The Baltimore Ravens’ scouting department usually hits in big on draft night on an annual basis, but they might have reached a new level with their haul from the 2022 NFL Draft last month.
Some might wonder about the speed and instincts of safety Kyle Hamilton, but there were some mock drafts that had the Notre Dame product going in the top five. The Ravens got more physical on the offensive and defensive lines, and picking the injured David Ojabo with the 45th pick could end up being a stroke of genius. When those people making NFL odds started rating each team’s draft, the Ravens’ class was right near the top.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 16, 2022
It was a tough season for the Ravens, who had their second losing campaign since 2007. This draft class could help the Ravens return to the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
According to the sportsbook, Baltimore (+200) is tied with Cincinnati and Cleveland in the odds to win the AFC North Division title.
Here’s a pick-by-pick look at how the Ravens drafted.
Pick 14 Kyle Hamilton | S, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
There were some who thought Hamilton might be taken among the top 10 NFL picks. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Hamilton brings tremendous size to the safety position Some teams might have downgraded Hamilton a bit when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds, but he had plenty of speed on tape.
The Ravens were thrilled to see Hamilton fall to them with the 14th pick and believe he can make a huge impact as a rookie.
With eight interceptions in 31 career games at Notre Dame, Hamilton has pretty solid ball skills. It will be interesting to see how the Baltimore coaching staff utilizes the talented newcomer in the secondary.
According to the NFL lines, Hamilton (+850) has the sixth-best odds to be the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Pick 25 Tyler Linderbaum | OL, Iowa Hawkeyes
The Ravens were one of the teams to shake up the draft with an unexpected trade. Baltimore sent speedy receiver Marquise Brown to Arizona and received the No. 23 pick in return. After dropping down two spots to add a fourth-round selection, the Ravens added Tyler Linderbaum and should be able to plug him in as the starting center as a rookie.
Centers aren’t usually taken in the top 25, but Linderbaum has a wrestling background and comes from an Iowa program that sends offensive linemen into the NFL.
Once again, the Ravens benefited from a player sliding a bit in the draft based on the position that they play.
Pick 45 David Ojabo | LB, Michigan Wolverines
Ojabo might very well have been a first-round selection if he hadn’t tore his Achilles tendon during Michigan’s pro day.
Ojabo burst onto the scene in 2021 as he had 11 sacks to help Michigan win the Big Ten title and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Ravens are willing to wait for a dynamic pass rusher like Ojabo as they rebuild the linebacking position through the draft. Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison were taken in the 2020 draft while Odafe Oweh was a first-round selection in 2021.
Pick 76 Travis Jones | DL, UConn Huskies
Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis was selected right before Baltimore’s first pick in the draft, so the Ravens came up with a pretty solid Plan B.
Jones came to UConn as a 350-pounder but he showed up at the NFL Scouting Combine at 325 pounds. Jones had a time of 4.92 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
UConn didn’t play during the 2020 season due the global pandemic. With the extra time to spend in the weight room, Jones had an outstanding 2021 season with 6½ tackles for loss, 4½ sacks and 47 tackles despite double teams on nearly every snap.
Pick 110 Daniel Faalele | OT, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Baltimore went from adding size to its defensive line with the selection of Jones to drafting the massive 6-foot-8, 384-pound Faalele, who could compete for immediate playing time as a right offensive tackle.
Faalele is another player who did not suit up in 2020 due to COVID-19. He returned to become a first-team, All-Big Ten selection as a senior.
Faalele started 31 games at right tackle at Minnesota and showed that he is more than just one of the largest players in college football history.
Pick 119 Jalyn Armour-Davis | DB, Alabama Crimson Tide
It is never a bad idea to select defensive backs out of Alabama.
The 6-foot-1 Jalyn Armour-Davis didn’t play much until the 2021 season, when he had three interceptions, four pass breakups and 32 tackles.
His draft stock went up when he ran the 40 in 4.39 seconds and had a 34½-inch vertical leap at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Armour-Davis is not quite as refined as some of the cornerbacks coming out of Alabama in recent years, but he has the size and speed to make it worth Baltimore’s time to add him to an already impressive draft class.
Pick 128 Charlie Kolar | TE, Iowa State Cyclones
The Ravens did pretty well in taking tight end Mark Andrews, who played his college ball in Norman, Okla. Now the Ravens added another promising tight end program who grew up in Norman.
The 6-foot-7 Charlie Kolar had 167 receptions and 23 touchdowns during his four seasons at Iowa State. He was productive off the field as well, which was proven by Kolar winning the Campbell Trophy — considered the academic Heisman.
It is uncertain how many targets will be coming Kolar’s way since Andrews is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the Vegas NFL odds. Nick Boyle is another proven receiving option at the tight end position. The Ravens will find snaps for Kolar if he gives them a reason to involve him in the passing game.
Pick 130 Jordan Stout | P, Penn State Nittany Lions
Usually drafting a kicker or punter in the fourth round isn’t going to be a popular move with NFL Draft analysts. However, with the Ravens picking five times in a span of 23 selections, a move to upgrade the punting position makes a little bit of sense.
Baltimore was 24th in overall punting average and 22nd in net average.
Stout averaged 41.6 yards per punt during the 2020 season and made the jump to 46 yards per punt in 2021. He also had 59 touchbacks on 65 kickoffs last season.
Pick 139 Isaiah Likely | TE, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
The Baltimore Ravens won’t lack options at the tight end position.
Isaiah Likely had 27 touchdowns among his 133 career receptions at Coastal Carolina. At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, he doesn’t offer the size that Kolar does, but he was a very productive player in college.
Likely opened more than a few eyes when he had four touchdowns and 232 yards on his six catches in a win over Arkansas State.
Unless Baltimore plans on rolling out a four-TE offense, it is uncertain how all of these tight ends will get onto the field, but it is a good problem to have.
Pick 141 Damarion Williams | CB, Houston Cougars
Don’t let his 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame fool you. The 53 tackles by Damarion Williams as a senior is proof of his willingness to get physical while stopping the run.
Williams had three interceptions and 26 pass breakups and was a two-time team captain. Williams was used as a kickoff and punt returner both at the junior college level and at Houston so there is a chance he could help on special teams.
Pick 196 Tyler Badie | RB, Missouri Tigers
The last SEC rushing leader to make a significant impact as an NFL running back was Kerryon Johnson, but Badie is hoping to change that trend.
Badie had five games with more than 200 rushing yards in 2021 and also caught 54 passes. Looking at all the injuries the Ravens had at the running back position during the 2021 season makes it clear that you can never have too many quality backs.
Grading the Draft
Each year, it seems as if the Ravens patiently wait as top prospects fall to them throughout the draft. This year was no different. The Ravens landed three of the top 40 players on former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah’s list of the top players in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Those who bet online will be keeping an eye on more than one of the Baltimore rookies.
The receiver position probably could have been addressed earlier than adding six players at that position as undrafted rookie free agents. However, with the top-rated safety and center and underrated players at other positions, it is hard to argue with much of what the Ravens did during the draft.