Whenever the Ravens draft a player, the have a vision in their heads.
How will this player help us now? How will this player help us down the road?
The NFL Draft is a projection-based operation. With that in mind, here's how the Ravens likely view the short- and long-term outlooks of their 2022 NFL Draft class:
Round 1: S Kyle Hamilton (No. 14 overall)
2022: Despite the fact that the Ravens already had starters in free-agent addition Marcus Williams and highly respected veteran Chuck Clark, Hamilton will immediately step into an important role in the Ravens defense. Part of Hamilton's value is that he's so versatile. He has the range to play deep safety, the movement skills to play in the slot, and the size and physicality to bang near the line of scrimmage. The Ravens may deploy a fair amount of three-safety looks in 2022.
Long-term: Hamilton was a top-five talent in this draft class who somehow slipped to No. 14. The Ravens have had other elite talents fall into their laps – guys such as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata. All of those players went on to be multi-year All-Pros. Hamilton has the potential to reach that high bar.
Round 1: C Tyler Linderbaum (No. 25)
2022: The Ravens drafted Linderbaum to step in as their immediate starter replacing Bradley Bozeman. Baltimore could have used Patrick Mekari at center, but the Ravens were looking to upgrade that spot and allow Mekari to do what he does best as a top reserve across the line and top competitor for the left guard spot. Linderbaum will be tasked with better protecting Lamar Jackson and helping to take the rushing attack to the next level.
Long-term: Linderbaum is the first center the Ravens have ever drafted in the first round. He is the seventh center taken in the first round in the past decade. Of the other six, three have gone to a Pro Bowl (Frank Ragnow, Ryan Kelly, Travis Frederick). Baltimore believes Linderbaum will be, at the least, a long-time high-quality starter. He has the potential to be a Pro Bowler.
Round 2: OLB David Ojabo (No. 45)
2022: The Ravens are confident that Ojabo will play "at some point" during his rookie season, but it remains to be seen when. Ojabo will miss a chunk of the season as he rehabs the Achilles he tore at his pro day on March 19. He could add some juice and fresh legs to the Ravens' pass rush in the latter part of the season, which would certainly be valuable. One benefit is he will already have some familiarity with the system since he played for Mike Macdonald last year at Michigan.
Long-term: Baltimore could have selected Ojabo at No. 14 overall had he not suffered the injury. That's how talented he is, and the upside the Ravens (and other teams) saw in the Michigan pass rusher who broke out with 11 sacks and five forced fumbles last season. Like Odafe Oweh, Ojabo is still learning the game after starting it late, but his athleticism gives him sky-high potential to become a double-digit sack producer opposite his good friend and former high school teammate.
Round 3: DT Travis Jones (No. 76)
2022: The Ravens were looking for more juice to add to their defensive line, particularly with interior pass rush. Jones, who had 4.5 sacks in his final season, will see early action in the Ravens' defensive line rotation as they look to keep everyone fresh. The stout run stopper can also team up with Michael Pierce to offset the loss of Brandon Williams, who is still a free agent.
Long-term: Jones has the size and movement skills to be a versatile three-down defensive lineman. The Ravens wanted to inject more youth into their defensive line to grow under veterans Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe, who is coming off hip surgery. Jones should emerge as a multi-year starter with the athletic upside to be a high-impact player.
Round 4: OT Daniel Faalele (No. 110)
2022: If Ronnie Stanley is back and ready to go at left tackle, the Ravens already have two right tackles with Morgan Moses and Ja'Wuan James. Faalele, who came late to football after growing up playing rugby and other sports in Australia, has time to develop a skillset to match his size. He does provide increased immediate depth in case Stanley's rehab lingers.
Long-term: The Ravens envision Faalele taking over as the starting right tackle in the future. With his 6-foot-8, 384-pound frame, strength and nimble movements, the potential is there for Faalele to be groomed into an Orlando Brown Jr.-like mauler in the trenches.
