Having dropped their final six games to suffer only the second losing season of the John Harbaugh era, the Ravens are now set to make their earliest selection in the NFL draft since 2016.
Baltimore’s 10 projected picks in April’s draft will be headlined by the 14th overall selection in the first round. The Ravens finished tied with both Minnesota and Cleveland at 8-9 this season, but a more difficult strength of schedule landed them behind those two in the tiebreaker for the first-round order.
The Ravens selected left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft, which is the only time they’ve made a selection earlier than 16th since 2006. That doesn’t include instances in which the organization has traded its original pick such as 2008 when then-general manager Ozzie Newsome traded back from the original eighth pick and eventually selected quarterback Joe Flacco at 18th overall.
In addition to their first-round pick, the Ravens own their original choices in the second, third, and fourth rounds as well as a third-round compensatory pick for Houston hiring assistant David Culley as its head coach last offseason. General manager Eric DeCosta also has two fourth-round picks and a sixth-round selection previously acquired in trades. Baltimore is projected to receive two fourth-round compensatory picks for the free-agent departures of edge rushers Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue last offseason, according to OverTheCap.com.
There’s much work to be done after the Ravens missed the playoffs for the first time since 2017, but nine picks in the first four rounds of the 2022 draft should certainly help in that effort.
Below are Baltimore’s projected 2022 draft picks by round:
1st (14th overall)
4th (from New York Giants)
4th (from Arizona)
4th (projected compensatory for Matthew Judon)
4th (projected compensatory for Yannick Ngakoue)
6th (from Miami)
Next year’s opponents
The silver lining of the Ravens finishing in last place for the first time since 2007 — and only the third time in franchise history — is the addition of three last-place teams on their 2022 slate of opponents.
Already scheduled to play the entire AFC East and NFC South divisions next season, Baltimore will host Denver (AFC West) and travel to play Jacksonville (AFC South) and the New York Giants (NFC East) as a result of those teams finishing in last place in their respective divisions.
The schedule itself won’t be announced until the spring, but the Ravens will play seven games against teams that made the 2021 postseason field, which obviously includes the combined four against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the AFC North. Baltimore will also play eight contests against teams that finished below .500 this season.
Improving their record against the AFC North will be a necessity with the Ravens finishing 1-5 in the division this season, easily their worst mark since 2007.
Below is the Ravens’ 2022 list of opponents:
HOME: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo, Miami, Carolina, Atlanta, Denver
AWAY: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New England, New York Jets, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Jacksonville, New York Giants