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Friday, June 9, 2023

Ravens mock draft roundup

As the countdown to the 2022 NFL Draft continues to go on, more mock drafts are emerging. Some mocks portray what analysts think teams should do while others portray what teams are expected to do. 

   The Baltimore Ravens are slated to have a total of 10 picks in the 2022 NFL draft, including nine in the first rounds. Their first selection is No. 14 overall.

   Team needs for the Ravens include: outside linebacker, cornerback, wide receiver, offensive line and inside linebacker. Various mock drafts have the Ravens selecting players from most of those positions. 

   Here’s a look at four mocks for the Ravens at No. 14 with analysis:

   Charles Davis – NFL.com

   Tyler Linderbaum | Center | Iowa

   The Ravens need stability at the pivot on offense, and this latest Hawkeye OL prodigy is the 2022 version of Creed Humphrey (who was fantastic for K.C. in 2021). I know, I know—DT is also in heavy consideration here.

   Chad Rueter – NFL.com

   Projected trade with Chiefs 

   The Chiefs package is the 29th and 30th overall selections and send them to the Ravens for the right to draft Alabama WR Jameson Williams.

   No. 29 Ravens select Linderbaum

   Baltimore needs a new center after letting Bradley Bozeman walk, and Linderbaum is a much better value here than at No. 14. The team hit a home run with Iowa lineman Marshal Yanda years ago, so picking up this Hawkeye seems like a natural fit.

   No. 30 Ravens select Andrew Booth, cornerback, Clemson

   Booth’s a top-20 talent who is still available because of injuries. The Ravens simply need more bodies at cornerback, so they take a shot on his athleticism and nasty attitude outside.

   Diante Lee – The Athletic 

   George Karlaftis | EDGE | Purdue

   Karlaftis and Jermaine Johnson are just about tied in my draft evaluations, but Karlaftis comes into the league with the size necessary to be a versatile piece in Baltimore’s defense. Odafe Oweh needs to take a step forward and develop into a lead rusher, and Karlaftis can play a role of run stopper on the edge and kick inside on obvious passing downs to crush the pocket and move quarterbacks with stunts and twists.

   Mel Kiper Jr. – ESPN

   Trent McDuffie | Cornerback | Washington 

   The Ravens could go in several directions here, including offensive tackle (will Ronnie Stanley ever be the same again?) and defensive end (Calais Campbell is back, but he’s 35). When I look at this depth chart, though, I see corner depth as an issue. McDuffie has the versatility to play outside and in the slot, and he also will wrap up and bring down ball carriers in the run game. He’s physical.

   Todd McShay – ESPN

   Jermain Johnson | EDGE | Florida State

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum would be a good pick after the Ravens lost Bradley Bozeman to free agency. But could the Ravens afford to ignore Johnson’s fall out of the top 10 right into their lap at No. 14? They were in the bottom 10 last year in sacks (34), and only Tyus Bowser (seven sacks) and Odafe Oweh (five) made much of a dent there. Johnson had 12 sacks and 46 pressures at FSU in 2021, frequently using his quick feet, powerful hands and arsenal of pass-rush moves to overwhelm blockers. 

   If Linderbaum does end up with the Ravens, I’d bet it comes after a trade down the Round 1 board.

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