Even though Baltimore Ravens center Tyler Linderbaum is just a rookie, he deserved a spot on the 2023 AFC Pro Bowl roster as much as anybody else.
The 25th pick of the 2022 draft has exceeded expectations with his elite play on the offensive line this season and has arguably given the Ravens the biggest return on their investment out of all the rookies.
Linderbaum got his first season in the league off to a strong start and has seemingly only gotten better: in Week 14, he graded out as the top-performing O-lineman among all qualified players, earning a 91.3 Pro Football Focus grade.
A week later, he ranked fourth on the team (better than Ronnie Stanley!) as one of the highest-graded Ravens players even after Baltimore put together a pitiful offensive performance against the Cleveland Browns.
The transition from former center Bradley Bozeman to Linderbaum has been seamless, and Linderbaum’s excellent performances have not been lost on the media.
NFL’s Eric Edholm listed the rookie center as one of many Pro Bowl snubs and praised Linderbaum’s play so far this season:
"Turn on the Buccaneers tape from Week 8 for an example of what we’re talking about. The first-rounder takes LB Devin White on about a 7-yard ride on one play. Looking for something more recent? Check out the Pittsburgh game from two weeks ago, when the Steelers moved Cam Heyward over center quite a bit. Linderbaum more than held his own against the three-time All-Pro."
Ravens center Tyler Linderbaum should have made the AFC Pro Bowl roster
Six Ravens players were included in the 2023 Pro Bowl games, which ranks third-most in the NFL.
The AFC Pro Bowl roster includes Pat Ricard, Devin Duvernay, Mark Andrews, Roquan Smith, Marlon Humphrey, and Justin Tucker.
Another honorable mention was Kevin Zeitler, who finished first in Pro Bowl fan voting but didn’t make the cut for the Pro Bowl games.
Both Linderbaum and Zeitler have helped elevate Baltimore’s offensive line in both pass protection and blocking for the run; despite the Ravens’ weekly scoring struggles, the O-line should not be to blame.
Baltimore essentially got Linderbaum as a result of the Marquise Brown trade during the 2022 draft, and so far, that deal has panned out better than expected.
The Ravens will no doubt look to improve their wide receiver unit this upcoming offseason, yet they can rest easy knowing Linderbaum has an incredibly bright future ahead of him.