2022 NFL Combine: 5 Players the Baltimore Ravens Should Watch

The 2022 NFL Combine is days away from kicking off, meaning the offseason is in full swing. The Baltimore Ravens have several needs to address, including offensive line, cornerback, and defensive line.

General manager Eric DeCosta has put together some solid draft classes since taking over for longtime GM Ozzie Newsome. Fortunately for the front office, the upcoming draft class features plenty of talent across the board at positions of need.

Players can improve (or worsen) their NFL Draft stock with their performance at the Scouting Combine. The Ravens should want to get a closer look at the five players who could go within the first two rounds.

Ravens draft targets Cincinnati's Sauce Gardner and Michigan's David Ojabo prepare for the NFL Combine.
Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner in action against the SMU Mustangs | Dylan Buell/Getty Images; Michigan Wolverines linebacker David Ojabo reacts after sack against the Penn State Nittany Lions | Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

The Baltimore Ravens need serious help on the offensive line. The unit allowed 57 sacks during the 2021 season, second to only the Chicago Bears (58). The front office has to prioritize protecting Lamar Jackson in the offseason, especially after he suffered an ankle injury toward the end of the year.

Charles Cross is one of the best offensive tackles participating in the 2022 NFL Combine. He started the past two seasons at Mississippi State. Cross flashed his potential as an elite pass protector, allowing just 16 pressures on 719 pass-blocking snaps. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 86.7 for the 2021 season.

All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley missed most of the season with an injury. Assuming he returns healthy, Cross could be a worthy running mate at right tackle. He stands 6-foot-5, 305 pounds, and has excellent athleticism for his size. He’s just the kind of prospect the Ravens could use to take the next step on offense.

EDGE David Ojabo, Michigan

Expect the Ravens to be paying close attention to David Ojabo at the NFL Combine. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound edge defender played under newly-hired defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald at Michigan.

Ojabo enjoyed a breakout sophomore season under Macdonald in Ann Arbor. He recorded 35 tackles, 11 sacks, and five forced fumbles. Aidan Hutchinson gets the notoriety, but Ojabo’s presence opened up opportunities for the projected top-five pick. The Ravens need to get better at generating a consistent pass rush. The Wolverines star could certainly help in that department.

Ojabo hasn’t played football long, picking up the sport during his junior year of high school. However, he’s a freak athlete who could wreak havoc alongside Odafe Oweh, who put together a solid rookie campaign. This is a player who can elevate his draft stock at the NFL Combine.

CB Sauce Gardner, Cincinnati

Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner is one of the most electric players in the 2022 NFL Draft class. He was an underrated high school prospect but made a household name for himself during his three seasons at Cincinnati. The junior finished his career with 99 tackles, 16 passes defended, and nine interceptions.

Many teams have already fallen in love with Gardner’s skill set. He’s a true lockdown cornerback. The Bearcats star never allowed a touchdown in his entire college career. He gave up just 131 yards in 14 games combined during the 2021 season, which is an insane stat.

The Ravens finished dead last in pass defense in 2021, allowing 278.9 yards per game and 31 passing touchdowns on the season. Injuries played a huge role in Baltimore’s struggles, but that’s even more reason to add depth. Lining Gardner up with Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters would create a no-fly zone in the Ravens secondary.

LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

Inside linebacker is another position of need for the Ravens. Patrick Queen is a player who hasn’t yet tapped into his full potential, but he had a solidified role in the defense. Questions remain about Malik Harrison at the other inside linebacker spot, though.

Devin Lloyd could be one of the can’t-miss prospects at the 2022 NFL Combine. The Utah product is arguably the best all-around linebacker in the class. He finished his college career with 256 tackles, 43 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, and five interceptions.

Lloyd is a physical downhill linebacker who excels at stopping the run. He also improved his coverage skills in 2021. His physical tools and intangible align perfectly with what the Ravens have stood for over the years. The production is undeniable. Now, the Utes standout can flash his measurables in front of the scouts.

C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

Baltimore needs help along the offensive line, not just on the perimeter. Bradley Bozeman started at center in 2021 after playing left guard the past two seasons. He’s an unrestricted free agent, so there’s a possibility he could sign elsewhere. It would be wise for the Ravens to assess the interior offensive line prospects.

Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum is one of the best linemen in the draft class, regardless of position. He was outstanding in 2021, earning a grade of 95.4 from Pro Football Focus. Linderbaum helped pave the way for Tyler Goodson’s strong junior campaign. The running back racked up 1,151 yards and six touchdowns on 256 carries.

The Ravens are a run-heavy team, so general manager Eric DeCosta must shore up the offensive line. Linderbaum could pan out to anchor this front line for years to come.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and College Football Reference

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