Round 4: CB Jalyn Armour-Davis (No. 119)
2022: The Ravens are looking for their backup cornerbacks behind Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. Brandon Stephens could switch back to corner, but it will still be a competition for critical spots. Every team needs at least three strong cornerbacks in today's NFL, and Armour-Davis will have an opportunity to win that spot.
Long-term: Armour-Davis has the tools to be a starting cornerback for the Ravens. He's fast, quick, has good size, and is strong press corner and willing tackler. Injuries plagued him in high school and college, but if he can stay healthy, Armour-Davis could take over as a starting corner down the road or at least be a top reserve like Anthony Averett was in Baltimore.
Round 4: TE Charlie Kolar (No. 128)
2022: The Ravens have their Y in Mark Andrews, but Kolar provides an instant insurance policy for Baltimore's All-Pro tight end as he soaks up his knowledge. Kolar will likely be a rotational piece behind Andrews and Nick Boyle. The Ravens could also utilize his size and ability to box out defenders in the red zone. Kolar scored 20 touchdowns the past three seasons.
Long-term: Baltimore locked up Andrews to a long-term contract, but a strong No. 2 tight end is valuable, especially in a tight end-centric offense like the Ravens deploy. Kolar and Andrews could team up to give the Ravens a dangerous duo for years to come.
Round 4: P Jordan Stout (No. 130)
2022: The Ravens drafted Stout to take over punting duties from veteran Sam Koch, who will turn 40 before the season begins. The rookie will be relied upon not just as a punter, but also to become an excellent holder for All-Pro kicker Justin Tucker.
Long-term: Koch has punted in Baltimore for 16 years. If Stout could even come close to that kind of sustained success, he would have had a fine career worthy of a fourth-round pick. The Ravens felt Stout, who was the highest punter drafted since 2012, was the only draft-worthy punter in this year's class and the best they've seen come out in a long time.
Round 4: TE Isaiah Likely (No. 139)
2022: Baltimore is suddenly loaded with tight ends. Likely will look to beat out Josh Oliver, who played in 14 games and made nine catches for 66 yards last season, as a reserve receiving tight end. The fact that the Ravens did not draft a wide receiver could give Likely a bigger role as Head Coach John Harbaugh sees him as a WR/TE hybrid. Baltimore could also use improved perimeter blocking after releasing Miles Boykin, and Likely could help.
Long-term: Likely put on a show in his final college season with 59 catches for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns, showing his potential as a playmaker. The Ravens envision him as a matchup problem for defenses across various formations. The NFL has tilted more towards dynamic pass-catching tight ends and Likely could be a productive complimentary weapon for years with Andrews and Kolar.
Round 4: CB Damarion Williams (No. 141)
2022: The Ravens need a slot cornerback. Maybe Stephens fills that role, but Williams will be in the competition for it this summer. The sticky, fleet-footed Williams will look to hone his instincts and eyes to match the tools, and he'll need to carve out a role on special teams. Williams is reminiscent of Tavon Young, who ended up playing in all 16 games and starting 11 as a fourth-round rookie in 2016.
Long-term: If Williams did become the next Young, that would be a huge win. Young spent six seasons in Baltimore and was at one point made the highest-paid clot corner in the NFL. The Ravens hope Williams will develop into that kind of respected leader and player.
Round 6: RB Tyler Badie (No. 196)
2022: So long as J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards return from their season-ending knee injuries ready to play, Badie will be competing for the No. 3 running back spot with Justice Hill, Nate McCrary and Ty'Son Williams. Considering how effective he was as a receiving weapon in college, Badie could contribute as a change-of-pace back as a rookie if his blocking is good enough. Badie will also need to stand out on special teams to earn his roster spot.
Long-term: Badie had major production at Missouri, showing all the attributes of a lead running back despite his smaller size at 5-foot-8, 197 pounds. Before taking over as the team's leading rusher as a senior, he was still often relied upon as a receiver and could have a similar impact in the NFL.