The 2022 NFL Draft begins on April 28, which means that The Game Haus will be writing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be evaluated heading into this year’s draft, as our staff recaps their last season, highlights their needs, and pinpoints their potential 2022 NFL Draft targets. The Baltimore Ravens are the subject of today’s 2022 NFL Draft profile.
Baltimore came into the 2021-22 season with relatively high expectations after winning a playoff game a season ago. However, after multiple major injuries that happened before and during the regular season, the team fell short of their preseason goals. The Ravens fell just short of the playoffs going 8-9 this past season.
Former league MVP Lamar Jackson was the most aggressive he had ever been in the passing game this past season. He threw for 2,882 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Jackson led the team with 767 rushing yards and also had two rushing touchdowns. A major reason why these statistics do not look great is that Jackson only played in 12 games this past season due to injury. Despite that Jackson was voted to the Pro Bowl this past season. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley played well when Jackson missed time.
Second-year running back J.K. Dobbins, veteran Gus Edwards, and passing down back Justice Hill all tore their ACLs before the beginning of the regular season. This left undrafted free agent rookie Ty’Son Williams as the team’s best option at running back during the season. However, it was veteran running backs Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray who led Baltimore’s backfield for a majority of the season. Freeman had 576 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. While Murray had 501 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.
The Ravens drafted Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft to join their young group of receivers. He ended up third on the team in receiving yards, despite only playing 12 games, with 515 receiving yards. He also had one receiving touchdown. Tight end Mark Andrews led the team in receiving this past season. Andrews was voted to the Pro Bowl and was named First-Team All-Pro after leading all tight ends in receiving yards. He had 1,361 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns in 2021-22. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was second on the team in receiving yards with 1,008 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns.
Baltimore’s defense took a major blow during the preseason when they lost former Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to a torn ACL. This injury and many others played into why it was one of the worst units in the league against opposing passing games. Tyus Bowser led the team with seven sacks, while 2021 first-round pick Odafe Oweh was second on the team with five. Former first-round pick Patrick Queen led the team in tackles with 98 combined tackles this past season. Anthony Averett stepped up in a major way for Baltimore’s defense, when Peters was removed from the lineup, leading the team with three interceptions.
Only two notable free agents left the Ravens to sign with other teams. Center Bradley Bozeman signed a one-year $2.8 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. Baltimore’s leader in interceptions Anthony Averett signed a one-year $4 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. However notable players like Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Tavon Young, Sammy Watkins, Jimmy Smith, Justin Houston, Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and DeShon Elliot are all still unsigned and unlikely to return to Baltimore.
The Ravens didn’t make many signings in free agency but made some impactful ones. They signed former Jets right tackle Morgan Moses to a three-year $15 million deal. Former Saints safety Marcus Williams to a five-year $70 million deal. The Ravens brought back defensive tackle Michael Pierce on a three-year $16.5 million deal after spending the past two seasons in Minnesota. Baltimore also resigned former Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard to a three-year $11.25 million deal. It is notable that before trying to sign Pierce Baltimore and former Packers (current Vikings) pass rusher Za’darius Smith had backed out of their deal to have Smith join the team on a four-year $35 million deal.
2022 NFL Picks
Baltimore will have ten picks to use in the 2022 NFL Draft
First Round (one pick): No. 14
Second Round (one pick): No. 45
Third Round (two picks): No. 76, No. 100
Fourth Round (five picks): No. 110, No. 119, No. 128, No. 139, No. 141
Fifth Round (zero picks):
Sixth Round (one picks): No. 197
Seventh Round (zero picks):
Edge Rusher- After losing out on Za’Darius Smith in free agency, Baltimore should add another pass rusher to pair up long-term with Odafe Oweh. Many expected Tyus Bowser to be a situational pass rusher, not to lead the team in sacks.
Offensive Line- The major reason for Baltimore’s offensive struggles last season was the instability of their offensive line. Signing Morgan Moses and getting Ronnie Stanley back healthy should solidify the tackle spots. But Baltimore should look for a trustworthy swing tackle, a replacement for Bradley Bozeman at center, and another lineman to bring in to challenge Tyre Phillips at left guard.
Linebacker- 2020 first-round pick Patrick Queen has been a solid player for Baltimore the past two seasons. However, Queen needs a running mate in the middle of Baltimore’s defense. Baltimore should look to upgrade their second middle linebacker spot that is currently occupied by 2020 third-round pick Malik Harrison.
Cornerback- Baltimore’s secondary was brutalized by injuries last season. The Ravens must add players during this draft to replace the likes of Jimmy Smith and Anthony Averett who left the team in free agency.
Running Back- After the injuries that occurred this season, Baltimore should add depth to their running back group to ensure if anything was to happen again that they wouldn’t have to rely on Pro Bowlers from five seasons ago to have a competent backfield.
Pass Catcher- The Ravens have invested a lot into their group of pass-catchers as of late. But if an impactful one makes their way to Baltimore at some point of the draft they shouldn’t hesitate to give Lamar Jackson another weapon to compete with all the outstanding quarterbacks in the AFC.
Defensive Line- Signing Michael Pierce in free agency helped address the team’s need for a defensive tackle. However, Baltimore’s defensive line is looking older with the pairing of Pierce and Derek Wolfe on the interior. The Ravens should look for a defensive lineman to rotate with both Wolfe, Pierce, and Justin Madubuike next season and move into a prominent role past this season.
2022 Draft Targets
Pick No. 14: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Depending on how the board falls to Baltimore in the first round there could be a couple of different directions they can go. One player that should be available to the Ravens during their selection in the first round is Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd.
As a prospect, Lloyd is all over the map as far as where he can go in this draft. He will likely not go in the top-10 but can go anywhere between the 13th overall pick and the end of the draft. Lloyd has outstanding athletic tools and has a very aggressive playing style. He is also a great pass rusher for an inside linebacker and should put up great statistics for Baltimore’s defense.
Lloyd would be a great partner with Patrick Queen in the middle of their defense. He can even become a better pro than Queen early in his career. After losing out on Bobby Wagner in free agency it may make a lot of sense to address the linebacker position early in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Pick No. 45: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
As time passes on it appears that Michigan pass rusher David Ojabo’s draft stock continues to plummet and get murkier. His range is now anywhere from the late first round to the middle of the second round. Ojabo is extremely raw as a pass rusher but has the tools to be a great one at the next level. Before tearing his Achilles tendon during his Pro Day he was a projected top-20 pick.
It would be hard for a team like Baltimore to pass on a player like Ojabo if he began to fall to them in the second round. Last season this team got great production out of an extremely athletic pass rusher who many thought needed development at the next level in Odafe Oweh. Ojabo also has a relationship with Oweh off the field because they were high school teammates. On top of that, Ojabo’s former defensive coordinator at Michigan Mike Macdonald is now Baltimore’s new defensive coordinator.
There are too many connections between Ojabo and the Ravens for this pick not to be a possibility. Baltimore could use multiple of their extra middle-round selection to create a package that lands them a selection to pick Ojabo if they fear he won’t make it to 45. Baltimore has the pass rushers in place in Tyus Bowser and Odafe Oweh to hold down the fort until Ojabo gets healthy and can take on a prominent role in this defense. The pairing of Ojabo and Oweh on the edge of Baltimore’s defense could be a scary one for opposing quarterbacks.
Pick No. 76: Cameron Jurgens, IOL, Nebaska
Even though Bradley Bozeman did not sign a major deal with another team, his loss needs to be addressed by the Ravens. Currently, versatile offensive lineman Patrick Mekari is expected to start at center for the Ravens. But Baltimore could draft a prospect in the middle rounds to compete with Mekari for the starting job and possibly anchor the middle of Baltimore’s offensive line.
One prospect who has gained a lot of steam since the combine is Nebraska center Cameron Jurgens. His athletic testing was outstanding and has made him a lock to go on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft. There are plenty of scouts around the league that believe that Jurgens could be the second center off the board after Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum.
Jurgens has drawn a lot of comparisons to former Raven and Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen. This past offseason Jenson signed a three-year $39 million deal to stay with the Buccaneers and make him one of the highest-paid centers in the league. Jurgens fits the criteria of an offensive lineman that the Ravens could go after in the middle rounds. He would be a great addition to an offensive line that still has some work to do to improve on the interior.
Pick No. 100: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
This cornerback class is very top-heavy, but that doesn’t mean the Ravens should be forced to address the position early if they don’t like the prospects available. There are a few prospects in the middle rounds that could interest Baltimore including Houston cornerback Marcus Jones.
There is still a lot of work to be done with Jones once he reaches the NFL. There is a better than solid chance he would start his career as a team’s fourth cornerback regardless of where he lands because he is very raw. However, Jones has something that cannot be taught and that is electrifying speed and playmaking ability. He is without a doubt the best kick/punt returner in this year’s draft class. Jones will be limited to the nickel at the next level due to his size. But he has the tools to be a solid NFL starting nickel cornerback in his career.
Baltimore could trust former Pro Bowlers Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters on the outside leaving Jones to compete with the rest of Baltimore’s cornerback room for the starting slot position. Even if Jones isn’t a starter in his rookie year he will contribute as a returner until he is ready to play a large share of defensive snaps. This will also allow Devin Duvernay to move to a full-time receiver role on Baltimore’s offense behind Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Rashod Bateman.