By Chris Schisler
The 2022 NFL Draft is basically here. Soon I’ll be having my customary Peanut M&M’s and watching the draft with a few Bold Rocks and all is good with the world. While you may have your annual draft traditions, you’re probably not equipped with your big board and position rankings ready to go, That’s where guys like me come into the picture.
Today we’re going to take a look at the players that just scream Ravens. These are the prospects that would surprise not one soul in the Ravens Flock or in the football world if they ended up in Baltimore. The most talked-about player in this category has been Jordan Davis. Davis is an unbelievable prospect in the sense that almost nobody has ever been built like him.
At the NFL Combine, Davis measured as a 6-6 345 pound man. He’s massive. While he’s not quite the dancing bear that Haloti Ngata was, he has the unrefined explosiveness that gets results. Davis has a quick explosion out of his stance, he gets a lot done with each stride and rip. He needs to make more of himself as a pass rusher, but NFL teams are certainly wondering if he can have an Aaron Donald-like impact in the NFL.
While drafting Davis isn’t my totally ideal scenario, the upside makes this in play. The Ravens have to look at defensive linemen quite seriously. It’s one position group that made one of the smallest impacts last season. A pick that makes perfect sense in the second round would be Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey. Winfrey is a 6-4 defensive lineman with a 290-pound build. He’s a bit more of a knife into the backfield kind of tackle but he gives you all the two-gap space-eating goodness to go with it.
Trench warfare needs to be improved on both sides of the ball. One center that I think would work incredibly well in Baltimore is Luke Fortner. This is a big-bodied Bradley Bozeman replacement that could come at a great value. I have Fortner as the 52nd best player in this draft class, but I bet in actuality he can be gotten in the third round.
There’s been a ton of talk about Trevor Penning being in play with the 14th overall selection. Penning is a small school product but a big-bodied bruiser. While he would add a mean streak to the offensive line, he’s never really been, my guy. This is a take I hold firmly at the 14th overall spot. He’s a bit more of a project than most people seem to think and he’s not very polished. If the Ravens want an offensive tackle, the realistic fit I see most is Bernard Raimann. He’s a solid technician of an offensive tackle from Minnesota. This reminds me of the Le’Veon Bell vs. Mark Ingram thing. The Ravens typically go substance over flash. Either way, they’d have to trade back for either player to work for me.
Cornerback is a position that the Ravens can surely justify being aggressive with. Have you seen the passing attack of the Cincinnati Bengals? No corner screams Ravens more than Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. He’s an aggressive corner with a Marcus Peters-style swagger that would fit right in. If that doesn’t happen, Kyler Gordon out of Washington is a great option. He’s just so tough and scrappy that you get “Play Like a Raven” vibes.
Then there’s Quay Walker. Walker is a linebacker from Georgia who has never seen a hit he didn’t want to make. He’s tough and he’s a thumper but he has enough athleticism to be a starting linebacker next to Patrick Queen. That screams Ravens.
Finally on my list is Romeo Doubs, a wide receiver from Nevada. Doubs has that Anquan Boldin-like fight for the ball thing going that really works for Baltimore. Find me anything with more staying power than Ravens fans looking for that. You can’t.
I know it’s been a while guys. Thanks for hearing me out. Let’s get it Ravens Flock!