The Ravens finished their 2020 NFL draft with ten new additions to the roster. Interestingly, the Ravens double-dipped at linebacker, wide receiver and the interior offensive line. In the end, national pundits are giving the Ravens credit for what appears to be a successful draft. After filling major needs on their roster, Baltimore still has boxes that need checked. Moving forward, let’s take a dive into where the Ravens improved and what moves we can still expect.
Round 1, Pick 28: LSU LB Patrick Queen
With their first selection, Baltimore stayed put and grabbed the rangy Tiger prospect. Obviously, Queen comes in with humongous expectations. On his call to Queen (via the Ravens app), GM Eric DeCosta said, “Great things come in three’s. Ray Lewis, C.J. Mosley, and now we hope Patrick Queen.”
Being Baltimore’s first ever LSU draft pick, Queen should become an every down player in year one. In fact, Queen may have been the best fit at ILB for Baltimore in the entire draft. Throw on the game film, Queen’s range and coverage ability sticks out quickly. Then, his ability to do a little bit of everything perfectly fits coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale’s philosophy. However, Queen misses a decent amount of tackles. Luckily, that is an expectation that comes from only starting one season. Tackling can be cleaned up and refined through offseason work and coaching.
Baltimore was able to sit still on day one and land a top 25 player at #28. Patrick Queen should get all the chances to develop into a Pro Bowl caliber linebacker.
In this video from YouTube user Hash, you can see a lot of Queen’s (#8) pros and cons against Auburn. He does not fight very well through blockers, which may limit him to a WILL in the 3-4. But, you can see he does a great job at reading his keys and attacking the play.
Round 2, Pick 55: Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins
With their first pick in the second round, Baltimore surprisingly landed J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State’s runner-up in career rushing yards. Dobbins was the first back in school history to run for over 2,000 yards in a single season. Looking at the Raven’s roster, Dobbins could tabbed as a questionable pick. On the contrary, Dobbins appears to be a perfect fit.
In the past season at Ohio State, Dobbins ran for 2,003 yards. 1,755 of those yards came from shotgun (via Sports Info Solution). Current starter, Mark Ingram, received a majority of his carries from shotgun (according to playerprofiler.com). The Ravens led the NFL in RPO (run-pass option) usage rate as well. From Graham Barfield’s Twitter, 57% of Dobbins’ carries came from RPO’s. Thus, creating what appears to be a perfect marriage.
Dobbins shows the ability to be a powerful runner through contact and shows the burst to attack the open hole. Paired with dual threat QB Lamar Jackson, Dobbins may bloom into a serious weapon in Baltimore. In fact, Dobbins’ play style reminds me of another former second round pick in Ray Rice. Consequently, Dobbins reportedly will wear #27, as he posted himself in a #27 jersey on his Twitter.
It’s all a part of GODs plan… all I ever needed was a chance! Let’s go pic.twitter.com/W9M2h0k09t— Jk dobbins (@Jkdobbins22) April 25, 2020
In my opinion, Dobbins will sparingly be used in 2020. He entered a backfield that already has a committee of Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. However, Dobbins can be the main focal point of the backfield in 2021. Baltimore may decide to cut Ingram following 2020 due to his $6 million cap hit and his age. Edwards is only under contract for the 2020 season at this time.
J.K. Dobbins, who was a top 35 player across many draft boards, may prove to be a steal at pick 55.
Round 3, Pick 71: Texas A&M DL Justin Madubuike
Baltimore traded their 60th (second round) and 129th (fourth) picks to New England for picks 71 (third) and 98 (third). The Ravens moved down 11 picks to turn pick 129 into 98 (+31 spots). This gave Baltimore four third round picks. With their first 3rd round selection, Baltimore took the Texas A&M defensive lineman, Justin Madubuike. Additionally, Baltimore was able to move down, stand pat, and pick a falling player who should have went much higher.
Madubuike, a former 5 star recruit, is considered slightly undersized for his position. However, he makes up for it with great leverage and burst. I forsee Madubuike playing a rotational role at a 3-tech or 5-tech positions. Playing along side NT Brandon Williams and DL Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe will give Madubuike great mentorship. Also, it allows Madubuike to play to his strengths in year one. Madubuike shows a lot of gap-penetrating skill and will be able to collapse pockets in year one. Madubuike had 11 sacks in his last two seasons as an interior pass rusher, showing the potential many draft fans enjoyed.
The Ravens made it a priority to bolster their front seven, especially their defensive line. After watching Derrick Henry repeatedly gash them in playoffs, DeCosta has searched all corners in pursuit of fortifiying the line. Madubuike may end being nothing more than a rotational piece at worst, but was the ideal boom-or-bust pick for a strong roster.
