With the kickoff to the 2022 NFL Draft approaching, the Baltimore Ravens will have to make a final decision regarding their first-round pick, the 14th overall selection, and one insider thinks they could make a trade into the top 10 picks.
“The Baltimore Ravens also have made some calls about potentially moving up, so keep an eye on that one,” said NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on April 26, per USA Today’s Kevin Oestricher.
While the Ravens have been repeatedly mocked to take Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum with the 14th overall pick, they have the draft capital to move up to grab an elite prospect.
One popular option is Oregon edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux, who has fallen from consideration for the draft’s first overall pick and now could land outside the top five. He’s been linked with Baltimore multiple times due to his love of legendary Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who returned the love on the eve of the draft.
A Foundational Piece on Defense
Thibodeaux would be an excellent fit in Baltimore, as well. The Ravens badly need another edge rusher with Tyus Bowser still recovering from his Achilles injury, and the Oregon product has every tool he needs to get to quarterbacks in the pros.
His elite length and explosive first step will have him challenging NFL tackles early, but his potential to develop as a cerebral edge rusher is even greater. He’s still refining his pass rush plan, but he knows how to use his physical gifts and athleticism to get to the quarterback. If he develops a deeper arsenal of pass rush moves, he’ll be nearly unstoppable off the edge.
Throw in his high motor and ability to set a hard edge against the run, and Thibodeaux is a great fit for the Ravens and one of the best overall players in this draft.
General manager Eric DeCosta would be wise to part with some of his additional draft capital to pair Thibodeaux with Odafe Oweh and give the Ravens an elite edge-rushing duo for years to come.
Potential Trade Partners
If Thibodeaux slips out of the top five, the Ravens could call the Carolina Panthers about their first-round selection, the sixth overall pick. The Panthers have no picks between their first-rounder and their next pick, the 137th overall pick in the fifth round, so Baltimore’s treasure trove of third- and fourth-round picks might be appealing.
But to move up eight spots, the Ravens might have to throw in their second-round selection, the 45th overall pick. If Baltimore doesn’t want to give up that much draft capital, they could call the New York Giants, who have two picks in the top 10, or the Seattle Seahawks, who only have one pick between 75 and 100.
The Giants are expected to take a player with the fifth overall pick, but they might be willing to trade away the seventh pick to get more draft capital later on Day 2 or 3, or even next year. The Ravens usually don’t like to give up future picks, but Thibodeaux might be worth the premium price.
The Seahawks only have one pick between 75 and 150, where the Ravens have a whopping six selections. Seattle’s ninth overall pick could be had for Baltimore’s first-rounder plus one pick in the third and fourth rounds.