Teams looking for defensive linemen in the 2022 NFL draft know that Georgia is a good place to start.
The Bulldogs have three highly-touted defensive linemen who could be first-round picks – Jordan Davis, Travon Walker and Devonte Wyatt. Davis said he had a formal meeting with the Ravens at the NFL Scouting Combine, but even before he arrived in Indianapolis, Walker already knew Baltimore expects its defensive linemen to be devoted to stopping the run.
"I've met with the Ravens, and their tradition on defense is very unique,'' Walker said. "I played just about every defense there is and I wouldn't mind playing for the Ravens defense. It would be a great honor."
Davis, Walker and Wyatt all have their unique style, but they're part of an imposing front that helped Georgia win a national championship. The Ravens have questions on the defensive line with Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams and Justin Ellis all impending free agents while veteran Derek Wolfe missed the entire 2021 season and had hip surgery in January.
The Ravens haven't selected a defensive lineman before the third round since 2014, but could be intrigued by adding Davis, Walker or Wyatt if the opportunity presents itself.
"I would say that the defensive line is definitely something that as we looked out two years ago and last year, we felt like 2022 would probably be the year that we would have to find some more young guys," General Manager Eric DeCosta said.
The Ravens hold the 14th pick, but Walker may go in the top 10 due to his prowess as a pass rusher (six sacks in 2021) in addition to his run defense. Georgia used multiple defensive fronts and moved Walker around like a chess piece to create mismatches.
Davis is more of the traditional run-stopping lineman who could help fill the void if Williams departs. It usually took two offensive lineman to keep Davis out of the backfield, allowing his teammates more freedom to make plays.
"I always say two on me, somebody's free," Davis said. "So I free up the linebackers so they can make plays. It's one of those things that you have to be selfless about. You're not going to make every play, especially at that nose position. If you can do anything to influence the play, it's good for the defense."
Davis wants to convince scouts at the Combine that he can impact games as a pass rusher in the NFL.
"Everybody knows I'm a run-stopper and pass rush kind of goes by the wayside with me," Davis said. "But definitely in the offseason that's something I've been working on. In the offseason you want to get better. I definitely think I'm doing that.
Wyatt said being part of a defense as talented as Georgia's raised each player's level of dedication. If you didn't play well, a teammate was poised to take your playing time.
"Look at how many players in our defense can play in the NFL," Wyatt said. "I can promise you I'm going to make plays anywhere I go."
Wyatt said he can even be utilized as a power running back near the goal line.
"If they put me back there, I'll look like Derrick Henry," Wyatt said.
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes this draft sets up nicely for the Ravens' needs. If they want to go offensive line with their first pick, the Ravens should be able to get a good one at No. 14. However, they are expected to address the defensive line at some point and could turn to Georgia when they do.
"You look at the defense upfront, get more athletic up there and get some more guys to kind of augment what they have, I think it's a good draft," Jeremiah said. "You could go to Georgia and find a couple of them. Jordan Davis is the big man that a lot of people know about and he's massive. Devonte Wyatt is the more explosive, dynamic player. He's going to fly out here, so he'll create a little bit of buzz for himself at the combine. That gives you a little bit more of an interior rush, get him on an edge and let him go. Those are two pretty good options right there."