Ravens hold most early-round draft picks in franchise history
The Baltimore Ravens have a diamond mine’s worth of draft capital heading into April considering the fact they don’t rank as a bottom-tier team.
The team holds nine picks in the first four rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft, which includes the two compensatory picks they received on Wednesday. That amounts to the most draft picks in the first four rounds in Ravens franchise history, not to mention the most in the league in six years.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, a team having nine or more selections in the first four rounds has occurred just six times since 1967.
Ravens’ general manager Eric DeCosta recently said of the team’s draft capital:
"“If we do our job correctly, if we stack the board the right way [and] if we’re able to play the combinations correctly, I think we have a really good chance to build some serious and quality depth to help this team be the best it can be.”"
Such is the tried-and-true organizational philosophy of the Ravens, after all.
Arguably more so than any other NFL franchise, the Ravens have a successful history of selecting and developing young players and tend to place a higher premium on draft picks in general.
The Ravens have a whopping nine picks in the first four rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft
Whereas some franchises like the Los Angeles Rams traded picks this past season to assemble their Super Bowl-winning roster, the Ravens do business slightly differently. The Ravens own every one of their original picks in the first four rounds, and they received their five other picks through different avenues.
For one, the team earned a third-round compensatory pick that they received due to the league’s minority hiring resolution.
Then, Baltimore turned a fifth-round pick as part of the Orlando Brown Jr. trade with the Kansas City Chiefs into a fourth-round pick as part of a 2021 trade with the New York Giants.
The team additionally got a fourth-rounder from a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, as well as two compensatory fourth-rounders from losing Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue and not signing top unrestricted free agents last offseason.
The franchise has been known to profit from the NFL’s compensatory pick system since its inception in 1994, and some of Baltimore’s previous comp picks have resulted in the team selecting productive starters like center Bradley Bozeman and punter Sam Koch.
Of course, having the picks is one thing. Using them well is another.
Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, the cornerback unit and offensive line may need the most help, and much ink has been spilled on how the team should use its No. 14 pick. Ahmad Gardner or Tyler Linderbaum? Derek Stingley Jr. or David Ojabo?
As with most drafts, there’s no clear right answer, but trust that the Ravens organization will evaluate each option to the utmost degree.