Ravens Defense Expected to Return to Top-10 Form

Which Ravens Rookies Will Quickly Earn Starting Jobs?

Throughout Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh’s tenure, he’s made sure rookies are prepared for a starting role before slotting them into the top spot on the depth chart. With the jump from the college level to the professional level being significant, it’s important they’re up to speed before fielding them. But the 2022 class may be talented enough to field numerous starters, according to Russell Street Report’s Chris Schisler.

“[Safety Kyle Hamilton’s] expected to play and be a difference-maker right away,” Schisler wrote. “Hamilton is the reason Chuck Clark is now on the trading block. Starting Clark over Hamilton would be a stick-in-the-mud choice, even for Harbaugh. Hamilton is going to see the field early and often.”

Schisler also sees the Ravens’ second first-round pick, center Tyler Linderbaum, as a Day 1 starter.

“The Ravens also drafted Tyler Linderbaum in the first round. He’s a plug-and-play starter,” Schisler wrote. “That was the entire point of taking Linderbaum with the 25th overall pick.”

The Ravens’ second-round pick in 2022, outside linebacker David Ojabo, isn’t expected to be a starter immediately, but the reasoning is due to him recovering from injury rather than him needing time to get up to speed.

Both Schisler and Russell Street Report’s Todd Karpovich see third-round defensive tackle Travis Jones competing for starting snaps in 2022.

“Jones may not get top billing on the defensive line, but he has to get involved,” Schisler wrote. “He offers much more than both Michael Pierce and Broderick Washington in terms of athleticism. Calais Campbell is going to be on a snap count as the elder of the defensive front, while we don’t really know if we can expect to see Derek Wolfe back in action.”

“Defensive tackle Travis Jones, a third-round pick, is widely regarded as one of the steals of the draft and has the ability to push for a starting job or play his way into the rotation,” Karpovich wrote.

It’s not until the fourth round that Schisler sees the rookies not making a starting impact right away.

“If anybody is going to be subject to the rookie tax it’s probably going to be tight end Charlie Kolar,” Schisler wrote. “Nick Boyle is one of the best blocking tight ends in football. Isaiah Likely, another rookie tight end, isn’t competing with Boyle’s role nearly as much. Because Likely is more of a big slot receiver than a hand in the dirt, next to the tackle tight end, he may escape the rookie tax easier than Kolar.”

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