Who is Isaiah Likely, the Baltimore Ravens Breakout Rookie Tight End?
The Baltimore Ravens already have an All-Pro tight end in Mark Andrews. That didn’t stop John Harbaugh and Eric DeCosta from beefing up the position, though, in the 2022 NFL Draft. The team took two TEs in the fourth round, and one of those players, Isaiah Likely, is one of the outstanding rookies of the 2022 preseason.
Here’s everything you need to know about the breakout rookie tight end sensation heading into the 2022 NFL season.
Who is Ravens rookie tight end Isaiah Likely?
Isaiah Likely wasn’t the first tight end selected in the 2022 NFL draft. He was the ninth. The Coastal Carolina star wasn’t even the first TE to go in the fourth round. He was the fifth. And, wildest of all, he wasn’t the first TE the Baltimore Ravens picked. He was the second after Iowa State pass-catcher Charlie Kolar.
The Massachusetts native committed to Coastal Carolina ahead of the 2018 season and played four years for the Chanticleers. Likely finished his collegiate career with a host of Sun Belt Conference honors and 133 catches for 2,050 yards with 27 touchdowns. His year-by-year production looked like this:
After his senior season, Isaiah Likely went to the NFL combine and performed well. He measured 6-foot-4 ½ and 245 pounds. In addition to his physical skills and big-play ability, NFL.com noted that “Likely was a winner in high school and played a pivotal role in the ascension of Coastal Carolina over the past two seasons.”
Despite the production, measurables, and impressive intangibles, Likely didn’t go until late in the fourth round (No. 139), after the Ravens had already taken another TE.
The rookie pass-catcher is crushing it a Ravens training camp and in the preseason
After trading Marquise “Hollywood” Brown on draft night, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens will run a new-look offense in 2022. More reliable (but less explosive) wideouts Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman are on the outside, and offensive coordinator Greg Roman will use a lot of multiple tight end formations this year.
This is what makes Isaiah Likely’s breakout preseason all the more important.
Likely is stunning coaches, players, fans, and media at practices and performing well in the preseason games. After a four-catch, 44-yard debut, Likely followed that up with eight catches for 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half of the next game.
The rookie TE still has to prove his mettle in the regular season. Still, with Mark Andrews drawing the lion’s share of attention on the Ravens offense, Lamar Jackson could have a new favorite target, especially early in the season.
The road to NFL stardom is paved with preseason heroes who’ve never amounted to anything. Still, with his performance thus far and track record of success, Isaiah Likely is a name to watch in the 2022 NFL season.
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference