Photo: Baltimore Ravens
Apparently, the Ravens aren’t sleeping on the New England talent.
After taking UConn’s Travis Jones on Friday, former Everett star Isaiah Likely was selected I39th overall by Baltimore on Saturday afternoon. Likely joins fellow Everett standout Lewis Cine as 2022 NFL Draft picks that used to wear the E on their helmet. Cine was taken by Minnesota with the final pick of the first round on Thursday.
Likely became a superstar at Costal Carolina and was widely considered one of the top tight ends in the draft, but the weekend was a strange one overall. None of it matters now. Likely is a Raven and was able to enjoy the moment.
“It was really a blessing,” he said. “As a young kid your life-long dream is to play in the NFL, so just having God take his course and me being able to come on this day and turn my dreams into reality, is definitely a blessing in itself.”
With a quarterback like Lamar Jackson, Likely’s versatility could really shine through, especially since defenses still have to worry about Mark Andrews as well.
“Getting off the phone with coach (Harbaugh), he just understood that my versatility was really unmatched,” said Likely. “I come to a unique offense like the Ravens where they have a great quarterback in Lamar Jackson, and really just a bunch of pieces. Then, you have a Pro Bowl’er in Mark Andrews… just being able to learn under him and just do what I do on the football field is what I bring to the Ravens.”
The Maryland/D.C. media also asked Likely how much he knew about the offense and their usage of tight ends.
“I know it’s real unique,” he added. “I know the Ravens really play more than one tight end, so playing time is obviously in the balance the first year. I know Lamar Jackson does a lot of great things with the ball in his hands, whether it’s RPO’s, whether it’s drop backs or whether it’s just a pocket collapsing and he’s just looking down the field.
“Lamar Jackson is a playmaker himself. Him just always trying to find eyes down the field, and really just looking to find the tight end or a long shot, it makes me a great possibility to do things early in my career.”
Most people (especially around here) will agree that Likely’s slide was surprising given his production, but he never stopped believing that the call would eventually come, even after Baltimore took another tight end (Charlie Kolar) a few picks earlier.
“Every pick that came up I thought it was a chance,” Likely said. “Just being me and who I am, and really just knowing what I bring to an offense, it really didn’t matter if a team drafted one tight end, three tight ends or five. I know what I do on the field. Just being able to bring my talents to the Ravens is a blessing.”