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Baltimore Ravens

Ravens pick Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones in third round of 2022 NFL draft: ‘His style of play really fits us’

The Ravens addressed an immediate need in the third round of the NFL draft, picking Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones, a powerful interior presence regarded as a second-round talent by many analysts.

The 6-foot-4, 325-pound Jones delivered 47 tackles and 4 ½ sacks, impressive numbers for an interior lineman, in 2021. According to Sports Info Solutions, he also led all nose tackle prospects in pressure rate. The No. 76 overall pick did not play the previous season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“The emotion was crazy,” Jones said on a Zoom call shortly after the Ravens picked him. “I’m just happy I got picked up by the right team and the right fit.”

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper referred to Jones “as a potential monster inside” with first-round talent. Pro Football Focus said he’s “not much of a playmaker or finisher in [the] run game” but that he “rag-dolled linemen left and right.” He improved his draft stock with a standout performance at the Senior Bowl and eye-popping test numbers at the NFL scouting combine.

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Though Pro Football Focus referred to him as “a quintessential block of granite at nose tackle,” he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.92 seconds and completed his cone drill in 7.33 seconds, exceptional marks for a defender his size.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said Jones jumped out to him at the Senior Bowl. “I noticed he was powerfully built, and he was unblockable that week in Mobile,” he said. “His style of play really fits us.”

He said Ravens defensive line coach Anthony Weaver advocated for Jones, seeing unusual potential in his massive frame.

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“He’s going to hearken back to some of the guys we’ve had in here,” DeCosta said. “He’s got unusual quickness for his size.”

The 22-year-old Connecticut native played offensive guard in high school but switched to defense at his home-state university, where he played for former Maryland coach Randy Edsall.

He said he showed up weighing 360 pounds but dropped 30 pounds by his sophomore year, sculpting his body through devoted weight lifting.

“You talk about a guy that’s transformed his body,” Edsall told the Hartford Courant before last season. “He has worked his tail off. He really looks good.”

Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz said he watched Jones improve throughout 2021. “When you watched him, you watched him progress as the season went on,” he said. “His technique improved. His stamina improved.”

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In addition to Jones’ power, scouts praised his long arms and powerful hands. Jones said he considers himself a run stuffer who can also collapse the pocket.

He admires Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell, another long-armed lineman who manhandles blockers. Jones will bring fresh legs to a line that includes veterans Campbell, Derek Wolfe and Michael Pierce along with third-year defensive tackles Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington.


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