The Ravens’ 2022 draft was certainly memorable. It not only featured the team’s first top-15 pick in six years and a whopping six fourth-round selections, but a surprising trade of a star receiver on opening night.
Similar to the Ravens’ 10-8 season that ended with an AFC wild-card-round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the 11-player class yielded mixed results. While safety Kyle Hamilton and center Tyler Linderbaum made an immediate impact and provided hope for the future, outside linebacker David Ojabo, tight end Charlie Kolar and cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis missed most of the season because of injuries.
As Ravens officials prepare for this April’s draft, the team’s rookies are due for an evaluation. Here’s a look at how the Ravens’ 11 picks fared and how they might fit in (or not) on next season’s team.
S Kyle Hamilton (1st round, 14th overall)
Stats: 16 games (four starts), two sacks, 55 tackles (four for loss), five quarterback hits, five pass deflections, one forced fumble and two penalties; graded out as the Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated safety (No. 5 in run defense, No. 4 in pass rush and No. 5 in coverage)
2022 summary: After drawing criticism during training camp for losing one-on-one battles, Hamilton showcased his potential to be a key figure in the Ravens’ defense for years to come. The former Notre Dame standout dealt with the rookie learning curve early, as he had a few mental mistakes, particularly in the Ravens’ stunning loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.
But as the year progressed, Hamilton began to settle in and earned more playing time while developing into one of the league’s best rookies. In Week 3 against the New England Patriots, he chased down wide receiver Nelson Agholor for a game-saving strip. In the wild-card-round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Hamilton totaled nine tackles, including a ferocious hit on tight end Hayden Hurst that caused the former Raven to fumble the ball.
Hamilton’s versatility was perhaps his best asset. According to Pro Football Focus, he played 354 snaps as the nickel, 106 in the box and 92 as a free safety. When safety Marcus Williams dislocated his wrist in Week 5, the Ravens had Geno Stone fill his role instead of placing Hamilton in deep coverage. The decision allowed Hamilton to remain in the slot, where he could continue to match up with tight ends, pressure quarterbacks and help slow down the run.
2023 projection: When Hamilton was asked Monday about whether the team would continue to play him at nickel, the rookie said he was unsure. The Ravens have some offseason questions to address with veteran safety Chuck Clark, who is under contract for another season but could be released or traded in a cost-cutting move. If Clark does leave, would Hamilton fill his role? Or would they keep him in the slot? For the Ravens, it would be wise to continue to let Hamilton develop into a versatile threat.
C Tyler Linderbaum (1st round, 25th overall)
Stats: 17 games (all starts), three sacks allowed, two quarterback hits allowed and six penalties; graded out as PFF’s No. 6 center (No. 4 in run blocking, No. 34 in pass blocking)
2022 summary: Before the draft, many experts had the Ravens selecting the former Iowa star with the No. 14 pick. When the Ravens traded wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Arizona Cardinals for the 25th overall selection, they were able to acquire a suitable replacement for former center Bradley Bozeman, who signed with the Carolina Panthers.
A foot injury sidelined Linderbaum for a good part of training camp, but it didn’t stop him from being one of the most consistent players on the team this season, as he played all but two snaps. Despite a relatively small frame, Linderbaum’s strength and power allowed him to fit seamlessly in Baltimore’s run-heavy offense, which finished second in the NFL in rushing despite injuries to quarterback Lamar Jackson and running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.
2023 projection: Linderbaum has already established himself as one of the top centers in the league, and that should continue in 2023. While he has shown the ability to be a strong run blocker, he will have to continue to improve in pass blocking.
P Jordan Stout (4th round, 130th overall)
Stats: 17 games, 57 punts, 45.9 yards per punt, seven touchbacks and 26 punts inside the 20-yard line
2022 summary: The Ravens drafted Stout to replace veteran Sam Koch, who retired and became the team’s special teams consultant after 16 seasons in Baltimore. He ranked 24th in yards per punt and 21st in net yards (40.9). The former Penn State standout had four punts for 60-plus yards, including a 69-yarder against the Cleveland Browns in October.
2023 projection: Stout’s rookie season wasn’t eye-popping, but he will continue to grow in his role. At least he still has Koch in his ear to provide guidance.
To be determined
TE Isaiah Likely (4th round, 139th overall)
Stats: 16 games (two starts), 36 receptions, 373 yards, 10.4 yards per reception, three touchdowns, four drops and one penalty
2022 summary: Likely was viewed as one of the biggest steals in the draft after catching all 12 targets for 144 yards in the preseason, but that production didn’t continue in the regular season. Through the first seven games, Likely had 18 catches for 144 yards in limited snaps.
The former Coastal Carolina star did have his moments, however. When tight end Mark Andrews got injured against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Likely stepped up and caught six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. In the regular-season finale against the Bengals, he totaled 103 yards on eight catches.
