Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson already raving about Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum

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The Baltimore Ravens earned immediate praise after selecting Iowa Hawkeyes center Tyler Linderbaum with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

NFL.com’s Chad Reuter and Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski both gave the Ravens’ pick a grade of “A+.” Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Hanson and FOX Sports’ Rob Rang each awarded the Linderbaum pick a grade of “A,” while The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia assessed the selection as an “A-.”

Ultimately, though, the most important piece of the puzzle is how the Ravens view the addition of Linderbaum. The early returns on that front have been incredibly positive.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley touched in May on how Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and the organization feels about the type of impact Linderbaum will have on star quarterback Lamar Jackson’s ability to make plays.

“When [Jackson] can extend the play, it’s just electric; that’s kind of his brilliance, and that’s when the field opens up for him in a lot of different ways. Lamar is going to appreciate [Linderbaum’s] ability to sustain a block and extend the play,” Harbaugh said then.

Now, following the Ravens’ second minicamp practice, Jackson is sounding off on what’s impressed him about Linderbaum already.

“The chemistry is great, chemistry’s great. And I throw an interception yesterday, Daelin (Hayes) was taking it back to the house, to the other way. I was kind of paused, talking to (Duvernay) during the play, and my center Tyler (Linderbaum) was getting after it, like he was running him down, so I’d just say he’s fast. He’s fast as heck for a center. Man, I ain’t ever seen a center run like that. He’s a football player,” Jackson said.

Hearing about Linderbaum’s deceptive speed and his motor on a play like that won’t shock Iowa fans. They saw firsthand the past three seasons why Linderbaum ended up as a unanimous consensus All-American and the program’s first Rimington Trophy winner.

Linderbaum understands the task at hand now in Baltimore.

“My job is to protect him [Jackson]; I’m excited to get that opportunity. Every snap, every down, I’m going to have to bring it, because obviously it’s a tough league. Every guy across from me is going to be tough. But just the mentality I’m going to bring, just that gritty toughness, physical, I’m going to bring it just to protect him and keep him safe,” Linderbaum said in May.

It’s exciting to see this next chapter in Linderbaum’s football career unfolding. If it’s anything like his time in Iowa City, Ravens fans will understand quickly why Linderbaum is beloved by fans of the black and gold.

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