overall): Kyle Hamilton, SAF, Notre Dame

Yes. Thank you, Baltimore. If any team in the league can appreciate the shifting positional value of tight ends, I would assume it would be the team that has implemented 22 and 13 personnel as often as just about anyone. Hamilton can play in space and he can fit the run from depth. And, in case you needed a reminder, the Ravens play in the AFC North along with Pittsburgh (Najee Harris), Cleveland (Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt) and Cincinnati (Joe Mixon). 

Alllllrighty then. 

An aggressive, blitz-heavy defense figures to be one that allows Hamilton to move intermittently across the defense and into one-on-one matchups both in coverage and as a pressure player, which should allow him to shine bright early on.

Round 1 (No. 25 overall): Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa

This pick came courtesy of the Buffalo Bills via the Arizona Cardinals after Baltimore offloaded WR Hollywood Brown and a third-round pick to the Cardinals. In summary: 

Arizona receives: 

  • WR Hollywood Brown
  • Pick No. 100

Buffalo receives: 

  • Pick No. 23

Baltimore receives: 

  • Pick No. 25
  • Pick No. 130

That’ll play! And at No. 25, Baltimore hauls a center who projects very well to Baltimore’s run-heavy attack—not because Linderbaum is a power center but because the Ravens’ rushing offense has so much speed to the perimeter baked in thanks to Lamar Jackson’s mobility. And with Linderbaum climbing to the second level on said runs to cut off backside flow, the prospect of Jackson on the edge is significantly more dangerous now and the recipe for explosive runs is clear as day. So, too, is the benefit to Linderbaum’s mobility in the screen game, both to the perimeter and in the middle of the field. 

Round 2 (No. 45 overall): David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

Ojabo reuniting with Mike MacDonald after the glow-up the former received at Michigan while playing under the latter is just not fair—especially with Odafe Oweh ready for a big jump to help bridge the gap until Ojabo returns from injury. Baltimore will miss getting production from Ojabo this year, but then again the team wasn’t even set to pick twice in the first round until halfway through the first round on Thursday night. That bonus pick and the selection of Linderbaum should soften the blow of the team taking a redshirt-year player at No. 45 overall.

Round 3 (No. 76 overall): Travis Jones, IDL, UCONN

Quick… think of a more on-brand player for the Ravens than Travis Jones! You didn’t think of one? Oh, bummer. The good news for you is that Jones is indeed a Raven. We opened March with Baltimore boasting Brandon Williams and Justin Ellis on the nose and enter May with Michael Pierce returning to the Chesapeake Bay and Jones heading south to join him. 

Jones is a fluid nose tackle who is used to a lot of extra attention in the front but I would like to think life will be a little easier with the team supporting him in the middle via Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe and the speed rushers on the edge. I’m not certain how much he’ll play on 3rd-and-longs but he appears poised and ready for a firm role quickly. 

Round 4 (No. 110 overall): Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

If you DID happen to think of a more ‘on-brand’ player for Baltimore than Jones, odds are you probably shouted out Daniel Faalele. He, too, is indeed a Raven. The team now has Faalele, Ja’Wuan James and Morgan Moses set to compete on the right side of the line—I’m considering that a win relative to the injuries this team has dealt with at tackle for the past few seasons. 

Will Faalele win the job outright? I’d be surprised if he pushes Moses out of that spot. But he’s still quite green as a player and working in the Ravens’ run-heavy offense will allow him to spotlight his best qualities (power and length) more often than many other landing spots. 

Round 4 (No. 119 overall): Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama

The Ravens don’t have to make a decision regarding CB Marcus Peters, who is returning from injury this season, until after 2022. But Peters will be 30 years old in 2023 and is owed a new contract, so flexibility is critical at this position. The depth here could be problematic if Peters or Marlon Humphrey goes down for extended time, but Armour-Davis does have long-term developmental potential given his lack of true experience as a starter with the Tide.

Ideally, he’s on special teams and playing intermittently in subpackage groups this year. But don’t dismiss him as a potential heir outside opposite Humphrey if he takes well to the pro game this season.

Round 4 (No. 128 overall): Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State

Maybe I’m a dork but I disproportionately like the Kolar pick for Baltimore—Kolar carried a fifth-round valuation for me as a prospect—but I’ve been calling for Baltimore to embrace a more dangerous TE room ever since the departure of Hayden Hurst. Nick Boyle is primarily a blocker and has missed at least half the season in the last two seasons. Josh Oliver and FB Patrick Ricard were the only TE/FB targets not named Mark Andrews to collect more than 10 targets in the passing game (15 and 13, respectively). Eric Tomlinson played 17 games and had 1 target. 

Yeah, okay. 

Jackson won the MVP in 2019 with Andrews (98 targets), Boyle (43) and Hurst (39) all among the top-five targets in the offense. Kolar is a step closer to that recipe for success. And I’m here for it. 

Round 4 (No. 130 overall): Jordan Stout, P, Penn State

With the pick added via the trade back from No. 23 to No. 25, the Ravens locked in a punter for the future with Stout. If you like big legs, a whole lotta hangtime and emergency kicking duties, you’re gonna like Stout. Baltimore always has a leg up on the competition in special teams thanks to Justin Tucker. Now they’ll have two.

Round 4 (No. 139 overall): Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina

Remember when we applauded Baltimore for drafting Kolar because it enables them to be more dynamic in multi-tight end sets? Here we are again. And while Kolar is a big-bodied target, Likely is a mismatch weapon to be moved around. I guarantee you he’s going to be an absolute pain to game plan for with his ability to play in the slot or as an H-back. 

Baltimore’s three-TE sets are officially back and with it comes a whole slew of challenges for bottling this offense up now that the starters have had an offseason to get healthy and these reinforcements unlock old chapters of the playbook. 

Round 4 (No. 141 overall): Damarion Williams, CB, Houston

Tavon Young played a full season for the first time since 2016 for the Baltimore Ravens and was promptly waived off his contract in March. Welp! 

The move left a potential void in the secondary at nickel corner, and while Kevon Seymour may be that guy in 2022, I like Williams’ odds of being HIM long-term. His tackling prowess is strong and his combativeness despite his lack of size is strikingly like—you guessed it—Young. 

I love it when a plan comes together. Or, in this case, a value selection that aligns with need amid a blitz of fourth-round draft choices.

Round 6 (No. 196 overall): Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri

I consider this selection the Justice Hill mulligan. The No. 113 pick in DeCosta’s first draft in 2019, I was certain Hill would be a quality football player. Maybe he still will be, but his torn Achilles in September of 2021 has put his position on the active roster in doubt, particularly with Badie (who can SCOOT!) now in the fray.

 

This draft class is, upon first look, outrageously good. And then you look closer and you start to appreciate the long-term benefits this class will provide Baltimore if the players they picked are who we think they are. With a quarterback contract looming, getting this kind of influx in young talent on rookie deals would be a huge boon for Baltimore’s cap purposes. 

We try to make the concept of the draft simple here at TDN: draft good players. We’ve used it on a tagline for our podcasts. We’ve printed it on a hat. We’ve used the hashtag. DeCosta eats it, sleeps it and breathes it. And for that, we salute you, Mr. DeCosta. We hope your fans do too because your 2022 NFL Draft class is a stroke of brilliance that appears to have set Baltimore back onto the path to contention.

GRADE: A+

Written By

Kyle Crabbs