The 2022 NFL Draft is fast approaching, and the Baltimore Ravens have a number of holes on the roster that need to be filled. The team will certainly have its fair share of targets that will hopefully fall to the fourteenth overall selection. However, a certain player could fall down the board that the Ravens may feel inclined to trade up for in order to secure.
Traditionally speaking, the Ravens are unlikely to move up from their fourteenth draft slot. The team has rarely ever traded up from its original first-round draft spot, the last time being in 2009. But with a bevy of mid-round picks this year, the Ravens may be tempted to buck that trend.
Every year, a highly-touted prospect seems to unexpectedly fall. If that were to happen this year, the Ravens just might package a few of their mid-round picks to secure that difference-maker for their roster. Listed below are five players who could fall in the draft and be a target for the Ravens to move up and take within the first three rounds.
Potential Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft Targets
Derek Stingley, Jr.
There are serious depth issues at cornerback in Baltimore. Even Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said the depth was concerning in an offseason press conference. Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are the only proven players at the position and both are coming off serious injuries. The Ravens will certainly look to address the issue in the draft. One target is LSU corner Derek Stingley, Jr.
There may not be a more polarizing player in this year’s draft and for good reason. Stingley’s 2019 freshman tape was immaculate. Injuries and subpar play the following two seasons have forced his stock to drop. The big question is which version of Stingley will a team get? That question might have teams shy away from the LSU product. But if he falls out of the top-10, the Ravens just may make a move up.
Stingley has great length for the position and is a top-notch athlete. All things the Ravens covet in their corners. He would provide incredible depth behind Humphrey and Peters as he transitions to the pros.
A big question in this upcoming draft is where exactly will Florida State pass-rusher Jermaine Johnson land? Ranging from a top-5 selection to a second-round pick, Johnson’s stock seems to be all over the place. Despite this, if Johnson falls anywhere close to the 14th overall selection, the Ravens should not hesitate to part with a draft pick or two to move up and secure him.
After lighting up the Senior Bowl, Johnson showed that he is a phenomenal all-around defender. With the speed and quickness to rush the passer and the size and strength to stand up against the run, Johnson would be an immediate upgrade to Baltimore’s defense. With Tyus Bowser and Odafe Oweh coming off of injuries, the Ravens are short on healthy players at a premium position.
Johnson can be a force for a team that has had trouble generating sacks in recent years and gives new defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald another weapon to deploy.
No team has dedicated more draft capital towards wide receivers over the last three years than the Ravens. That includes using the 27th overall pick in last year’s draft on Rashod Bateman. Despite this, the Ravens should not be precluded from taking a receiver like Georgia’s George Pickens this year.
Pickens isn’t mentioned as one of the draft’s top receivers, but that shouldn’t be the case. At 6’3, 200 pounds, Pickens has the size and strength to be a matchup nightmare. That is exactly what the Ravens are lacking. Pickens is a bully who can make contested catches look easy. That is a critical piece the Ravens have been missing since the days of Anquan Boldin.
Seen as a late first-round or early second-round pick, Pickens would be an incredible addition. It would be worth it to move up and secure him to get Lamar Jackson that hard-nosed receiver he has never truly had.
The Ravens have had some serious problems along the offensive line over the last few years. It is time for Baltimore to start investing in Lamar Jackson’s protection. Despite signing Morgan Moses to be the starting right tackle, the Ravens must do more. Enter Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele. A 6’8, 380-pound monster who is light on his feet, but has every bit of a nasty streak that his size indicates, Faalele should be a massive target for the Ravens.
Some see his size as a detriment, and that could cause him to fall. The Ravens took a flyer on a player with similar labels in Orlando Brown Jr., and he fared well in Baltimore. Faalele may need some time to develop, but there is no denying that he can be a monster in the trenches — if developed properly.
A team may take a chance on him early in the third round of the NFL draft before the Ravens are up, but if Baltimore has the chance to move up to take him, they would be wise to do so.
As with virtually every other position in Baltimore, the depth of the Ravens defensive line was challenged due to injuries. Calais Campbell was re-signed and Michael Pierce was brought in for his second stint with the team, but the team must get younger in the defensive trenches. Travis Jones has been a darling of most scouts during the draft process and it is not hard to see why.
While playing at UConn, Jones was an immovable force against the run and showed glimpses of being a solid interior pass rusher. Jones would fit right into Baltimore’s rotation as he learns the ropes behind several established veterans while providing the Ravens longevity on the defensive line.
Jones has been linked to several teams in the second round of the NFL Draft. He may be gone by the time the Ravens pick in the second round, but he could be a big target for a Baltimore trade-up.