OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens made a surprise move when they selected two tight ends in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Baltimore took Charlie Kolar from Iowa State with the 128th pick and then selected Isaiah Likely from Coastal Carolina just 11 picks selections later.
Kolar plays like a true tight end, while Likely can lineup as a big wideout because of his speed to get down the field.
"This is a very intriguing player," Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz said about Likely. "I remember watching him on tape early on. It was just like, ‘Man, this guy is making plays all the time.’ He lines up as a receiver; he’s catching the ball as a wide receiver. He lines up at tight end. They motion him. They run him in boots – in the drag boots and things – and he’s just really electric. He runs downfield."
Likely does like to stretch the field and had five career receptions of 50-plus yards. He also had 27 career touchdowns and over 2,000 yards receiving in four years at Coastal Carolina.
Last season, he was a Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) second-team All-American.
Likely is confident the Ravens will utilize his versatility.
“I know it’s really unique. I know the Ravens really play with more than one tight end, so I know that playing time is obviously in balance for the first year," Likely said. "I know that Lamar Jackson does a lot of great things with the ball in his hands, whether it’s RPOs [run-pass option], whether it’s drop back, or whether it’s just a pocket collapsing and he’s just looking down the field.
"Lamar Jackson is a playmaker in himself. So, him just trying to always find eyes down the field and trying to look for either the tight end or long shot just makes [for] a great possibility to do things early in my career.”
Likely can also play like a true tight end and is adept at blocking, which will be added value for him to get on the field with the Ravens. The team will try to best use his talents in the ever-evolving offense.
"Sometimes he blocks people and knocks them off their feet downfield," Hortiz said. "It’s just an interesting guy, but you watch him, [and] it’s not like an obvious position fit; he’s just kind of a playmaker-type guy. So, I think he’s really intriguing, and it’s going to … We’re excited about trying to figure out exactly where he fits, but he definitely fits as a playmaker.”