This YouTube video, from user Jesse Fritsch, shows the potential of Madubuike (#52) and shows where his weaknesses may come into play. He shows good hand use and a lot of power.
Round 3, Pick 92: Texas WR Devin Duvernay
The Ravens’ next third round selection was the productive Texas product. Fitting DeCosta’s profile of building a track team around Jackson, Duvernay’s 4.39 forty yard dash time will help stretch defense’s vertically. Duvernay also brings strong hands as SportSource Anayltics has recorded him with ZERO drops over his four year career. His short, compact frame allows him to be a threat with the ball in his hands as well. On film, you can see Duvernay find a seam after a reception and hit the gas pedal and burn the defense.
Duvernay should help Jackson see more two high safety looks, especially with Marquise Brown on the other side. Additionally, Duvernay may double up as a return specialist in the future. Baltimore sorely missed Brown’s explosion when he was injured his rookie year. Unfortunately, their roster had no other deep threats the defense honored. Duvernay will provide the speedy threat and the ability to be used in motions and end-arounds that offensive coordinator Greg Roman loves to use.
Duvernay’s short frame and lackluster route-running may cause him to be nothing more than a rotational receiver or gadget player. However, Baltimore showed how creative they can be with Brown that I forsee Duvernay having a large impact on the offense in the years to come.
In this YouTube video, from user Traskismo, Duvernay (#6) is perfectly summed up. While he ultimately hurts TCU, there are a lot of reps that show Duvernay’s route running will need a lot of work. He rounds a lot of routes off. His big play potential obviously pops early in the video (47 yard touchdown catch). Texas used him in a lot of screens and motions, which is how I think Roman will also use Duvernay.
Round 3, Pick 98: Ohio State LB Malik Harrison
This was my favorite selection in the Ravens’ draft class. Harrison is a prototypical old school linebacker at 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighing in at 247 pounds. A former top 50 ATH in high school, Harrison shows the athleticism to make an impact from sideline to sideline. He shows some pop in his tackles and will be a perfect MIKE backer in the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme. Equally important, Harrison will fit perfectly with Patrick Queen in the middle.
Harrison attacks downfield like he was shot out of a gun. His ability to be a factor in the run game is no joke. However, Harrison is not the most fluid in pass coverage. In fact, this is a perfect fit for the Buckeye product. On passing downs, Harrison can be subbed out for pass coverage linebacker L.J. Fort. If the Ravens stick with Harrison on passing downs, Harrison showed the ability to get home on blitzes. Martindale loves to blitz and stunt with his linebackers and that will play into Harrison’s strengths. Thus, giving him time to work on his coverage skills as he develops.
Another issue Harrison has is it seems he has average instincts on film. Martindale does a great job at simplifying the linebackers’ jobs, but Martindale is also a top head coaching candidate. In my opinion, Harrison may always be slightly limited as a linebacker, but may form the ultimate linebacking duo with Queen. The duo many Raven fans were hoping to have with former linebackers C.J. Mosely and Zach Orr.
Harrison’s gamefilm against Michigan State, from YouTube user Hash. You can see the pass coverage limitations on film and how his aggression in the run game can get him out of position. However, this film shows that Harrison (#39) will meet offensive lineman and does a great job of forcing runs back inside.
Round 3, Pick 106: Mississippi State OL Tyre Phillips
Phillips was the last day two pick for the Ravens. He is a massive human being standing at 6’5” and 342 pounds. Although he played tackle in college, Phillips may be pushed inside to guard as a pro. Phillips will battle Ben Powers for the right guard vacancy left by Marshall Yanda’s retirement. Phillips may serve a larger role than just guard though.
Baltimore recently cut reserve lineman James Hurst. Hurst may not have been the most effective lineman on the roster, but could take reps at both guard and tackle spots. Baltimore seems to have always had a swing lineman on their roster to occupy two roster spots at once. With that said, I can still see Phillips coming in and competing for the starting job at right guard.
Phillips does a great job of standing his ground in pass coverage and shows massive power in his punches. The reason Phillips will not stay at tackle longterm is due to his lack of short area quickness and flexibility. Phillips may benefit from losing some weight to fix his flexibility and lack of quickness.
Ultimately, Phillips appears to be a boom or bust prospect. Baltimore has done a great job of coaching up their line and anybody in the interior will benefit from the great tackle duo of Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. Baltimore did have a quiet need of offensive line depth and definitely attacked that need with Phillips.
Round 4, Pick 143: Michigan IOL Ben Bredeson
One of my favorite sleeper interior lineman will be able to immediately come in and compete for either guard spot. Bredeson shows enough patience, yet still have the aggression in his game. Bredeson, while not as big as fellow draftee Tyre Phillip, still packs a bit of power. While he may struggle with quickness, Bredeson has a great awareness of stunts and blitzes in pass protection.
