Baltimore Ravens Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame – Round 1
The Ravens seemed to fix their need at safety in free agency when they signed veteran ball hawk Marcus Williams away from the Saints. However, Baltimore is one of the few teams in the league that really puts a priority of resources to have elite talents at the safety position, and the Ravens used their first selection in the 2022 NFL Draft to take Hamilton. The Notre Dame star should step right in as a starting strong safety and form an excellent tandem with Williams.

In the ground game, Hamilton is a contributor, but needs to cut down on missed tackles. He has good size and the strength to tackle NFL running backs. Hamilton explodes coming downhill and eats up space in a blur. Chasing after running backs and being an eighth man in the box could be his calling card as a pro. As a run defender, Hamilton should be a good enforcer and can function as the eighth man in the box. He still needs to improve his tackling in space and reduce the number of missed tackles. The Ravens can work with him to improve that issue in the NFL.

Hamilton has some limitations in pass coverage that are common with large safeties, so he does not project to being able to play man coverage on NFL receivers or mismatch receiving tight ends, who he will have a hard time of running with them out of breaks. In the sub package, Hamilton could be better off being moved to linebacker. As a safety, Hamilton is a true strong safety whi does not offer interchangeable ability to move to free safety. On the plus side, there is no doubt that Hamilton has special straight-line speed and serious ball skills. Hamilton has soft hands and uses his speed to eat up ground when he breaks on the ball. Williams is a superb free safety, so that really helps Hamilton to be used in the role in which he performs the best.

Hamilton is in a great position in Baltimore because the team has Williams at free safety and a dynamic No. 1 corner in Marlon Humphrey. Quickly in his NFL career, Hamilton could become a solid strong safety who is a steady contributor for the Ravens.

2021: Rashod Bateman, WR
2020: Patrick Queen, LB
2019: Miles Boykin, WR
2018: Hayden Hurst, TE
2017: Chris Wormley, DE
2016: Ronnie Stanley, OT
2015: Maxx Williams, TE
2014: C.J. Mosley, LB
2013: Arthur Brown, LB

Most Likely To Bust

Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut – Round 3
This was a difficult choice because I don’t believe any of Baltimore’s early-round picks from the 2022 NFL Draft is truly going to bust. However, the style of play of the NFL might keep Jones from becoming a true starter. Due NFL teams playing the sub package on around 70 percent of snaps, sometimes entire games, a nose tackle like Jones does not have a huge role. Jones is big, strong, and athletic for his size, but he does not project as an interior pass rusher. Hence, he might now provide a great value as a rotational run stuffer. With that limitation, he may not develop into a true starter in the NFL.

2021: Ben Cleveland, G
2020: Justin Madubuike, DT
2019: Jaylon Ferguson, DE
2018: Anthony Averett, CB
2017: Tyus Bowser, LB
2016: Bronson Kaufusi, DE
2015: Carl Davis, DT
2014: Timmy Jernigan, DT
2013: Brandon Williams, NT

Potential Boom Pick

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa – Round 1
The Ravens needed to improve their offensive line to provide Lamar Jackson with better protection, and thanks to the Marquise Brown trade, they were able to land a potentially elite center for Jackson. Linderbaum is a plug-and-play upgrade who will be a huge asset for springing Jackson and the Ravens running backs with key blocks at the second level. With his rare skill set, Linderbaum could be one of the top centers in the NFL early in his pro career.

As a run blocker, Linderbaum is not overwhelmingly powerful, but he has functional strength. Linderbaum will tie up, turn, and manipulate defenders to move them away from his back. Thanks to his speed, he is a real weapon to pull or spring backs for gains with a key block at the second level. Iowa has been an offensive line factory for the NFL, and that can be seen in Linderbaum’s development, as he is a technician with intelligence and toughness.

In pass protection, Linderbaum is rock solid. He bends at the knee and has excellent body lean. With his quickness and loose ankles, Linderbaum can glide and slide to keep himself between speed rushers and the quarterback. Linderbaum has a strong lower body, which helps him sink his hips and still stonewall bull rushers. With guard-tandem blocks, Linderbaum packs a punch and eats up tackles. He will be an asset in the NFL to help maintain a clean pocket and provide his quarterback room to step up.

Linderbaum has some talent around him on the Baltimore offensive line and an elite quarterback escape artist in Jackson who helps his line out of jams. It would not surprise me if Linderbaum gives up a shockingly low total of sacks during his pro career and ends up being selected to Pro Bowls. He could be a real boom for Baltimore.

