Most pundits gave the Ravens an “A” or even an “A+” after last weekend’s draft. I say slow your roll.
The Ravens snagged Norte Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in the first round. It’s hard to question either pick, even though Hamilton slipped slightly due to running “just” a 4.5 at the Combine.
How much will that slightly subpar time affect Hamilton when attempting to help cover receivers such as Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins? Time will tell, but we will likely know sooner in 2022 rather than later.
Many fans hoped Linderbaum would slip to Cincinnati at 31, though in retrospect I’m not sure the Bengals would’ve jumped. They got their guy, but more on that later.
Linderbaum was a need for Baltimore after losing Bradley Bozeman in free agency. It will be interesting to see if the slightly undersized Linderbaum will struggle with the bigger interior lines in the AFC North.
The Ravens took David Ojabo, the Michigan linebacker in the second round despite him tearing his Achilles six weeks ago. I understand he would’ve possibly been a first-round pick, but his 2022 will likely be a lost year, and this Raven defense needs help now.
Baltimore’s offensive line wasn’t particularly good in 2021, and despite losing key pieces to free agency and retirement, besides Linderbaum they only took one other offensive lineman, Daniel Faalele in round four at 110 overall. The dude is massive, but fourth-round linemen don’t often come in and offer much help the first couple of years.
Interestingly, despite having an absolutely awful secondary, the only picks at corner the Ravens made were fourth-rounders Jalyn Armour-Davis from Alabama and Damarion Williams from Houston. They may develop into adequate backups at some point, but run either out to cover Chase in 2022 and Chase may force both into another line of work.
The Ravens rounded out with two tight ends, despite having one of the best in Mark Andrews, a punter, and a likely practice squad running back.
Most concerning is the Ravens traded Hollywood Brown on draft day and drafted exactly ZERO receivers to add to a bottom-tier group. The Ravens may arguably have the worst receiving room this side of Atlanta, and based on the failure to replace Brown, my grade reflects accordingly.