Here’s what Baltimore Sun staff members think of the Ravens’ selections on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL draft, including Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo at No. 45 overall and Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones at No. 76 overall:
No. 45 overall: Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: It wasn’t long ago that David Ojabo was being linked to the Ravens at No. 14 overall. If the Ravens’ medical staff is confident that Ojabo still has the freakish potential he showed before tearing his Achilles tendon, this was a no-brainer pick at a premium position. Like his close friend Odafe Oweh, Ojabo hasn’t been playing football for very long. He’s already very good. The Michigan connections in Baltimore should only help his transition.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens had to be thrilled when David Ojabo, a top-15 talent who thrived under defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald at Michigan, dropped to them in the middle of the second round. No, he won’t contribute much this year after he tore his Achilles tendon during his pro day, but he’s a long, explosive pass rusher who could be a star in a few years. The Ravens needed a high-ceiling talent on the edge, and they got one.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens’ selection of Michigan outside linebacker David Ojabo is interesting, since he’s joining a team coming off an injury-filled season after tearing his Achilles tendon at his pro day. Ojabo has all the physical tools to be a strong pass rusher. He is big, mobile and explosive and has an assortment of moves. He definitely isn’t a one-trick pony. He is a liability against strong running teams, so he’ll likely be used as a “go fetch” guy in passing situation once he returns.
Ojabo is a gamble, but who cares? He had 11 sacks last year and the Ravens got him in the second round. Projections suggest that he could return sometime in mid to late October, and that’s good news for the Ravens, who don’t have a consistent pass rusher on the roster.
In recent years, the Ravens have been sold bad advice on Michigan players because of the connection between Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh and his brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh. But at least the Ravens have former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald running the defense now. That’s a plus because of his inside knowledge of Ojabo. He can be a buffer against the misinformation.
It’s still a pipe dream, but Ojabo on one side and Odafe Oweh on the other creates some hope and excitement in Baltimore.
Ryan McFadden, reporter: If it wasn’t for the Achilles injury, Ojabo would’ve been a first-round selection. I love this pick for the Ravens, as they get a talented edge rusher who can get after the quarterback. He registered 11 sacks last season for the Wolverines. This is a high-risk, high-reward move.
C.J. Doon, editor: Make that three top players who fall to the Ravens. Ojabo is ranked No. 29 on the media consensus big board, and he was much higher before suffering a torn Achilles tendon at his pro day. The Ravens need to be patient with his recovery, but once Ojabo returns, he’ll be a fantastic complement to his former Blair Academy (N.J.) teammate Odafe Oweh.
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Tim Schwartz, editor: This is a home run pick for the Ravens. To get Ojabo, who would have been a top-15 pick if he didn’t tear his Achilles tendon at his pro day, at No. 45 overall is tremendous value. He might need a little time to get settled, but he won’t need any adjusting to the playbook considering the Ravens’ Mike Macdonald was his defensive coordinator at Michigan. Ojabo fills an immediate need, too. This draft is shaping up to be another classic for Baltimore. You could argue they have three of the top-15 players in the draft, and they did it in 45 picks. And they still have six picks in the fourth round to help fill other needs and add depth. Ravens gonna Raven.
No. 76 overall: Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones
Shaffer: Travis Jones is the kind of big-boy defensive tackle whose value goes beyond his run-stuffing ability. He can get after the quarterback, a quality that Ravens defensive linemen have lacked in recent years. Jones had 4 1/2 sacks last year and seven quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Focus. He also shined last season as a three-technique lineman, meaning he could share the field with nose tackle Michael Pierce. Considering Jones’ impressive performance at the Senior Bowl and the NFL scouting combine, where he tested like an elite prospect, the Ravens must have been pleasantly surprised to see him available this late.
Walker: The Ravens addressed an immediate need with their pick of Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones in the third round. The 6-foot-4, 325-pound Jones was projected as a second-round talent by many analysts, and though he’s still developing as a pass rusher, he led the Huskies with 4 1/2 sacks in 2021. He’s a long-armed power player who could earn immediate snaps as an interior lineman.
Preston: Travis Jones is a big body who can occupy two blockers at the line of scrimmage. He isn’t highly explosive off the ball and doesn’t disrupt much with penetration, but he keeps opposing offensive linemen off inside linebackers. He fits into the Ravens’ scheme well. The Ravens need to work with him as far as using his hands and keeping his pads down, but he should give them some depth, especially since the team has yet to re-sign Brandon Williams, the starting nose guard from last season. Jones will be another project for veteran end/tackle Calais Campbell to teach.
McFadden: The Ravens make another strong selection to bolster their defense. Jones, who was considered a second-round pick, was impressive during the 2021 season, racking up 47 tackles (7 1/2 for loss) and 4 1/2 sacks in 11 starts. He has the potential to be a disruptive player up front.
Doon: Don’t let Connecticut’s woefulness as a college football program fool you. Jones is an elite athlete at 6-4 and 325 pounds, ranking 89th out of 1,459 defensive tackles since 1987 in Relative Athletic Score, which grades a player’s measurements on a 0 to 10 scale. The Ravens needed to get younger on the defensive line, and Jones has all the tools to grow into a dependable starter with pass-rushing upside. All of the Ravens’ first four selections rank among the top 40 in the media consensus big board.
Schwartz: The Ravens are loading up with all kinds of talent in this draft. While Tyler Linderbaum is a considered a technician at center, their third-round pick, Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones, is a mauler. He’s an elite athlete — his measurables are off the charts — and fits exactly with the type of culture Baltimore has developed over the past few decades. He’s 6-4, 325 pounds and had eight sacks the past two seasons for a terrible football team. As solid as Day 1 was for the Ravens, Day 2 shaped up to be even better. You won’t find many haters for these picks.