Who is Isaiah Likely? Ravens rookie TE shows out with 100-yard half

Lamar Jackson needs help.

The Ravens have the most exciting player in football. They also have one of the best tight ends in the sport in Mark Andrews.

But the departure of Marquise Brown, coupled with the uncertain health of JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, means the Ravens’ offense enters 2022 with more questions than answers.

Rookie Isaiah Likely is successful in this environment. The tight end of the pass catch was a breath of fresh air this preseason. He added to his growing legacy against the Cardinals Sunday night, catching eight catches for 100 yards … in the first half alone.

It’s the kind of display that gets people talking.

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Probably next level projects as a true contributor. And the allure of a reception game centered around him and Andrews is particularly alluring.

So who is Isaiah Likely? And what can he offer the Ravens 2022? The Sporting News details the rise of Baltimore’s new signing.

Who is Isaiah Likely?

Likely was a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 22-year-old played at Coastal Carolina, where he established himself as a serious receiving option in his freshman collegiate season, scoring five touchdowns.

He repeated this feat in his sophomore and junior campaigns before cementing himself as one of the nation’s top tight ends in his senior year. He probably caught 59 catches for 912 yards in his final season in Conway, South Carolina, earning the All-Sun belt in the process.

At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Likely has the kind of frame that makes NFL scouts mouth-watering. He’s got great athletics for a tight end — so much so that Likely has been recruited by some schools as a wide receiver — and is a real speed threat off the line, something highly coveted by NFL teams.

It’s not a great blocker, but it doesn’t need to be; Andrews is one of the best blockers in the game, which should give Likely some relief as he gets used to this side of the game.

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His impressive skills were on display Sunday night. En route to a 100-yard, eight-catch tag, he likely showed a penchant for big plays, sure hands, and solid route running.

“Everyone wants to be able to catch the ball, but it’s really what you can do after the catch,” Likely said on the Ravens’ official website. “That’s something I’ve preached, whether in play or even in practice. Having that in-game feel so it’s not the first time I do it when I come into the game.”

After catching four receptions for 44 yards in the preseason opener, Likely’s performance on Sunday was the kind of show that confirmed his status as one for the present and the future.

“We expected him to be a really good player,” said manager John Harbaugh. “To be honest I’d say he’s exactly what we expected. He had a few chances, he made the best of them. He asks good questions and goes to work every day, he doesn’t get nervous about making mistakes, he cleans up.”

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