Deep Draft and Poor Picks Gave Ravens Two Studs

May 12, 2024

Baltimore Ravens’ selections of Isaac and Tampa are a testament to their draft record.

Iowa State Cyclones' defensive back T.J. Tampa (2) warms up during the university's Spring Football

Iowa State Cyclones’ defensive back T.J. Tampa (2) warms up during the university’s Spring Football / Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA

Between 2015 and 2024, the Baltimore Ravens had just one Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. Baltimore’s 2024 NFL Draft selections — namely Penn State edge rusher Adisa Isaac and Iowa State cornerback TJ Tampa — are proof of why Baltimore has rarely found themselves in the Top 10 going into the draft.

Teams such as both New York squads and Jacksonville had the most in that time span with eight and seven, respectively.

The Ravens continue to be successful in the draft.

The selection of Adisa Isaac at pick No. 93 was a steal.

Pro Football Focus had Isaac rated as the No. 38 prospect in the draft. PFF wrote, “If [Isaac] can pack on some extra pounds for added strength and anchor ability while remaining adequately explosive, he has the handwork and pass-rush profile of an NFL starter.”

Similarly, analyst Greg Cosell lauded Isaac’s potential, “Isaac is an ascending player… The first thing you see on tape is that Isaac has a great frame with a tapered body, excellent length throughout and a foundational baseline athleticism that showed up as a run defender and pass rusher. What also stands out immediately is that Isaac has an outstanding playing personality … competitive energy that showed up in his constant hand and feet activity … the kind of pass-rush traits that translate effectively to the NFL with a desirable combination of speed-to-power and concurrent hand usage.”

Isaac will likely be a bit of a project — no prospect is perfect — but in a draft year not as deep offensively to push good defensive players down the board, Isaac might be a first- or second-round draft choice.

The value of his selection in the late third round is immense. Isaac doesn’t need a big role right away — the Ravens have sufficient 3-4 outside linebacking in Kyle Van Noy and another Penn State alum, Odafe Oweh. Both posted PFF grades of 75 or better last season.

The selection of Tampa at pick No. 130 was another savvy move. The Iowa State cornerback was No. 51 on PFF’s big board. Tampa’s size — 6-foot-3, 190-pounds — and athleticism are traits that cannot be coached.

Cosell wrote, “[Tampa is] a higher-level corner prospect with the size, length and athleticism to play on the outside at the next level and match up to the bigger receivers in the NFL.”

Tampa was another prospect that would likely be an early round pick in other drafts. The Ravens’ added to a defensive backfield that has All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey and first-round draftee Nate Wiggins — who was one of the cornerbacks in the draft.

Selecting players like Isaac and Tampa for that value is why the Ravens stay out of the Top 10.