The Baltimore Ravens are always striving to make fit a huge buzzword with their draft picks, and once again, the team has hit a potential home run with this in the later rounds.
When Daelin Hayes was the pick, many might not have known the defensive end grew up a major Ravens fan. As a result of this connection, the moment he actually got to join the team was a very special one for the player. It was so special he was almost overcome with emotion while speaking. Hayes also gave a shout-out to some franchise legends who set the example for him.
The latest Ravens news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Ravens newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Ravens!
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 1, 2021
“I’m just speechless with the whole situation. I’m just a guy who’s going to put it all on the line. I spoked to coach a couple days ago and I remember telling him that Baltimore was one of my favorite teams as a kid. Just that genuine love I’ve always had for the city of Baltimore, Wd Reed, Ray Lewis. That was really the example I had when I started playing defense.”
That’s a great example for anyone to follow, and neat to see Hayes embrace a team that he loved growing up. Stories like this make the NFL Draft what it is.
Hayes’ Stats and Highlights
Much like several of the other players ahead of him in this class, the Ravens may have scored a steal with Hayes. At Notre Dame, he put up some great numbers. While playing for the Fighting Irish, Hayes put up 97 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 interception and 4 forced fumbles. He’s a talented pass rusher and while he has some cleaning up to do in terms of technique at times, there is no question he can join what is a needy Ravens defensive front.
Here’s a look at Hayes:
Obviously, Hayes has a chance to improve his fortunes and bring some strong play up front.
Ravens’ Edge Spot Called ‘Bare’ Recently
Coming into the draft it was a common thought that the Ravens are thin at this key spot. This offseason, the Ravens have seen more turnover on the roster and are going to be looking at getting a few more players in the mix come the draft. There’s no question the team has some major needs in terms of replacing some players who have left in key spots up front.
Recently, writer Dan Parr took a closer look at the biggest draft needs for every team in the league. In terms of the Ravens, he believes the team has a major need up front on defense as it relates to getting some key players to help the defense as well as rush the passer.
“The cupboard is looking a bit bare off the edge. Replacing Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue is essential. As for Lamar Jackson’s supporting cast, the signings of Sammy Watkins and Kevin Zeitler shouldn’t prevent Baltimore from adding more help for the receiving corps and offensive line, especially with Orlando Brown requesting a trade.”
Defensive end, wideout and offensive line would seem to be the big needs for the team in order, so Parr is right on as it relates to this assessment. The good news now? With Oweh and Hayes, the team has at least addressed that need in a good way this year.
Perhaps it will take a Ravens fan to make this a strength instead of a weakness.
READ NEXT: Ravens Bring Back Fan Favorite Linebacker