Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone and it mirrored the craziness of the NFL off-season that preceded it. Picks were flying off the board in record time and a myriad of trades involving picks and players occurred. The Ravens were in on their fair share of craziness, trading off a high profile player and adding elite talent to a team hoping for a Super Bowl run. Below is a recap of the NFL Draft action for the Baltimore Ravens.
Ravens Land Kyle Hamilton 14th Overall
The Ravens have formed their identity around letting great players fall to them in the draft regardless of position. 2022 proved no different as Kyle Hamilton fell to Baltimore. Once seen as a lock to go in the top 5, Hamilton dropped to 14 and the Ravens did not hesitate to select the star safety out of Notre Dame. Though his stock has dipped in recent weeks, Hamilton may be the most talented overall player in the draft.
Hamilton has tremendous size for the position, good range, and top tier instincts that allows him to read the game better than any other defender in this draft. The former Golden Domer can line up in the slot, as a hybrid linebacker in the box or as a single high safety and that kind of versatility is something the Ravens covet.
Though safety did not top Baltimore’s list of needs, Hamilton’s talent was just too enticing to pass up. Pairing him with Marcus Williams gives the Ravens one of the top young safety tandems in the NFL. A year after finishing 32nd against the pass, the Ravens have now beefed up the secondary in a massive way by adding a true all around play-maker.
Hollywood Shipped to Arizona for the 23rd Overall Pick
In a surprising bit a news, the Ravens sent receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, along with the 100th pick in the draft, to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23d overall selection. While the writing had been on the wall for some time, the departure of Hollywood Brown was a shock to many fan. Brown had scrubbed the Ravens from his social media accounts and was noticeably absent from Lamar Jackson’s workouts with the team’s wide receivers. Unhappy with the run-first scheme the Ravens employ, Brown now heads out west to the Cardinals.
The move reunites Brown with his collegiate quarterback Kyler Murray. The Cardinals were in search of a receiver to compliment DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore. Hollywood is the perfect receiver to put into that fold with his speed a big play ability. His connection with Murray at Oklahoma was electrifying and a major reason the Ravens made Brown the 25th pick in the 2019 draft.
For the Ravens, getting a first round pick for Hollywood was the best case scenario. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said that Brown had requested a trade at the end of the regular season and the team had been quietly shopping him for some time. Despite an up and down career and an expiring contract for a player that will demand upwards of $20 million per year, the Ravens still managed to fetch a first round pick. While it is sad to see Hollywood go, in the end, this was the right move for all parties.
Ravens Select Tyler Linderbuam 25th Overall
Armed with an extra first round pick, the Ravens sought to fill even more holes on their roster. After trading down to 25 with the Buffalo Bills (and acquiring the 130th overall selection in the process), the Ravens selected the consensus top center in the draft in Tyler Linderbaum. While much has been made about Linderbuam’s less than ideal length and scheme fit, there is simply no denying the overall talent of the Iowa product.
While he is on the shorter side at 6’2 and his arms are shorter than one might like, Linderbaum has everything else a team could look for in a starting center. A three year starter at Iowa, Linderbaum has a tough, in-your-face mentality and doesn’t get bullied easily. Well adept at using technique and leverage, Linderbuam is an elite athlete who many regard as the best center prospect to come out in close to a decade.
Linderbaum’s arrival fills a gaping hole in the middle of Baltimore’s offensive line. With Bradley Bozeman now in Charlotte, it was clear the Ravens needed an upgrade at center. The Ravens expressed confidence in their in house options but that was clearly just a smokescreen. Center has been a position of skepticism in Baltimore over the last few years, and for good reason. Linderbaum should anchor that spot for the next decade. In terms of pure talent, most consider Linderbaum top-10. It is that talent combined with need that made him an easy selection for the Ravens.