The Baltimore Ravens ended up having two first-round picks during the 2022 NFL draft, selecting Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton at No. 14 overall and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum at No. 25. Both players are expected to play a big role in the success of the team for years to come due to their immense talent.
When projecting the first-year impacts of each 2022 first-round draft pick, Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report had favorable predictions for both Hamilton and Linderbaum. Starting with Hamilton, Wharton projects the safety to finish 2022 with 62 tackles, two sacks and one interception, talking about his potential role in the Baltimore defense.
“The 6’4″, 220-pounder will likely have a nontraditional role in Baltimore, though. Their depth chart is already filled with proven veteran talent like Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark. There’s room for Hamilton to earn playing time, but he may be more of a slot corner in some games and a blitzer in others…New Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald may opt to use Hamilton as a tight-end specialist because the AFC has several special talents. That’s a big task for a rookie, but there’s not an athlete on the team better qualified for that challenge than Hamilton.”
Moving onto Linderbaum, Wharton has him committing three penalties while giving up one sack. He explained that he believes that the Ravens are a great landing spot for the former Hawkeye.
“Baltimore is a great landing spot. The Ravens feature a ton of inside and outside zone running concepts with Jackson controlling the mesh point. Linderbaum can now offer Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman the unique ability to pull the center on lead block calls…Centers are rarely charged with sacks unless they play a dominant nose tackle. The AFC has some star defensive tackles but not many who will challenge Linderbaum one-on-one. The 22-year-old rookie should enjoy a long and successful career in Baltimore.”
Hamilton and Linderbaum will ideally have key roles in Baltimore during 2022, and as rookies they’ll likely be asked to contribute at a high level. Both have the potential to be long-term starters at their respective positions, and strong rookie seasons would go a long way to give the duo confidence for the rest of their NFL careers.