The success of the Ravens’ draft class and the 2022 season will be determined by how well the team’s medical and training staff can rehabilitate and get their top players back on the field.
The Ravens finished the NFL’s annual three-day draft with 11 selections, two of whom project as immediate starts at Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. But the real trifecta will be getting Michigan back on the field from mid to late October, outside linebacker David Ozabo, a second-round pick, who will show that one of college football’s top pass rushers has recovered from a torn Achilles tendon.
Then Ravana might be on to something special.
Right now, they are in the middle of a “Humpty Dumpty” situation in which they are trying to get their top players back together after an injury-interrupted 2021 season. At the top of the list are Marcus Peters (torn ACL) and Marlon Humphrey (torn pectoral), left tackles Ronnie Stanley (ankle), and JK Dobbins (torn ACL) and Gus Edwards (torn ACL).
And now there’s Ozabo, who ruptured his Achilles tendon about six weeks ago while running a drill at pro day in Michigan.
Most first-round selections are about to begin, but Hamilton and Linderbaum were both considered top players in their respective places. Linderbaum was selected as the Ravens had a chance to pick up Florida State defensive and Jermaine Johnson II, but apparently he was not rated as high as Linderbaum – even though the team had an impressive pass rush from the outside. was not. Linebacker Terrell Suggs left in 2018.
But Ojabo could change that situation.
There’s no guarantee that 6-foot-4, 250-pound Ojabo could dominate last season with the Wolverines, when he had 11 sacks, but at least the Ravens gambled and were creative. A team can no longer win in the postseason without a major pass rusher or two. Look for key trades during the draft involving receivers such as Tennessee’s AJ Brown and Baltimore’s Marquis Brown, as well as crowds by teams to draft six receivers in the top 20.
The defense should be able to slow down, control or upset quarterbacks like Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, and players like Ojabo and second-year edge rusher Odafe Owe can make the difference.
Every scout, coach and coordinator has been influenced by Hamilton. Linderbaum’s critics point out that his arms are too short, which doesn’t really matter other than tackles he plays against speed rushers. Centers do not need long arms to send defensive linemen over guards and vice versa. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta stated that the priority this offseason was to improve the offensive line, and he did so by drafting Linderbaum, adding Morgan Moses to free agency and righting the Minnesota team with Daniel the first of six selections. To deal with the fall. Fourth round.
At 6-8 and 384 pounds, the Falle is more of a project and could be placed on the development team in 2022. He has limited knee flexion and is slow with the ball. Another potential injury-prone player could be Alabama cornerback Jalyn Armor-Davis, the other player the Ravens took in the fourth round after Faley.
But the 6-1,197-pound Armor-Davis is the upside. When healthy, he can run with any receiver, as evidenced by his time of 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash. The two draft picks that surprised Ravens fans are Connecticut nose tackle Travis Jones, a third-round pick, and Missouri trailing sixth-round pick Tyler Baddie.
Jones, at 6-4,325 pounds, needs to work on his technique. He made 47 tackles last season, including a career-high 4 1/2 sacks. He’s big and has a lot of power, but he won’t be able to beat a lot of NFL players the way he did in college. There is no Holy Cross, Army or Vanderbilt on the schedule. He has to improve his blast at the level of ball and pad.
Baddie is small at 5-8 and 197 pounds, but he has the mindset of being able to get away, especially after Hurricane Katrina forced his family to relocate from New Orleans to Randallstown. He has a good turnaround pace that can run strong on the inside. Some linebackers or safaris can cover him face to face outside the backfield.
The Ravens drafted two tight ends in the fourth round on Saturday, Charlie Kolar (Iowa State) and Isaiah Likely (Coastal Carolina), as quarterback Lamar Jackson likes to throw in the middle of the field. The Ravens also needed tremendous blockers if Nick Boyle could not fully recover from a knee injury.
He also picked up another cornerback in the fourth round at Damarian Williams of Houston, partly because he still suffers from the paranoia of losing both Humphrey and Peters to season-ending injuries. The Ravens drafted Penn State punter Jordan Stout in the fourth round, and he will fight long-time current Sam Koch, who struggled at the end of last season and is entering the final year of his deal.
Overall, it was a good draft for the Ravens. 2 receiver to replace Brown, but at least they got some new starters and a potential pass rusher. Finally.
Now it is up to the medical staff whether they can prepare this team for 2022.
“Humpty Dumpty” needs to be put back together again.