Hayes has been one of the more notable standouts from OTAs to this point and could push to receive playing time early in his career.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently put together a list of eight rookies who have been “making waves” at OTAs around the NFL, and Hayes was one of the players mentioned.
The rookie fifth-rounder has made a strong first impression on his new team and has arguably looked just as impressive (if not more impressive) than fellow draft pick Odafe Oweh.
Daelin Hayes has impressed the Ravens early at OTAs.
The Ravens overhauled their outside linebacker corps this offseason with both Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue departing in free agency. That left a gaping hole at the position, one that the team turned to the draft to address.
After drafting the physically gifted Oweh in the first round, the Ravens made sure to double-up at the position adding Hayes a few rounds later on Day 3.
Oweh and Hayes are expected to compete for playing time with the likes of the returning Tyus Bowser, Pernell McPhee, and Jaylon Ferguson.
And of the five, Hayes has arguably been the most impressive.
Hayes tallied two eye-opening sacks during last Wednesday’s practice first beating reserve tight end Eric Tomlinson before doing the same to undrafted rookie tackle Foster Sarell.
The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec detailed Hayes’ impressive pair of plays.
"“Rookie outside linebacker Daelin Hayes showed his pass-rushing repertoire, beating blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson with a nifty inside spin move. A few plays later, Hayes got the better of undrafted rookie Foster Sarell with an outside speed rush.”"
Hayes, like Oweh, wasn’t the most productive player in college with just nine sacks to his credit over a span of 53 games. In fact, he really wasn’t a full-time starter until his senior season at Notre Dame.
But scouts have praised his athleticism and motor — two things that could serve him well in defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s defense.
It’s unlikely he earns a starting job right out of the gate, but if he continues to impress during training camp, the Ravens might have no choice but to give him snaps in the rotation.
Keep an eye on Daelin Hayes this summer. Don’t be surprised if he makes an impact on defense early in his career.