KEY POINTS

  • The Ravens had a strong start to the draft with the team having two first-round picks
  • Kyle Hamilton was selected 14th overall and Tyler Linderbaum at 25th
  • The Ravens put themselves in prime contention with their selections

The Baltimore Ravens entered the NFL draft with much uncertainty after a rocky start to the offseason, but they more than made up for it with strong selections in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.

No. 14 overall: Kyle Hamilton, Safety

Defense has been the Ravens’ calling card ever since the franchise moved to Baltimore and they are looking to return to their roots after selecting Notre Dame’s star safety in Kyle Hamilton.

Bleacher Report ranked Hamilton as the seventh-best overall player and the top safety in the draft thanks to his potential as an instant impact player for a team that allowed an average of 363.4 yards per game last season, ranking 25th in the league.

Injuries to the Ravens’ secondary necessitated this pick and he could be looking like a steal early on.

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network had glowing marks for the 6’4”, 220-pound safety who can play as a secondary outside linebacker thanks to his combination of speed and physicality.

“[Kyle] Hamilton was a terrific college safety who played fundamentally sound football. He possesses solid ball skills and shows a great head for the game. Yet, his body type, length, and loping style concern me,” Pauline wrote.

“Hamilton’s length will make it difficult for him to play over quicker slot receivers, and he lacks the natural range teams want in a true centerfielder. It’s my belief that Hamilton is strictly a zone or strong safety in the NFL and will eventually develop into an outside linebacker for a one-gap scheme.”

Seeing him slide to 14th must have been a dream for general manager Eric DeCosta and his front office.

Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens
Kyle Hamilton poses onstage after being selected 14th by the Baltimore Ravens during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker/Getty Images

No. 25 overall: Tyler Linderbaum, Center

The Ravens stuck to their guns and selected Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum with the 25th overall pick after re-entering the first round thanks to a flurry of moves that began with the trade of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23rd pick.

After acquiring their 23rd pick, they traded it to the Buffalo Bills for their 25th pick and the 100th overall pick in this year’s draft.

Standing at 6’3” and weighing in at 296 pounds during the combine, Linderbaum is set to play under center after then-starter Bradley Bozeman left for the Carolina Panthers this offseason.

Bleacher Report had Linderbaum ranked as the 12th-best player in the draft and seeing him fall to 25 again seems to have fate working in favor of the Ravens.

His background as a collegiate wrestler was highlighted by the NFL’s official scouting profile and he has shown that his skills in the sport can translate on the gridiron.

The biggest criticism of Linderbaum’s physical measurements is his short arms (31 1/8”) to hold off opposing rushers, but that is not necessarily an issue as Ravens all-time great guard Marshal Yanda had short arms as well.

With Linderbaum being brought in to shore up the center spot, offensive tackle Patrick Mekari can solely focus on his role as an offensive tackle.

DeCosta later clarified that it was Brown who asked for a trade out of Baltimore and them getting back Linderbaum now looks like a great move.

Overall First-Round Grade: A

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