Ravens 2022 draft reflection
By: Ivan Mulinder
The Ravens had an injury-ravaged 2021 season and they eventually finished last in the AFC North. There were very few glaring needs going into the Draft for the Ravens, but the biggest two needs were at defensive dnd and wide receiver. The Ravens had hoped they had filled the DE hole in FA, but Za’Darius Smith’s surprising U-Turn meant this became a top priority. Equally at WR with Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman, and Devin Duvernay the Ravens had a very good trio, but Brown’s request to transfer left a big hole in their WR Room.
The Ravens have spent over $100 million on new signings and retaining players, with their biggest additions S Marcus Williams, 5 years $70 million, RT Morgan Moses, 3 years $15 million, and DT Michael Pierce, 3 years $16.5 million. They retained FB Patrick Ricard for 3 years on $11.25 million.
The Ravens drafted the following players:
- Round 1 Pick 14 S Kyle Hamilton from Notre Dame
- Round 1 Pick 25 C Tyler Linderbaum from Iowa
- Round 2 Pick 45 DE David Ojabo from Michigan
- Round 3 Pick 76 DT Travis Jones from UConn
- Round 4 Pick 110 OT Daniel Faalele from Minnesota
- Round 4 Pick 119 CB Jalyn Armour-Davis from Alabama
- Round 4 Pick 128 TE Charlie Kolar from Iowa State
- Round 4 Pick 130 P Jordan Stout from Penn State
- Round 4 Pick 139 TE Isaiah Likely from Coastal Carolina
- Round 4 Pick 141 CB Damarion Williams from Houston
- Round 6 Pick 196 RB Tyler Badie from Missouri
The Ravens are the masters of the draft, year upon year stockpiling as many draft picks as they can, and then regularly selecting quality depth rotational players. This year was no exception with 10 picks in the first 150 selections, but with two very glaring omissions: WR and DE. David Ojabo is likely to be a very good DE but probably won’t start a game this season as he tore his Achilles in his Pro-Day. The Ravens chose not to select a DE in the rest of the Draft. Not selecting a WR at 14 to replace Marquise Brown when Jahan Dotson and Treylon Burks were both still available, to add a player to a Room of strength is very questionable. The Ravens Safety Room has Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, Brandon Stephens, Geno Stone, Tony Jefferson II, and Ar’Darius Washington. Should they have Drafted a Safety later on instead? Of their two most pressing needs the Ravens addressed neither for the 2022 season.
Having said that they have picked up two very highly regarded rookie recruits. Kyle Hamilton is a beast at 6.4 & 220lbs with a 40-yard dash of 4.59. In 2020 he recorded 63 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 6 pass break-ups and 1 interception. His 2021 season ended with a knee injury after 7 starts, but he had still recorded 35 tackles, 2 for loss with 4 pass break-ups. He’s a menace around the Box, but can also make plays in the passing game. With the Ravens love of a strong secondary, it was easy to see why they couldn’t resist this pick and almost inevitably watch it live. The Ravens added two cbs to their Secondary. They first selected Jalyn Armour-Davis who is 6.1 & 197lbs with a very pacy 40-yard time of 4.39. A classic Ravens selection who should prove to be a very good rotational player and who was considered a top CB recruit in the country out of High School.
Damarion Williams is smaller and lighter at 5.10 & 182lbs and had a good 2021 season with 63 tackles, 3 for loss, 9 pass breakups, and 1 interception. He’s likely going to be a rotational slot corner. The Ravens needed more CB depth as outside of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters they realistically have Kevin Seymour as No.3, so these two selections were necessary. Defensive Tackle depth is always good and the Ravens choice was Travis Jones who’s 6.4 & 325lbs. In 2021 he had 47 tackles, 7.5 for loss with 4.5 sacks. He should be a solid choice, and the Ravens needed a pass-rushing presence on their IDL, so time will tell whether Jones is that man.
On the Offensive Line, the Ravens picked up an outstanding Centre and an Offensive Tackle. Tyler Linderbaum is an excellent Centre, an ex-wrestler, who fits perfectly the Ravens preferred run game. With his short arms he’s unlikely to be as good in pass protection, but an excellent choice none-the-less. The Ravens needed a LT depth selection given Ronnie Stanley’s health and went for Daniel Faalele who’s a giant at 6.8 weighing in at 384lbs. However, Faalele has only played at RT so if he is to transfer across to the LT position he will require development.
With Marcus Andrews as TE, the Ravens have one of the best in the country. This didn’t stop them from selecting another two in Round 4, which indicates the probable route they will be taking when throwing the ball and complimenting Lamar’s pass game better. Charlie Kolar is 6.6, 252lbs with 6 touchdowns in 11 starts. Isaiah Likely is 6.4, 245lbs, and tied 8th in the FBS in 2021 with 12 receiving touchdowns, 912 yards, and 15.5 yards per reception.
The Ravens have drafted outstanding players in Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum with some good depth pieces at CB, DT, OT, and TE. A lot of people are giving the Ravens Draft an A grade which in terms of the quality of players they picked is very fair. Going into the 2022 season they have a significant concern still remaining at DE, LT, and WR. Currently, they are clearly intending to remain a very run heavy/TE orientated team which makes them very predictable in a Division that includes two outstanding QB who is capable of getting an early lead. A healthy Ravens are a real threat to the Cincinnati Bengals but need to address their WR Room before the season starts.