O Captains! My Captains!
Over the course of the off-season, it’s been tough to think of topics to cover on TJW, when nothing is happening in the NFL world, coming up with 5 pieces of content a week has proved difficult. Now we’re onto game week, the pieces almost write themselves and that’s music to my ears.
Today we’re going to continue to look at the matchup this Sunday, focusing on Baltimore’s defense.
First, we’re going to get into some quick throws.
The Jets announced they had signed OL Conor McDermott and released RB Zonovan Knight. Anyone who’s watched the Jets over the last few years will know Conor, I know we need offensive tackle depth and maybe this is a case of sticking with what you know, but I can’t imagine that he is the best option out there. I also don’t think I’d keep Ty Johnson and his dodgy pass protection over Bam Knight who’s shown a fair amount this off-season.
The Jets also announced their team captains for the 2022 season. Zach Wilson will be the captain for the offense, CJ Mosley on defense, and Justin Hardee on special teams. All the captains were voted on by the players. The coaches will then vote on the 4th captain on a week-to-week basis. I’m always a fan of having one captain per unit, and hate teams who named about 10 captains for the season, it diminishes what being a captain actually means.
Robert Saleh confirmed that Zach Wilson worked out yesterday, putting him in contention to start on Sunday. However, they did say they would see how he reacts to the workout today and make a decision on the starting QB Wednesday. I still think it’ll be Joe Flacco who starts on Sunday, but just the fact Zach could work out raises hope that it’ll be a one-week absence.
DJ Reed also went through a workout yesterday with the corner struggling with a knee injury. His status is similar to Zach’s, they’ll see how he responds and have a better idea of his availability on Wednesday. If Reed can’t play, the starting corners will be Sauce and Hall.
The draft cycle is always an interesting one, between the season ending and the draft beginning we spend months talking about prospects. Then when the draft is done we focus on the guys we take and largely forget about the guys we didn’t, this year on TJW I want to spotlight the opposing teams’ rookies during the game week previews.
Today we’re going to take a look at the Baltimore Ravens draft class and pinpoint where they are. How have they performed in camp? How have they performed in pre-season games? Did they make the roster? Are they expected to start? By the end of the week, I want us all to be clued up on everything Baltimore.
The Ravens made 11 selections in total, joint most along with the Bears, Packers, and Giants, so there is plenty to get to.
Kyle Hamilton - Safety - 14th Overall
Few prospects divided opinion in the draft like Kyle Hamilton, he was either overrated or the best athlete in the draft, depending on who you spoke to. At the moment Hamilton is listed as the backup safety on the Raven’s depth chart behind starters Chuck Clark and Marcus Williams, but I wouldn’t read too much into that. Hamilton is the kind of player who will find his way onto the field and Baltimore will get him plenty of snaps, you don’t take a player 14th overall to have him ride the bench. He’s had some good moments and bad moments in camp, and his bad moments tend to get blown up by the media. He’s played 86 snaps through the pre-season and recorded one pressure and 2 tackles. In 58 coverage snaps, he’s been targeted twice, allowing 0 receptions but he has missed 3 tackles.
Tyler Linderbaum - Center - 25th Overall
It was almost unanimously accepted that Linderbaum was the best center in the draft, the only disagreement was the value of the position. A lot of people don’t consider the center to be a first-round position, but obviously, the Ravens disagreed. His camp had been disrupted after he suffered a Lisfranc injury sidelining him for 1-2 weeks, however, he got over that injury and is slated to start the season as the Ravens center. He’s only appeared in 9 snaps through the pre-season due to that injury and those 9 snaps were uneventful with 0 pressures allowed, talk out of Baltimore is that he is as good as advertised. He’ll get a good test this weekend against Quinnen Williams.
David Ojado - Outside Linebacker - 45th Overall
Ojabo tore his Achilles while working out for the draft and has been unable to take part in football activities so far. He is currently on IR and will miss at least the first four games of the season, many expect him to make a return around the halfway point of the season.
Travis Jones - Nose Tackle - 76th Overall
Jones had an outstanding senior bowl which really grabbed the attention of draftniks, however, it’s unclear if he’ll be available to face the Jets this weekend due to suffering a hyperextended knee in the fourth quarter of Baltimore’s preseason win in Arizona. He’s currently listed as the backup nose tackle to Michael Pierce but he was set to play a significant part for the Ravens after impressing throughout camp. In just 33 pass-rush snaps this pre-season Jones has recorded 4 pressures and a sack. He’s also held up well against the run receiving a 70 PFF grade.
Daniel Faalele - Offensive Tackle - 110th Overall
Daniel has unbelievable size but more than a few analysts wondered if he had the bend to face athletic edge rushers at the NFL level. Having had a little bit of an up-and-down camp, those questions still remain. We likely won’t see Faalele on Sunday unless Morgan Moses suffers an injury, as he’s currently set to back up the former Jet at right tackle. In 59 pass-blocking snaps, this pre-season Faalele allowed 5 pressures giving him an overall pass-block grade of 39, not ideal. He’s also not dominated in the run game according to PFF, who have given him a 44.8 grade so far.
Jalyn Armour-Davis - Cornerback - 119th Overall
Unfortunately for Armour-Davis he’s experienced a number of nagging injuries through camp, limiting his opportunities to compete. Heading into the season he is listed as the third-string right cornerback behind Marlon Humphrey and Kyle Fuller, so chances are we’ll only see him on special teams if we see him at all, he also hasn’t made an appearance in pre-season so far so it’s hard to judge how far along he is in terms of his development.
Charlie Kolar - Tight End - 128th Overall
Another prospect who we won’t see on Sunday is one of my favorite prospects from the 2022 draft, Charlie Kolar has found his way onto the IR list after undergoing sports hernia surgery early in training camp. He’ll miss at least four games to start the season and then will need to work his way up the depth chart with the Ravens possessing multiple threats at the position including Mark Andrews.
Jordan Stout - Punter - 130th Overall
My #1 rated punter in the draft Jordan Stout has been as advertised, over the pre-season he’s averaged 49.3 yards per attempt with a hangtime of 4.59, both very good numbers, especially when four of those kicks have been downed inside the 20. He’s also had 9 kickoff attempts and successfully booted an extra point. Job done, and he’s certainly better than our punter.
Isaiah Likely - Tight End - 139th Overall
Likely was another player who I loved through the draft process and he’s having an outstanding camp so far. Through the pre-season, he has been targeted 12 times and caught 12 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. He’s played predominantly out of the slot for Baltimore, but he does have a handful of snaps as an in-line tight end. Likely is big and fast and putting him in the slot creates mismatches, especially when you’re running from a two-TE set with Mark Andrews. Andrews has said that Likely will “shock the world” and he certainly looks to be on that path, although I’m not sure how much of a shock it will be.
Damarion Williams - Cornerback - 141st Overall
Listed as the third-string left cornerback behind Marcus Peters and Brandon Stephens, it’s unlikely we’ll see him on Sunday. He’s played 72 coverage snaps allowing 3 receptions on 7 targets. He hasn’t allowed a single touchdown but has picked up an interception. He’s played the majority of his snaps in the slot, but has played a little outside corner, a little free safety, and even a little box safety.
Tyler Badie - Running Back - 196th Overall
Badie is the only rookie on this list who didn’t make the opening day roster, instead he was signed to the Ravens practice squad a day after being cut. He averaged just 2.8 yards over 23 attempts, however he did catch 4 of 5 targets. Badie had an outstanding senior season for Missouri racking up 1,604 yards and 14 touchdowns, so well worth stashing to develop for the future.
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