Ravens Highlight List Of Six Biggest Steals From 2022 NFL Draft

The Ravens had a strong draft

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Value tends to outweigh just about everything when it comes to the NFL draft, and teams who grant themselves value down the board tend to be those who are the winners at the end of the weekend.

Such was the case during the 2022 NFL Draft this weekend with a handful of teams reaping the benefits of a player falling to them in a spot many did not believe they would be available.

With that, here are some of those players who could turn out to be the biggest steals from the NFL draft:

Evan Neal, New York Giants (No. 7 overall)
Is it really a steal if you used the seventh overall pick on the player? Well, the fact that the Giants were able to use their second first-rounder on Neal, after grabbing Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 5 overall, indicates the value they received. It was thought Neal could be the top overall pick in the class not too long ago. He ranked as the second best player on The Athletic’s consensus big board leading up to the draft.

Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens (No. 14)
The Ravens were granted their first steal of the draft as they benefitted from Hamilton falling to No. 14 overall. Hamilton, the former Notre Dame safety, entered Thursday ranked fourth by The Athletic and fifth on NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah’s big board. Hamilton, a playmaker with the Fighting Irish given him explosiveness and anticipation in coverage, now joins a Ravens secondary with safety Marcus Williams and cornerback Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters — arguably the best defensive backfield in the league.

Jermaine Johnson, New York Jets (No. 26)
The Jets were the lone team with three first-rounders and while they landed studs in Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (No. 4) and Garrett Wilson (No. 10), their best pick in terms of value came with Johnson (No. 26). The former Florida State edge rusher was Jeremiah’s ninth-ranked player and third-ranked edge rusher in a class praised for its depth at the position. The Jets, who traded back into the first round to grab a sliding Johnson, said they considered taking him with one of their top-10 picks.

Travis Jones, Baltimore Ravens (No. 76)
The University of Connecticut product was viewed as one of the best defensive tackles on the board behind a pair of Georgia players, perhaps even a first-round pick in the minds of some. Jeremiah had him ranked 37th on his big board while The Athletic ranked Jones 40th. Well, the Ravens benefitted from another sliding defender by selecting Jones in the third round (No. 76 overall).

Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles (No. 83)
The Georgia linebacker consistently was viewed as a first-round pick in mock drafts leading up to the event. The Eagles, though, were able to grab Dean with their third-round selection (No. 83 overall) after using their first-round picks on defensive tackle Jordan Davis and Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown, following a trade with the Tennessee Titans. Reports surfaced that Dean’s slide was due to his medicals and he’s recovering from a pec injury, but the Eagles expect Dean on the field to start OTAs. If so, Dean very well could turn into the steal of the NFL draft seeing how the Eagles got him for pennies.

Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans (No. 86)
Willis was among the quarterbacks who slid down the board as only one signal-caller (Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett) was selected in the first round. Willis was viewed as Jeremiah’s 26th-best prospect and ranked 28th on The Athletic’s big board. With other positions being taken at a higher priority, and with Willis being the third QB selected, the Liberty signal-caller went 86th overall to the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee, despite having Ryan Tannehill under contract, received a good value with Willis, who was rumored to go as high as sixth overall to the Carolina Panthers.

Honorable mentions: Tyler Linderbaum (No. 25, Ravens); George Karlaftis (No. 30, Chiefs); Sam Howell (No. 144, Commanders)

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