Grading the 2022 Ravens rookie class at the bye week
It’s much too early to evaluate the Baltimore Ravens’ rookies in 2022, but we’re doing it anyway. Here’s a quick rundown of each first-year player’s performance thus far.
Kyle Hamilton, S, Ravens
The No. 14 overall pick of the draft has played in 42 percent of offensive snaps and recorded 25 tackles, two quarterback hits, two passes defended, one sack, and one forced fumble. Hamilton’s playing time has increased since the beginning of the season, and his coverage skills and tackling ability have improved along with it.
After making a few mistakes in games against the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, Hamilton has played a sizeable role in limiting big plays.
He’s not going to win any defensive rookie awards but has steadily developed into a reliable safety in the Ravens’ backfield. The sky’s the limit for him in the second half of 2022.
Tyler Linderbaum, C, Ravens
Quietly putting together one of the league’s best rookie seasons is center Tyler Linderbaum, who has started all nine games for Baltimore.
Hailed as Bradley Bozeman’s replacement, Linderbaum faced his share of criticism after the draft, yet he has arguably made the large impact of any rookie on the Ravens.
His on-field play makes him look more like a seasoned vet than a rookie, and Linderbaum’s pass-protection and run-blocking win rate has simply been elite. In just Year 1, Linderbaum is already holding his own alongside veterans like Ronnie Stanley — he’s a franchise keeper, no doubt about that.
Travis Jones, DL, Ravens
Considered a steal in the 2022 draft, defensive tackle Travis Jones immediately filled an area of need for Baltimore. With Michael Pierce sidelined due to a season-ending injury, Jones saw an increase in his playing time and has evolved into a valuable rotational piece.
In seven games, Jones has recorded 10 tackles, two quarterback hits, one pass defended, and one sack. He’s acclimated quickly to the NFL in a dominant front seven unit of Calais Campbell, Justin Madubuike, and others, and he looks well on his way to developing into a reliable starting-caliber D-lineman.
Jordan Stout, P, Ravens
The transition from Sam Koch to Jordan Stout has been seamless through nine weeks of the season, and it’s safe to say the Ravens didn’t punt on this draft pick.
Stout has averaged 48.8 yards per punt, which ranks 11th in the league, and four of his punts have resulted in touchbacks. There’s not much to say about Stout’s performance other than the fact that he’s done his job — he hasn’t noticeably botched any of his punts this year and appears to be a dependable holder for Justin Tucker.
Besides, it’s usually a good thing when your punter isn’t making the news.
Isaiah Likely, TE, Ravens
Isaiah Likely trended all the way up after a strong preseason with the Ravens, but the rookie tight end still has some ways to go. Likely’s snaps have varied for most of the season but he has plugged in as a viable TE1 in the wake of Mark Andrews’ injury.
The rookie already has 17 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns and has blazed forward into the receiving unit as a top red-zone threat; however, he’s also dropped a couple of critical passes and hasn’t made a huge impact in the running game.
Time will tell if Likely can develop into a regular target for Lamar Jackson, but for now, he’ll be taking a back seat to Mark Andrews once Andrews recovers to full health.
Damarion Williams, CB, Ravens
With Kyle Fuller out of the picture, fourth-rounder Damarion Williams has performed admirably as one of the Ravens’ most capable slot defenders. Williams has split time on both the defense and special teams and could still use some fine-tuning in technical areas.
The rookie corner has struggled at times in coverage assignments and clearly poses as the weak link when compared to vets Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters.
That all being said, Williams could grow into a starting-caliber slot corner for Baltimore in the second half of the season. He hasn’t made much of a dent on the stat sheets and will need to improve his consistency, but that — like everything else — takes time.
The following Ravens rookies haven’t received enough playing time to earn a holistic grade: David Ojabo, Daniel Faalele, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Charlie Kolar, and Tyler Badie.