Baltimore Ravens NFL draft picks 2022: Analysis for every selection

BALTIMORE -- The 2022 NFL draft concluded on Saturday, and every Baltimore Ravens' draft pick is analyzed here.

Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player Baltimore has selected will fit.

Analysis of every NFL pick | Updated depth chart

Round 1, No. 14 overall: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

My take: The selection of Kyle Hamilton underscored what Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has repeatedly said: Baltimore takes the best player available. After the Philadelphia Eagles swooped one spot in front of Baltimore to take Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis -- a frequently linked target to the Ravens -- Baltimore drafted Hamilton even though safety was near the bottom of the team’s needs. The Ravens’ biggest splash in free agency was safety Marcus Williams (five-year, $70 million contract). This is a steal in terms of value: Baltimore gets Hamilton, who was Mel Kiper’s No. 4 prospect, at No. 14. He slid because of slower-than-expected times in the 40-yard dash and the fact that teams typically don’t draft safeties high in the first round. The Ravens are now loaded in 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 because of 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 drop down in the box to stop the run. He can play centerfield in coverage. He can line up in the slot or line up across a tight end. Baltimore is set with Williams and Clark as its starting safeties. But the Ravens didn’t use their highest pick in six years on someone who is going to sit.

Why not address a bigger need?: Drafting Hamilton will lead to some second-guessing. The Ravens passed on addressing their biggest needs -- pass-rusher, cornerback and offensive tackle -- even though there were highly-rated prospects there. Baltimore chose Hamilton over Washington's Trent McDuffie (third-best cornerback), Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson (fourth-best pass-rusher) and Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning (fourth-best offensive tackle). Hamilton, though, will help a Ravens pass defense that finished last in the NFL in passing yards (4,986) and recorded the fifth-fewest interceptions (nine) last season. When Hamilton was the primary defender, opposing quarterbacks were 6-for-20 (30%) with a Total QBR of 9.7. His eight interceptions since 2019 are tied for the fifth-most among Power 5 players in that span.

Round 1, No. 25 overall: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

My take: Baltimore continued a night of surprises by filling a need that not many expected to see filled this 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 this shouldn’t have come as such a shock because Ravens officials said the offensive line would be a “point of emphasis” this offseason. Baltimore used a pick that it acquired in the trade for wide receiver Marquise Brown to get Linderbaum, who proved just too good to pass up. “Somebody said it on TV: If he was an inch taller and his arms were a half-inch longer, he'd have been a top 5 pick,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. "And I believe that he probably is one of the better centers we've seen come out in a long time."

Protecting Lamar Jackson: The Ravens’ season fell apart when Jackson missed the last 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 gave up three sacks his entire career, according to Sports Info Solutions. He allowed a pressure rate of 1.1% on his pass blocks. Linderbaum could also help get the ball back to Jackson more consistently. Over the last five years, Baltimore had 13 aborted snaps, the fourth-most in the NFL.

Providing stability in the middle: Linderbaum should stop the revolving door at center. Baltimore has had three different season-opening centers in three years. But the Ravens have rarely made this type of investment at 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 at that spot. At 290 pounds, Linderbaum is the only Baltimore offensive lineman under 300 pounds. “Big guys don't affect him,” Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz said. "He can leverage guys. You saw the wrestling. He just is a really tremendous athlete."

Round 2, No. 45 overall: David Ojabo, OLB, Michigan

My take: The Ravens essentially landed their third first-round pick of this draft with Ojabo, who was considered a potential top-10 pick before he tore his Achilles at his pro day workout exactly six weeks ago Friday. At the time, Ojabo was ranked as the No. 1 outside linebacker prospect by Mel Kiper Jr. He still was Kiper’s 26th-best prospect entering the draft. Given the timing of the injury, the Ravens might have to wait until 2023 before seeing Ojabo on the field. He was sitting with his left leg in a protective boot when he was drafted. So this pick doesn’t fill Baltimore’s biggest need right now, but it is an investment in the future. Ojabo delivered a career-best 11 sacks and five forced fumbles (which led all Power 5 players) in his only full season of college football. He reunites with Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who served as Ojabo’s defensive coordinator at Michigan last season. Baltimore struggled with its pass rush, ranking 22nd last season with 34 sacks. Once Ojabo is healthy, he will team with his former high school teammate Odafe Oweh, a first-round pick from a year ago, to provide a young tandem to go after division quarterbacks like Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson.

Round 3, No. 76 overall: Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut

My take: The Ravens keep crushing this draft in terms of value. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said Jones would’ve been a top-20 pick if 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 starter at nose tackle. Baltimore has had success with selecting interior defensive linemen in the third round, from Brandon Williams to Justin Madubuike. Jones is explosive and can get penetration up the middle, recording a total of eight sacks the last two seasons. Jones showed off his athleticism at the combine with an impressive 40-yard dash time (4.92 seconds). He has worked to get into better shape physically, dropping 30 pounds since he arrived at Connecticut four years ago. He’s listed at 6-foot-4, 333 pounds. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said after the season that this would be the year that the team would get younger. This is the first step toward doing so.

