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It wasn’t hard to find praise for the Ravens’ 11-player 2022 draft class. It also wasn’t hard to find a thread linking most of the rookies.

Six of the Ravens’ picks participated in the 2022 Senior Bowl, the postseason all-star game for draft prospects held annually in Mobile, Alabama. No one in the NFL took more Senior Bowl products, and only three other teams — the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks — took as many.

The Ravens would’ve had seven, too, had Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, recovering from a late-season foot injury, been healthy enough to participate.

“That’s the goal every year, is just to bring the players [teams] want to see,” Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, a former NFL scout, said in a recent interview. “I don’t think any of these guys go into a draft saying, ‘Well, let’s take all Senior Bowl guys.’ But I do think that a lot of teams really value the week down here and the type of guys that come down here and compete and put themselves on the line and aren’t afraid to put themselves out there. I think there’s teams that put more value in it than some others. I think time has shown that. I think the Ravens have shown that.”

The start of organized team activities this week offers another chance to evaluate the Ravens’ much-hyped rookie class. Here’s how Nagy sees the six Senior Bowl products, as well as Linderbaum, transitioning to the NFL.

C Tyler Linderbaum (first round, No. 25 overall)

“It would’ve been good to get him down here. It would’ve helped some of the teams see him against some bigger, stronger dudes. But what jumps off the tape to me first is just the athlete. Really good lateral mobility, very good initial quickness, second-level play, the ability to sustain in place, very heady. You can tell he’s played a lot of football. Just everything you want from the center position.

“He got picked apart a little bit through the process based off his size, and again, that’s what scouts do. They pick players apart as you go through the process. But just a really good player — a guy that you can plug in there Year 1 and feel good about moving forward as your center of the future. He’s pretty much a ready-made guy coming out of that Iowa program.

“I think the wrestling background certainly helps [compensate for his smaller frame]. He’s used to shooting and getting inside people and fitting people up. So I think that’s where the wrestling background comes in, for sure. I mean, you have to have a size standard at every position. You have to have those parameters. Now, that doesn’t mean you are beholden to them in every single case. I think you go in a case-by-case basis. What you don’t want to do is vary off too much from your standards, and then you’ve got a team of exceptions. It’s one thing to make an exception here or there. I think the old adage is, ‘You just don’t want a team full of exceptions.’

“But in Tyler’s case, obviously, the arms came back a little shorter than probably what most teams would have as a benchmark there at the center position. But he’s got really quick hands. And that matters, just being able to get up and win first off the snap, get that snap hand up. And then, again, just to the wrestling background, the ability to fit up and latch and keep your body in position and understand the natural leverage it takes to stay in a block and recover, too. I mean, wrestlers have a natural recoverability to them. You’re talking about undersized guys; they might lose the upper hand, they might get torqued and tipped a little bit, but those wrestlers have a way to compensate and figure out how to snap their body back in position.”

DT Travis Jones (third round, No. 76 overall)

“He had an incredible week. He had one of the best weeks of any player down here, regardless of position. And really, he was the player that I thought he was going to be all year on UConn tape. The last tape we had seen was 2019, when we did them last summer, because he opted out that COVID year [in 2020].

“So we talked to the coaches up there. They talked about him reshaping his body. They talked about him getting stronger. So you really thought, fast-forwarding two years from ‘19 to the fall of ‘21, that you were going to see this big jump. And it really didn’t happen. He started a little slow. There was some inconsistency. …

“And then he just came down here and he was what we thought we were going to see to start the 2021 year. It’s what we saw all week down here. There’s a ton of power in his body. He’s not your typical nose tackle where you just kind of pigeonhole him as the two-down, run-downs player. He can certainly do that, but he’s got really good in-line power and knock-back to get people on their heels. And he showed that against a couple of first-round picks. He had some really nice reps against Cole Strange, from Chattanooga, and Zion Johnson, from [Boston College]. I think both those guys will go to Pro Bowls in their careers, and Travis more than held his own against those guys. So I really thought Travis would have a chance to go in the back end of the first [round] or the early part of the second. …

“I do think he has three-down ability. I think he can collapse the pocket. When you look at some of the more effective inside rushers in the NFL right now, they’re not these undersized, quick-off-the-snap guys. You’re seeing a lot of guys that are big-bodied guys that are the most productive interior rushers right now. So I think he’s got a chance to be that. I think he’s going into a great situation there in Baltimore where he’s got a chance to contribute right away and potentially start.”

OT Daniel Faalele (fourth round, No. 110 overall)

“He certainly has the ‘They don’t grow on trees’ quality. There’s no doubt about that. When he walks into our room, you can’t miss him. And in my 20-plus years of scouting, you can count on one hand — maybe on three fingers — how many guys I’ve seen close to that size. He’s a mammoth human being, for sure. They got him in the fourth round; again, I thought he would be more of a Day 2 pick. So, really, another good-value pick for them. Just sticking to their board and taking a guy that was there for them and going into it looking for Daniel.

