The Baltimore Ravens had a very uncharacteristic year in 2021, failing to make the playoffs for the first time since Lamar Jackson took control of the offense, finishing the season with an 8-9 record, firmly in the bottom of the AFC North.
While it was disappointing, there were obvious reasons for the sudden drop off in production. Baltimore was absolutely wrecked by injuries all season long. Before the year even began, running back JK Dobbins suffered a torn ACL which kept him out for the season. Jackson dealt with injuries on and off and was only able to play in 12 games. Rookie wideout Rashod Bateman missed a large chunk of time at the beginning of the season and only ended up starting four games. On the defensive side of the ball, no CB played more than 14 games all season, with their star DB, Marlon Humphrey, only seeing action in 12 contests.
All of those players are hopeful to be healthy again when the 2022 season kicks off, instantly giving the Ravens a big boost to its team. They also have a ton of draft capital with 10 total picks, including the 14th overall pick. So Baltimore should be able to add several new faces that could come in and compete to play right away.
Here’s a full breakdown of all of Baltimore’s draft picks and team needs ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
2022 Draft Picks
Baltimore’s biggest issues on offense revolve around staying healthy. There’s definitely a ton of star power on the roster between Jackson, Dobbins, Bateman and TE Mark Andrews. Though they could definitely add another WR, with Sammy Watkins entering free agency. They could also get some depth on the offensive line. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is superb when he’s healthy, but he’s missed an insane amount of time over the last season and a half, so finding quality depth behind him would be beneficial.
Cornerback is probably the biggest need for this team right now. Outside of Humphrey and Marcus Peters, they don’t have any NFL starting caliber CBs on the roster. That’s an issue in a league where offenses are more and more pass-heavy as the years go on. They should also find another rusher off the edge in the defensive front for a team that struggled to bring down the QB last year. The Ravens had just 34 sacks a season ago, tied for 7th worst in the NFL.
Dream first pick
Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, CB — Cincinnati
Gardner is one of the best cover-cornerbacks to ever play the game at the college level. He went his entire career, starting all three seasons, without allowing a single touchdown in coverage. It’s a bit of wishful thinking to say he falls all the way down to 14, but Baltimore could package together a bunch of their later-round picks to try and trade up in the first round to nab the former Bearcat.