This year’s draft class could arguably be described as the most “Ravens” draft in recent history.
Eric DeCosta stayed true to his “best player available” strategy each draft day, and many high-end bargain value prospects ended up falling into the Baltimore Ravens’ lap. Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Linderbaum, and David Ojabo represent some of the most talented weapons that Baltimore picked up in the 2022 NFL Draft, but the team’s shining draft haul doesn’t necessarily forebode success for every single player on the Ravens roster.
While some players stand to benefit from these recent additions, others stand to suffer and could be out of a starting position by mid-season.
Having such an elite draft class means the stakes have been raised even higher for 2022, a season in which the Ravens aim to bounce back in a major way.
Despite what appears to be a seamless assimilation of rookies and veterans (welcome to Charm City, indeed), ruthless competition abounds, every man is out for himself, and pre-season training and workouts will reveal which players make it past the ring of fire.
Here are the biggest winners and losers of the Ravens’ 2022 draft.
Ravens’ Winner No. 3: James Proche
The Ravens curiously decided against selecting a single wideout in the 2022 NFL Draft, so that in itself suggests the franchise has a high degree of optimism in its current receiver corps.
Which wide receiver could profit the most? The obvious answer is Rashod Bateman, but the less obvious one is James Proche.
Proche distinguished himself with an impressive performance in last year’s training camp but took a little too much time to adapt to the Ravens’ offensive scheme. In 14 games played last season, Proche recorded 16 catches for 202 yards and failed to reach the end zone.
Had Marquise Brown stayed with the team, Proche would likely continue assuming backup wideout duties, but he has a real shot at becoming WR3 in 2022 as long as he continues improving his game.
There’s a time to panic about the Ravens’ lack of wideout talent, and that time isn’t now. The team has until September to secure at least one veteran receiver and could still be in the business of making trades. Admittedly, not taking even one wideout in this year’s draft means the Ravens are placing their steady faith in their current young receiver room, for better or for worse, and Proche embodies the player with the most upside behind Bateman.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Proche sets career highs this year and hauls in anywhere from 600 to 700 yards, carving out a reliable role for himself on the outside. The team will still miss Brown’s seasoned presence, but there’s plenty of space for Proche to grow, and grow he will.