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Looking back at history of Ravens’ scheduled picks in 2022 draft

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The Ravens might be the ultimate half-full, half-empty team in the NFL as the calendar turns to April and the draft.

While one could view an extraordinary injury situation from last season and a relatively aggressive start to free agency by their usual standards as evidence that the Ravens are in good position to rebound this fall, critics will point to the unsuccessful attempts to land Za’Darius Smith and Bobby Wagner as well as the frenetic offseason activity of other AFC teams to suggest Baltimore — losers of six straight to conclude last season — could be falling behind in a very talented conference. Regardless of where your opinion lands on that spectrum, this month’s draft could be the most critical of Eric DeCosta’s tenure as general manager with Lamar Jackson’s long-term contract status hanging over a roster that still has multiple needs to address for 2022 and beyond.

With four picks in the top 100, six in the first 125, and nine in the top 150, Baltimore has more than enough draft capital to both add talent in bulk and move up the board for the right player. DeCosta would likely be the first to tell you he needs to come away with some high-impact talent in this draft class if the Ravens want to be a serious Super Bowl contender in 2022.

Here’s where the Ravens are scheduled to pick in this month’s draft:

First round: 14th overall
Second round: 45th overall
Third round: 76th overall
Third round: 100th overall (compensatory)
Fourth round: 110th overall
Fourth round: 119th overall
Fourth round: 128th overall
Fourth round: 139th overall (compensatory)
Fourth round: 141st compensatory
Sixth round: 196th overall

Just for a fun — or not so enjoyable — trip down memory lane, below is a look at past players selected by Baltimore in each of those slots (or as close as possible anyway) over the years:

14th overall: DT Haloti Ngata (12th, 2006), CB Marlon Humphrey (16th, 2017)
Skinny: The Ravens have never made a selection from the 14th spot, but the greatest defensive tackle in franchise history and one of the best corners in team history provide a glimpse into what kind of game-changing talent you can still find in this portion of the first round.

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45th overall: OLB Sergio Kindle (43rd, 2010), OLB Tyus Bowser (47th, 2017)
Skinny: We’ll always wonder if Kindle’s career might have turned out differently if not for an accident prior to his first training camp, but Bowser is a good example of the need to be patient with young players who don’t find immediate success at the next level.

76th overall: QB Chris Redman (75th, 2000), RB Musa Smith (77th, 2003)
Skinny: Redman is best remembered as one of the six quarterbacks selected before Tom Brady in the 2000 draft while Smith’s career was derailed by a compound fracture in his lower leg midway through his second season, making this portion of the third round quite underwhelming historically.

100th overall: OL Oniel Cousins (99th, 2008), TE Crockett Gillmore (99th, 2014)
Skinny: While Cousins never found his way on the Baltimore offensive line and made only four starts in three seasons, Gillmore showed promise over his first two years before multiple injuries prompted Baltimore to move in another direction.

110th overall: OLB Jarret Johnson (109th, 2003), WR Demetrius Williams (111th, 2006)
Skinny: Johnson was easily one of the best fourth-round picks in Ravens history and a fringe Pro Bowl-caliber talent in his prime years, but Williams was one of many wide receivers drafted by Baltimore not to pan out despite a solid rookie season.

119th overall: ILB Tyrus McCloud (118th, 1997), CB Anthony Averett (118th, 2018)
Skinny: McCloud started two games in place of an injured Ray Lewis over his two seasons while Averett flashed promise over his first few years before making 14 starts in a depleted secondary in 2021 and signing with Las Vegas last month.

128th overall: CB Iman Marshall (127th, 2019), G Edwin Mulitalo (129th, 1999)
Skinny: Though injuries have limited Marshall to three career games, Mulitalo made 128 career starts — mostly at left guard — in his eight seasons with the Ravens and shined as a Super Bowl XXXV champion next to Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden.

139th overall: FB Le’Ron McClain (137th, 2007), ILB Jason Philips (137th, 2009)
Skinny: While Phillips appeared in only nine games for Baltimore, McClain blossomed into a two-time Pro Bowl selection and headlined a three-headed monster ground attack with Willis McGahee and Ray Rice that landed the Ravens in the 2008 AFC Championship game.

141st overall: RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (138th, 2014), G Ben Bredeson (143rd, 2020)
Skinny: The late Taliaferro rushed for four touchdowns and 292 yards in 13 games as a rookie before injuries limited him to only six more games in his career, and Bredeson never gained his footing in two preseasons as a Raven and was traded to the New York Giants last August.

196th overall: RS/DB Lamont Brightful (195th, 2002), QB Trace McSorley (197th, 2019)
Skinny: A 95-yard punt return for a touchdown as a rookie couldn’t make up for Brightful’s issues with ball security while McSorley never showed enough to supplant Robert Griffin III as Lamar Jackson’s backup over his first two years and was ultimately beaten out by Tyler Huntley last year.

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