What’s next: The Ravens can address a lot of needs with a historic Day 3. Baltimore has six picks in the fourth round, which would represent the most picks in a single round in the first five rounds of the common draft era (since 1967). The Ravens have needs at pass-rusher, cornerback, offensive tackle, wide receiver, inside linebacker, running back and tight end.

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

My take: The Ravens love big offensive linemen, and you can’t get much bigger than Daniel Faalele. At 6 feet 8, 384 pounds, Faalele was the heaviest player at any position at the NFL combine by 15 pounds since 2006 (which is when they started tracking that data). He is a mauler who is seen as a developmental right tackle who could also compete for a starting guard spot. Faalele was an Australian rugby player who didn’t play a football game until his senior year at IMG Academy. There’s already some familiarity with the Ravens for Faalele, whose roommate at Minnesota was wide receiver Rashod Bateman (the Ravens’ first-round pick last year). At the end of the season, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said: "For us to be the very best offense we can be, we have to have a strong, commanding offensive line that can control people at the point of attack.” Baltimore has followed through by taking offensive linemen with two of its first five picks.

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

My take: It was only a matter of time before the Ravens drafted from their favorite school. Armour-Davis is the 12th Alabama player selected by the Ravens since 1997, which is the most in the NFL (former Ravens GM and current executive VP Ozzie Newsome starred at Alabama). Armour-Davis is long and fast but not very experienced. He started one season at Alabama. The Ravens desperately needed a cornerback because Pro Bowl defenders Marlon Humphrey (torn pectoral muscle) and Marcus Peters (torn ACL) are coming off season-ending injuries and the Ravens have no proven backups. The other corners on the roster -- Kevon Seymour, Iman Marshall, Robert Jackson and Kevin Toliver II -- have no career interceptions. Before the draft, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said the team was "definitely concerned" about the depth at cornerback. So, after losing one Alabama cornerback who was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round (Anthony Averett left in free agency), Baltimore replaces him with another Alabama cornerback drafted in the fourth round.

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

My take: The Ravens gave Lamar Jackson a huge red-zone target in Kolar, who is 6-foot-6 and caught 23 career touchdown passes. Baltimore has been looking for a pass-catching tight end to complement Mark Andrews since trading Hayden Hurst in 2020. Kolar is the son of two professors at the University of Oklahoma and was a high-school teammate of NBA guard Trae Young.

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

My take: The Ravens wanted Stout so badly that they selected him with the No. 130 pick. He's the highest drafted punter since Mitch Wishnowsky, 110th overall in 2019 by the 49ers. This means Baltimore can create much-needed cap room by releasing punter Sam Koch, who has played in a franchise-record 256 games. Koch, 39, has the third-highest cap figure ($3.175 million) among punters this year. Baltimore can free up $2.1 million by cutting Koch, which could help the team sign a wide receiver or pass-rusher after the draft. Stout set a Penn State record by averaging a booming 46.6 yards per punt and placed 27% of his punts inside the 10-yard line. He’s the third punter ever drafted by the Ravens: Dave Zastudil (fourth round in 2002) and Koch (sixth round in 2006).

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

My take: The Ravens selected their second tight end of the fourth round, becoming the sixth team take two tight ends in the same round of a draft. The last time this happened was the Patriots in 2020 (third round). Likely is a big-play pass-catcher, averaging 15.4 yards per catch and pulling in 27 touchdowns in four seasons. Why the emphasis on tight ends? In his three full seasons as a starting quarterback, Lamar Jackson has completed 49.5% of his passes to tight ends.

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

My take: Williams could fill the void at nickel back after Tavon Young was cut earlier this season. An undersized but feisty competitor, Williams is a two-time team captain who is known for his toughness. He’s also extremely durable, which was always an issue with Young. Last season, he finished second at Houston with 63 tackles and eight pass breakups. This was the Ravens’ sixth and final pick of the fourth round, which were the second-most picks in a single round by any team in draft history.

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

My take: The Ravens address their depth at running back with Badie, who led the SEC in rushing with 1,604 yards. He’s an undersized, change-of-pace back who ran for 14 touchdowns and caught 54 passes. Baltimore’s top two running backs — J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards — suffered season-ending injuries before the start of the season and could start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Badie could get a chance to carve out a role as a third-down back and develop into the back they hoped Justice Hill would become. One stat that will stand out to coach John Harbaugh, who loves ball security: Badie had two fumbles on 513 carries.