BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — The Baltimore Ravens selected Michigan’s David Ojabo as the No. 45 overall pick in the second round of the NFL draft Friday night, putting their faith in the edge rusher’s considerable potential even though he’s coming off a torn Achilles tendon.
Baltimore later took Travis Jones, an interior defensive lineman out of Connecticut, in the third round. Baltimore spent a lot of its offseason dollars along the line, bringing back Michael Pierce and re-signing Calais Campbell, though Campbell and Derek Wolfe are nearing the end of their careers.READ MORE: Teen, Man Injured In East Baltimore Shooting
It may be a while before Ojabo can make an impact for Baltimore, but the Ravens could use help with their pass rush. Ojabo teamed up with No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson to lead Michigan to the Big Ten title last season.
Ojabo had 11 sacks and five forced fumbles last season. That breakout year likely would have made him a first-round pick, but he tore his left Achilles tendon during his pro day workout. Fans are positive he’ll come back under the injury-prone Ravens.
“It was just a bump in the road,” Ojabo said. “It was my first-ever injury and just another obstacle I’m going to conquer.”
“There you go @“If anyone can rehab an Achilles you can. Getting a phenomenal player.”
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) April 30, 2022
Ojabo has traded hands between brothers, having played under Ravens head coach John Harbaugh’s brother Jim. Mike MacDonald, the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator last season, was hired this offseason to fill that same role in Baltimore.READ MORE: Neighbors Demand Action On Baltimore’s Persistent Violent Crime As Mayor, Council Talk Strategy
Macdonald spent seven seasons with the Ravens from 2014 to 2020 working as a defensive backs coach, defensive assistant and most recently a linebackers coach. He started out as a defensive coaching intern in 2014. During his tenure under Jim Harbaugh last season, Macdonald “proved to be one of the most impactful [hires] in all of college football,” according to ESPN.
“That’s just how I know that it’s all part of the plan,” Ojabo said. “What are the odds that the person who comes in and gives me a chance to play (at Michigan) ultimately is the guy I’m following to the next level as well? I just know that it’s all written, man. It’s meant to be.”
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) April 30, 2022
The Nigerian-born linebacker moved to the United States from Scotland for high school at New Jersey’s Blair Academy, where he played alongside Ofafe Oweh, the Ravens’ 2021 first-round pick. Oweh took to Twitter to express his excitement at the reunion, tweeting “it was written,” with a picture from High School attached.
— “OWEH” (@DafeOweh) April 30, 2022
Jones was recruited as an offensive lineman but became a standout on the defensive side of the ball. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 27 overall prospect in the draft, so by that measure, the Ravens got good value in the third round.
In the first round, the Ravens selected dynamic safety Kyle Hamilton out of Notre Dame and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. The team sent wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, along with the 100th pick, to the Arizona Cardinals to take a second first round pick.MORE NEWS: How To Avoid Heat-Related Illness This Blistering Weekend
Moving forward in the draft, the Ravens have six picks in the fourth round (110th, 119th, 128th, 130th, 139th and 141st overall), and one pick in the sixth round (196th overall).