“He doesn’t have to play right away. He’s still relatively young at the sport. That’s what you have to remind yourself of. He’s just this big guy, but he’s a pup when it comes to football still. That’s a great situation. … There’s not going to be the pressure to come in and start right away. I think he could be functional and serviceable Year 1 if they had to play with him. But to me, you’ve got your starting right tackle of the future in the fourth round, and that’s a heck of a pick.”

TE Charlie Kolar (fourth round, No. 128 overall)

“I think Charlie’s a good combo tight end. He’s got some ‘Y’ ability [as an in-line tight end]. He’s got some ‘F’ ability [as a ‘move’ tight end] for a bigger guy. I do think you’re going to get more out of Charlie at the line of scrimmage than maybe they got out of him at Iowa State. Iowa State does do a lot of heavy-tight end stuff. I mean, they go ‘12′ [one running back, two tight ends and two wide receivers] and ‘22′ personnel [two running backs, two tight ends and one wide receiver] quite a bit.

“You’re talking about a guy that’s 6-6, 255, 260 pounds, with almost 35-inch arms and an 82-plus-inch wingspan. That’s a big frame. So he definitely has the frame to do it. That’s what NFL tight end coaches are paid for, is to teach these guys how to block, because not many of them know how to block coming out of college. So Charlie’s got the frame to do it.

“I think what stood out here during Senior Bowl week with Charlie was, he’s more athletic than what I thought he was on tape. When you see him in person, he looked more fluid down here athletically. He was quicker at the top of a route than I gave him credit for. He can separate. He’s a big guy, and a lot of those 6-6 guys have to be box-out guys, where they just kind of body people up and use their frame and their length to win at the catch point. I tweeted out a couple of reps from down here where this guy’s got some movement skills to him. He’s fluid and he has good separation quickness. So with that size and a good red-zone target, to me, he’s got a really nice all-around skill set.”

P Jordan Stout (fourth round, No. 130 overall)

“We had two different scouts go in the fall and look at Penn State. And it’s funny — I got texts from both of them during pregame, at the different games they went to, that, ‘Hey, this punter at Penn State is a real dude.’ So to get a scout’s attention during pregame — two different scouts that both reached out and thought enough of the guy’s leg during pregame to hit me up — that said enough.

“And then when we started to make calls around the league before we picked our specialists, he was the overwhelming No. 1 guy — he and [Georgia’s Jake] Camarda, actually. Usually, those punters tend to go more later on Day 3, and the grades we were getting back on he and Camarda, from Georgia, were more fourth, fifth [round] than sixth, seventh. So it did not surprise me that Jordan went when he went. … They’ve got their punter for the long term now.”

TE Isaiah Likely (fourth round, No. 139 overall)

“Isaiah is more of a true ‘F’ tight end [than Kolar]: pass catcher, might be able to do some fullback stuff with him because he does move so well. Not saying he’s going to be some hammerhead fullback for you, but he’s a guy that you could be creative with in terms of alignment and getting him matched up and using that athleticism on linebackers and things of that nature. But really good in the pass game, has a natural feel, nice catch radius. He’s athletic on the football when he has to adjust. And he can run after the catch.

“And to me, when you’re looking at the tight end position, those guys usually project really well to the next level — the guys that can make stuff happen with the ball in their hands. And Isaiah did that consistently there at Coastal [Carolina]. So, yeah, different guys. Definitely different guys in that fourth round, but to me, adding them with Mark Andrews and [Nick] Boyle, another couple of cool pieces for that offense.”

RB Tyler Badie (sixth round, No. 196 overall)

“I think the thing with Tyler being a little undersized, he’s not real shifty. A lot of guys his size are more shifty backs, whereas his game is rooted in his explosiveness. He can go from 0 to 50 [mph] pretty quick, in a couple of steps. So he’s really got a burst. He’s got a burst-y skill set, whether that’s in the run or the pass game.

“He’s one of those guys, when he gets a crease, he gets through it in the run game. And then, in the pass game, you get it to him, he gets upfield quick. And then when you get him in space, then you see that gear. So he’s not like a real shifty, make-you-miss guy. He’s just a guy that’s going to hit the accelerator and get away from you.

“But, yeah, really productive runner in the SEC. You’ve got to love that. Against really good defenses, he was productive. We had [Los Angeles Chargers running back] Larry Rountree [III] in the Senior Bowl last year, who started ahead of Tyler [at Missouri], so we had seen Tyler a little bit the year before watching Larry, and I had a pretty good idea of what Tyler was. And then to see him kind of break out and have the same type of season Larry had the year before as a starter really established himself. It was cool to see. So he was kind of a guy that just kept climbing the board for us all fall.”


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