2023 projection: Likely has the skill set to be a solid contributor in the passing game. He was an elite pass catcher in college and he showed flashes of it in 2022. Likely has the potential to see his numbers increase, but a lot of that also depends on the direction the offense under a new coordinator.
TE Charlie Kolar (4th round, 128th overall)
Stats: Two games, four receptions, 49 yards, 12.3 yards per catch
2022 summary: A sports hernia forced Kolar to spend the majority of his rookie season on the injured reserve. Despite getting activated in early November, the former Iowa State star didn’t make his NFL debut until Jan. 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. A week later against the Bengals, Kolar caught four passes for 49 yards.
2023 projection: Similar to Likely, Kolar was a solid playmaker in college, totaling 2,181 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns in four seasons. The injury hurt Kolar’s development, and Likely’s strong preseason and flashy moments in the regular season made him an afterthought.
With tight Josh Oliver entering free agency and Nick Boyle ending the season on the practice squad, Kolar could step in and fill that role as the Ravens’ third tight end.
CB Jalyn Armour-Davis (4th round, 119th overall)
Stats: Four games (one start), five tackles and one pass deflection
2022 summary: Armour-Davis didn’t see a lot of playing time this season, as he was inactive for six games and on the injured reserve list for the final seven because of a hip injury. Even in his first career start against the New England Patriots in September, he played just nine snaps before getting benched.
2023 projection: Armour-Davis already has a track record of being injury prone dating to his time at Alabama. With Marcus Peters entering free agency, the Ravens must add some help at cornerback in the offseason. Depending on who the Ravens add, Armour-Davis might have an uphill climb to become a rotational piece in the secondary.
DT Travis Jones (3rd round, 76th overall)
Stats: 15 games (three starts), 24 tackles (one for loss), one sack, two quarterback hits and one pass deflection
2022 summary: The former Connecticut star missed the first two games of the season because of a knee injury, which he suffered in a preseason matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Jones made his debut against the Patriots and didn’t miss a game moving forward. His best game came against the New York Giants in October when he totaled four tackles, a sack and two quarterback hits.
2023 projection: Jones had the opportunity to start in three games after defensive tackle Michael Pierce underwent season-ending surgery on a torn biceps. With Pierce, Calais Campbell and Brent Urban potentially not returning next season, Jones might be asked to take on a larger role.
EDGE David Ojabo (2nd round, 45th overall)
Stats: Two games, one tackle, one sack and one quarterback hit
2022 summary: Ojabo went from a potential first-round pick to falling to the Ravens in the second round at No. 45 after he tore his left Achilles tendon during Michigan’s pro day last March. He endured a tough road to recovery but saw it pay off when he made his season debut against the Cleveland Browns in Week 15. He would then record his first career sack in the regular-season finale against the Bengals.
2023 projection: There’s a ton of untapped potential within Ojabo, who was praised in high school and college for his speed and athleticism coming off the edge. Veteran outside linebackers Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul are entering free agency, providing an opportunity for Ojabo to step in and potentially carve out a significant role alongside Tyus Bowser and Odafe Oweh.
OT Daniel Faalele (4th round, 110th overall)
Stats: 16 games (one start), two penalties, four sacks and one quarterback hit allowed
2022 summary: After offensive lineman Patrick Mekari went down with an ankle injury in a Week 3 win over the Patriots, Faalele, the team’s fourth-string left tackle, entered the game. Although the 6-foot-8, 380-pound lineman struggled early, he began to settle down and play well. A week later, he made his first career start in a Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
When Mekari got healthy and Ronnie Stanley returned, Faalele began seeing his playing time diminish. After playing a combined 123 snaps against the Patriots and Bills, the former Minnesota standout played 44 snaps in 13 games.
2023 projection: Faalele is one of the biggest players in the league, but he is still raw and has a lot of developing to do. The potential is there, and if he can tap into it, Faalele can provide more valuable depth at the tackle spot.
CB Damarion “Pepe” Williams (4th round, 141st overall)
Stats: 14 games, 22 tackles (one for loss), two pass deflections and two penalties
2022 summary: Williams spent most of the season in the slot, where he played 189 snaps. He totaled a season-high five tackles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October.
2023 projection: Williams is known for his competitive nature and ability to play both cornerback and safety. In 2023, Williams will continue his role of being a backup option as a slot corner.
RB Tyler Badie (6th round, 196th overall)
2022 summary: Badie, who moved to Randallstown in 2005 and spent two years at Friends School, flashed in the preseason, rushing for 65 yards on 23 carries and catching three passes for 14 yards. The former Missouri standout spent most of the season on the practice squad before joining the Denver Broncos in December.