The Baltimore Ravens had a disappointing end to their 2022 season. Despite a strong start, the team finished with a record of 10-7 and lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs. The Ravens will have the number 22 pick this year. With the Super Bowl coming up, here is an early list of 2023 NFL Draft prospects for the Ravens at 22.
Three Baltimore Ravens Early 2023 NFL Draft Prospects
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
Smith-Njigba is a very popular choice for the Ravens at 22. He is a smooth route-runner with excellent ball skills and body control. For the Ravens, he would be an excellent fit, offering a similar profile to Rashod Bateman (who has had two season-ending injuries). His versatility as an inside and outside receivers offers something that few other Baltimore receivers have. While Smith-Njigba battled injuries in 2022, his 2021 season showed exceptional promise. One would assume that, had Smith-Njigba been healthy this season, he would be a top-10 prospect. At pick 22, Smith-Njigba would be a steal given the upside.
People are really starting to overthink Jaxon Smith-Njigba. JSN is a stud. Will be an impact fantasy player for many seasons. pic.twitter.com/0yTGpjVsQu
— TheOGfantasyfootball (@TheOGfantasy) January 18, 2023
The Ravens are in desperate need of a wide receiver. Specifically, the Ravens are in need of a primary receiver. It seems that every young quarterback’s development has been exponentially improved by an elite wide receiver. This is something that Lamar Jackson has not had the privilege of, outside of Mark Andrews.
While the pecking order of the receiver prospects has not been set, any of the top options would be excellent for Baltimore. Smith-Njigba offers a good scheme fit for Baltimore, but Quentin Johnston and Jordan Addison would also be excellent additions. The bottom line is that, for a successful offseason, Baltimore must enter the 2023 season with a new starting receiver.
B.J. Ojulari, EDGE, Louisiana State
The Ravens took a flier on David Ojabo in the 2022 NFL Draft. He was projected to be a top-five prospect but an Achilles injury in the build-up to the Draft meant that he fell to the second round. It meant that Ojabo was out for most of his rookie season. He did, however, show promise towards the end of the year after he was removed from IR.
I don't expect him to be taken tonight but there's a chance. David Ojabo is one of my favourite prospects in this class but his injury has decreased his #NFLDraft value drastically pic.twitter.com/qQ4wtgMGws
— Curtis Leung (@CurtisLeung6) April 28, 2022
Despite having a fully fit Ojabo for 2023, the Ravens desperately need help in the pass-rushing department. While they made use of a decent rotation, there were times when the team’s depth was truly tested. Justin Houston was excellent on a small snap count and Odafe Oweh and Jason Pierre-Paul also had decent years. However, the team certainly needs another top pass rusher to be their full-time starter.
B.J. Ojulari is an interesting prospect due to the upside he presents. Ojulari flashed excellent athleticism and has an explosive first step. His potential as a high-end pass rusher is what makes him a top prospect in this year’s class. He is also an excellent leader and a high-character locker room guy. The Ravens value athleticism and character greatly, as evidenced by their selection of Oweh and Ojabo recently. Thus, Ojulari seems like a good fit and a likely selection at 22.
Joey Porter Jr., Cornerback, Penn State
Joey Porter Jr. is exactly the kind of impact player that the Ravens need. Marcus Peters currently faces an uncertain future while Kyle Fuller is also an impending free agent. The Ravens will need to let one of these guys go and acquire a new CB2/3.
Arguably the top CB in the NFL Draft, Joey Porter Jr @jjporter_1, is one of my favorites in the draft.
6’2 198lbs, he possesses elite length paired with some of the smoother hip transitioning in the class. Best part he’s just scratching the surface
— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) January 5, 2023
In comes Porter. Porter is an impact defender who has prototypical length and excellent ball skills. In 2022, Porter showed a lot of improvement in coverage, particularly demonstrating his prowess as a press-man cornerback. Many have drawn comparisons between him and Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens’ All-Pro shutdown cornerback. Porter would be a fantastic perimeter corner for the Ravens, allowing either Peters or Fuller to cover the slot more. This, in turn, would free up Kyle Hamilton to showcase his versatility.
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