2021: Jayson Oweh, OLB
2020: J.K. Dobbins, RB
2019: Marquise Brown, WR
2018: Lamar Jackson, QB
2017: Marlon Humphrey, CB
2016: Kamalei Correa, LB
2015: Breshad Perriman, WR
2014: Terrence Brooks, S
2013: Matt Elam, S

Future Depth Player

Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama – Round 4
The Ravens were in need of some youth at corner. Jimmy Smith has aged out, and Marcus Peters is nearing a decision point on his future with his contract. Armour-Davis has a good skill set with size and speed and played well overall in 2021. While he never became a dominant corner with the Crimson Tide, he was a solid and dependable player who showed improvement as he gained experience.

In the NFL, Armour-Davis could be a solid backup corner who provides dependable depth while also contributing on special teams. He may not develop into an impactful starter, but Armour-Davis has nice potential to be a reliable fourth or fifth cornerback for the Ravens.

2021: Tylan Wallace, WR
2020: Malik Harrison, LB
2019: Justice Hill, RB
2018: Deshon Elliott, S
2017: Jermaine Eluemanor, G
2016: Tavon Young, CB
2015: Buck Allen, RB
2014: Brent Urban, DE
2013: John Simon, LB

Walt’s 2022 NFL Draft Grades:

14. Kyle Hamilton, S/LB, Notre Dame – C Grade
This is misleading value. Many will think the Ravens are getting a bargain, but many teams soured on Kyle Hamilton. Not only did he run a 4.7 at his pro day; he didn’t really have a natural position, much like Isaiah Simmons from two years ago. Teams didn’t know whether or not to put Hamilton at safety or linebacker. We’ll have to see what the Ravens do with Hamilton, but he could easily be a bust.

25. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa A- Grade
Once upon a time, I had Tyler Linderbaum slotted to the Ravens at No. 14. I thought that was a bit early for him, but I loved the fit. Linderbaum fills a huge need, but thought Baltimore needed to trade down for him. Well, the Ravens did that (sort of), and they got their man. Linderbaum should be an excellent starter for the Ravens over the next decade.

45. David Ojabo, DE, Michigan – A+ Grade
I don’t understand why David Ojabo fell so far. He tore his Achilles, but he’ll be 100 percent by 2023. He should have gone late in the first round, and he would’ve been a top-10 pick had he been completely healthy. This is a terrific value, and it’s my favorite pick thus far in the 2022 NFL Draft.

76. Travis Jones, NT, Connecticut – A+ Grade
The Ravens are great at drafting because they let teams in front of them draft crappy players, allowing them to take the best prospects available. This happened yet again, as the Ravens just landed someone who could’ve landed at the end of the first round without many complaints. Jones is a massive, but athletic nose tackle who will fit in very well in the middle of Baltimore’s front.

110. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota – B+ Grade
It should come at no surprise that the Ravens drafted an absolute mauler to fix their offensive line. Daniel Faaelele is one of the largest human beings on the planet, so the question is if he can move well enough in the NFL. The Ravens believe he can, and if so, he’ll fill a big need at right tackle. He’s worth the risk in the fourth round.

119. Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama – A- Grade
It turns out that the Ravens still pick players from Alabama after all! I like this selection, as I had Jalyn Armour-Davis slotted a bit earlier than this. He’s a tall cornerback who will help with Baltimore’s abysmal depth that killed them last year.

128. Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State – A- Grade
The Ravens, as usual, are making a solid value pick. Charlie Kolar is a nice route runner with good hands, and I thought he could’ve gone a bit earlier than this. He doesn’t fill a need, but Baltimore has so many picks.

130. Jordan Stout, P, Penn State – O’MILLEN GRADE
Rich Eisen says that punters are people. I disagree. They are demonic abominations. Regardless of what they are, they do not belong in the fourth round of any draft, even in one as weak as this class.

139. Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina – C Grade
OK, I get picking one tight end for the value, but two seems a bit ridiculous. It’s not like this is a good tight end class. Isaiah Likely has nice upside, but the Ravens now have a log jam at the position.

141. Damarion Williams, CB, Houston – C+ Grade
I get that the Ravens want to obtain another cornerback, given the big problems they had there last year. Damarion Williams, however, is a bit of an underwhelming prospect, as I had him in the sixth-seventh range.

196. Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri – A- Grade
I’ve had Tyler Badie going a bit earlier than this in my mocks, so I like the value. Badie is a small back, but he has positive strength and quickness. He’ll provide needed depth for the Ravens, who have nothing but injured running backs on their roster.

2022 NFL Draft Team Grade: B. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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