August 10, 2022

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Three takeaways from a wild Ravens draft night time, together with large trades and a well-known ‘finest participant out there’ mindset

The Ravens actually didn’t kick off their 2022 draft in boring trend, buying and selling considered one of their signature offensive gamers and utilizing a pair of first-round picks on extremely regarded prospects who won’t meet their most speedy wants.

Listed below are three takeaways from a busy night time:

The Marquise Brown commerce was most likely sensible enterprise, nevertheless it stung within the second.

Ravens basic supervisor Eric DeCosta stated Brown, the workforce’s No. 1 broad receiver, requested a commerce after final season. He didn’t specify the explanation.

“For me, personally, it was difficult, as a result of Marquise was my first choose and considered one of my favourite gamers on the workforce,” DeCosta stated. “It was one thing I anguished over.”

The transfer created an apparent scarcity at a place the Ravens lastly appeared to have a deal with on after years of disappointing draft picks. Brown was not a famous person and he didn’t maintain his robust begin to final season. However he was a detailed pal and favourite goal for quarterback Lamar Jackson, to not point out one of many few Ravens playmakers to point out up large within the 2019 and 2020 playoffs. The Ravens didn’t use the first-round choose they acquired to draft one other broad receiver. As of now, they’re relying on Rashod Bateman to take an enormous step ahead in his second yr and tight finish Mark Andrews to proceed at an All-Professional stage.

The Ravens acquired good worth for Brown, whom they may not have signed to an extension after subsequent season. He’s not a difference-maker on the extent of Deebo Samuel or A.J. Brown, who went to the Philadelphia Eagles in a blockbuster deal Thursday night time. He was apparently sad, they usually traded two years of his good-not-great manufacturing for a right away starter at middle in Tyler Linderbaum. In a chilly, goal world, you do this deal.

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However the Ravens additionally hope to make a deep playoff run this season, with Jackson as their point of interest, they usually simply discarded considered one of his chief sidekicks. They are going to have loads of picks over the following two days to start addressing their broad receiver scarcity, however make no mistake, they created one other want on a roster that was already skinny in a number of spots.

The Ravens lived as much as their ‘finest participant out there’ philosophy with the selection of Kyle Hamilton.

For all of the phrases we spilled on this workforce’s defensive wants, nobody stated a lot about security going into the primary spherical, not after the Ravens added Marcus Williams in free company.

There was some thought Hamilton may fall due to his pedestrian instances — 4.59 seconds on the NFL scouting mix, slower at his professional day — within the 40-yard sprint. However his identify hardly got here up as we speculated about edge rushers and cornerbacks who may fall to No. 14.

The Ravens may have chosen Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II or Washington’s Trent McDuffie, defenders linked to them in varied mock drafts that fixated on workforce wants. As a substitute, DeCosta known as the selection of Hamilton a “no-brainer.” He stated the chance to select a top-five expertise in the midst of the spherical reminded him of traditional Ravens drafts during which elite gamers appeared to slip magically down the board.

“He can do a myriad of various issues for us,” he stated. “We by no means dreamed in 1,000,000 years he’d be there for us.”

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At 6-foot-4, 220 kilos, Hamilton can drill working backs, rush the passer or make performs on the ball in area. Ravens coach John Harbaugh stated he’s trying ahead to getting three safeties — Williams, Hamilton and returning starter Chuck Clark — on the sphere on the similar time. That might presumably go away Brandon Stephens as a major choice to cowl the slot.

DeCosta has lengthy preached that the Ravens can not have sufficient proficient defensive backs, and Hamilton provides to that assortment, regardless that he received’t do something so as to add to their cornerback depth behind Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters.

How we view the choose comes right down to a debate on draft philosophy. Is it extra vital to design an ideal roster for 2022 or to gather as a lot front-end expertise as doable and determine it out from there? We all know DeCosta leans towards the latter. If Hamilton is an All-Professional security in three years, it received’t matter whether or not he crammed a right away want on Thursday night time.

Tyler Linderbaum doesn’t match the standard measurement profile of a Ravens offensive lineman, however the unit will make extra sense with him within the center.

We all know the Ravens love their linemen large; their earlier beginning middle, Bradley Bozeman, was 6-foot-5, 325 kilos. At 296 kilos, with brief arms, Linderbaum doesn’t look the half. Scouts gushed about his “freaky athleticism,” not his uncooked energy.

Ultimately, Ravens scouts cherished watching him a lot that they didn’t care. “If he was an inch taller and his arms have been a half-inch longer, he would have been a top-five choose,” DeCosta stated.

Many evaluators agreed. Professional Soccer Focus known as Linderbaum the “most athletic offensive lineman in faculty soccer” and the very best middle prospect for the reason that service began grading faculty gamers in 2014.

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Harbaugh stated he would begin immediately and permit Patrick Mekari to compete for snaps at different spots whereas offering depth at deal with ought to Ronnie Stanley’s ankle damage linger. “The entire depth chart simply sort of filters out in a extremely great way,” he stated.

Linderbaum is an Iowa man, so after all he lettered thrice as a highschool wrestler and positioned third within the state match as a heavyweight his senior yr. He as soon as pinned Tampa Bay’s 2021 first-team All-Pro Tristan Wirfs in highschool. What can we find out about former wrestlers? They play with stability, leverage and highly effective palms, all traits that stood out from Linderbaum’s faculty tape.

“Large guys don’t have an effect on him,” stated Ravens director of participant personnel Joe Hortiz. “He can leverage guys.”

Marshal Yanda was not a colossus both, popping out of Iowa in 2007. He traded on mobility, coordination and tenacity to grow to be the second finest offensive lineman in Ravens historical past. Might Linderbaum observe in his footsteps, albeit at a special place?

As with Hamilton at choose No. 14, we’re not going to listen to many draft analysts name Linderbaum a poor worth or dis him as a prospect. It’s simply that the Ravens nonetheless want an edge rusher, one other cornerback and recent blood alongside their line of defense. With Brown gone, additionally they want a large receiver. Are the very best security and the very best middle within the draft sufficient to make up for these shortcomings? If we step again, that may not be the proper query, nevertheless it’s the one Ravens followers are asking proper now.