The Baltimore Ravens got more production than expected out of Isaiah Likely last season considering he was a fourth-round pick. However, it is fair to remember that he was just a fourth-round pick, and while he produced, he only had 373 yards.
Isaiah Likely career trajectory with Baltimore Ravens
Still, since 2000, he ranks sixth amongst tight ends drafted on day three of the NFL draft in yards as a rookie. There are only 12 other tight ends who had at least 250 yards. What does the history of tight ends producing early, but being drafted on day three of the NFL draft tell us about Isaiah Likely?
The names that were on this list include Aaron Hernandez, George Kittle, Chris Herndon, Randy McMichael, Mychal Rivera, Eric Johnson, Owen Daniels, Ian Thomas, Aaron Shea, Bo Scaife, Luke Wilson, and Kaden Smith. Hernandez had the most yards as a rookie, and he was only 21 years old. No other tight end on day three was 21 when they hit 250 yards, so he was the youngest, and highest-performing. Considering he was only around on day three for an obvious reason now, we will exclude him from this. That gives us 11 names.
Of those, the obvious name everyone will point to is George Kittle. Still, it has to be noted that he is the 1/11 player. The list with Kaden Smith, Chris Herndon, Ian Thomas, and Aaron Shea all saw their production drop. Thomas stuck around in the NFL, but would probably be considered similar to Eric Johnson, Bo Scaife, Luke Wilson, and Mycal Rivera. These players did better in year two than their rookie season, but they also had middling careers that did not go onto anything more than depth production.
Finally, there is Owen Daniels, and Randy McMichael. They both performed better in year two than in year three, and both of them went on to play for multiple contracts. They are not the George Kittle-level hits, but recent history tells us these two might be some of the best cases for Isaiah Likely.
If you want to break the results into odds, about 27% of the time the player in Likely's situation gets worse and does nothing. 45% of the time the player will do slightly better, but still not amount to a starting-level player. There is an 18% chance that he becomes a quality starter in the NFL, then there is that 9% chance that he finds a way to be the next George Kittle, who was taken on day three and turns into an NFL star.