Identifying locks in the top 22 picks of 2023 NFL draft
It is tough to say who exactly the Baltimore Ravens could be interested in when they are picking down at number 22 in the 2023 NFL draft. However, one thing we can find is which players will certainly be gone. We look into the locks to get drafted before the Ravens are on the clock, and then we can see just how many more players will have to go.
Identifying locks before Baltimore Ravens pick in round one
Quarterback: We can say that three locks will get taken. We could make the case for four, but when you are talking locks, you do want to be safe. We do not know for sure who will fall, but we can say pretty confidently that three will go, and there could be four.
Running back: Is Bijan Robinson a lock for the top 22? The only reason he would not be is because running back is so devalued. He is definitely one of the top players, and there has to be a point where he is better than some of the other options. Considering this is not the deepest class, and guys like Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs went this high, we will call him a lock for the top 22.
Wide receiver: If anyone is a lock, it may be Jaxon Smith-Njigba. However, the issue with saying it is a lock a wide receiver will get taken is deciding who. Between JSN, Jordan Addison, Zay Flowers, Jalin Hyatt, and Quentin Johnston there is a case to be made for any, or none of them. For now, we will see how many locks go without any wide outs.
Tight End: This is another position you could make a case for a lock, but you have to choose which one. Between Michael Mayer and Dalton Kincaid, one of them will be off of the board by 22, and perhaps both.
Offensive line: The locks at tackle are Paris Johnson, Broderick Jones, and Darnell Wright. Then, inside Peter Skoronski will get taken. O'Cyrus Torrence, John Michael-Schmitz, and Anton Harrison have cases to be made, but also are not locks.
Defensive Line: Jalen Carter may fall, but not to 22. The questions come from Bryan Breese, Ade Adebawore, Calijah Kancey, and Mazi Smith. It is hard to call any of them a lock, even if one or two may end up in the top 20.
Edge rushers - This will help the Ravens with a few locks. Will Anderson is a lock, and Tyree Wilson also will be locked into the top 10. Lukas Van Ness may not be a top-10 lock, but he will be gone by pick 20. Then, there is Myles Murphy and Nolan Smith. The Ravens have given them a lot of attention because they may be the top guys on the board at pick 22. We cannot say either is a lock.
Linebackers - There is no lock, and it is more likely than not that a linebacker does not go this high.
Cornerback - Christian Gonzalez and Devon Witherspoon are locks. The question is Joey Porter or Deonte Banks. We can safely assume one will be gone, but it is hard to say both are locks.
Safety - Is Brian Branch a lock? His upside is not a game-changer but there may not be a safer player in the draft. He is a top-20 guy.
So, remember we may be subbing in a quarterback, tight end, and cornerback because one will definitely be gone, but we are not sure which one. With that in mind here are our 17 locks.
Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, CJ Stroud, Bijan Robinson, Michael Mayer, Paris Johnson, Broderick Jones, Peter Skoronski, Darnell Wright, Jalen Carter, Wil Anderson, Lukas Van Ness, Tyree Wilson, Christian Gonzalez, Devon Witherspoon, Joey Porter, Brian Branch.
If we assume that Deonte Banks, Will Levis, and Dalton Kincaid join this list, we get to 20. If we add just one wide receiver, we get to 21, and that is probably the list of locks to get to the Baltimore Ravens picks.
If the three names mentioned, and one wide receiver are joined by those 17 guys, who do the Baltimore Ravens draft?