Bredeson took snaps at center during the Senior Bowl. Reportedly, numerous teams asked Bredeson about a movement to center at the combine. With starting center Matt Skura recovering from a fatal knee injury, Baltimore is playing it safe with bringing in more competition for Patrick Mekari, for filled in for Skura in 2019. Baltimore places a lot of emphasis on their interior offensive lineman being able to play multiple positions. Bredson will fit that expectation well.
In this YouTube video (via user Hash), you can see Bredeson (#74) rarely loses ground in pass protection and does a great job of staying patience and finding the delayed blitzes or stunts. Also, Bredeson does a tremendous job of getting to the second level in the run game and shows a lot of skill when pulling.
Round 5, Pick 170: Texas Tech DL Broderick Washington
Broderick Washington displays good first step quickness and straight line speed. On film, Washington appears to have good hand usage and decent power. Although, he does get stuck on blockers occasionally. When double teamed, Washington can get stood up and driven back. As a fifth round pick should, Broderick has some weaknesses that need corrected. However, there are clearly tools to work with for the future.
In the pass game, Washington showed a great swim move right off the bat against Baylor in the video below. Afterwards, Washington showed a lot of limitations in his pass rush toolbox. A lack of athleticism and length really suggests his role in the NFL will include being a two-gap run stuffer. Luckily, Washington will get a chance to sit behind a stout defensive line and continue to hone his craft. His high motor likely caught the eye of the Raven scouts. Washington weighed in at 295 during the season and will probably need to add some weight to his frame.
In the game against Baylor, Washington (#96) shows a lot of potential, yet shows he still has a lot work ahead. (Credit: Hash, YouTube)
Round 6, Pick 201: SMU WR James Proche
After trading with the Minnesota Vikings, the Ravens selected Proche. In the trade, Baltimore sent pick 225 (7th round) and next year’s 5th round selection from Pittsburgh (Wormley trade) for picks 201 and 219 (seventh round). Giving up a fifth round pick shows the interest the Ravens had in Proche. Remember, Baltimore traded two different fifth round picks for All-Pro CB Marcus Peters and dominant DL Calais Campbell. So, fifth rounders are not taken lighty in DeCosta’s arsenal.
After watching the SMU-Temple game, I came away unimpressed. While Proche showed a variety of releases and some sharp route-running, he seems to show a lack of getaway speed. However, former Raven Anquan Boldin lacked that speed late in his career and still found himself as the primary target. A positive for Proche was he did a fairly effective job in his screen blocking and his stalk blocking. Obviously, this caught the eye of the league’s all time leading rushing attack.
To Proche’s credit, he does have a great set of hands and plays desperate to get the ball in the air and over defenders. He has quite the highlight reel of extraordinary catches. Both of Baltimore’s receiver selections finished their final year of college football with 100+ receptions and 1,000+ receiving yards. In addition, both receivers were used in a variety of ways and used heavily in the screen game.
In a post draft presser on the Raven’s app, DeCosta did mention Proche’s return ability as a big factor. Proche averaged 9.6 yards per punt return his senior season. Baltimore has been in search of a return threat ever since Jacoby Jones’ departure. The Ravens did pick up and re-sign DeAnthony Thomas in the 2019 season and may have wanted to bring in more competition for the role.
Here is the gamefilm of SMU-Temple. Proche (#3) shows his releases and his very solid hands. However, you can see for yourself how he appears to lack that top end spend. (Credit to Hash, YouTube).
Round 7, Pick 219: Iowa S Geno Stone
With their final selection of draft, the Ravens took Geno Stone from Iowa. When watching his film, Stone has good instincts and feel for the opposing offense. With that said, Stone seems to lack the top end speed to be an effective coverage safety at the next level. While his instincts will help cover some of that up, savvy receivers and quarterbacks will make him pay.
On another note, Stone shows toughness and lacks the fear of tackling. Baltimore makes it clear that late round draft picks must make an impact on special teams if they want a roster spot. Stone’s intelligence and tackling should make him a contributor on punt and kickoff units. Similar to recently extended Chuck Clark, Stone may have to come in and dominate special teams as he works on his overall game.
I like Stone’s game, but clearly see why he fell to the seventh round. However, he seems like the type of competitor who will improve over time and find a role on this team. I would expect Stone to make the final roster, but as a special team ace more than anything else.
Here is Stone’s (#9) game against Michigan. Many pundits felt this was Stone’s best game film. Stone always finds himself in correct positions throughout the game and you can tell he does a great job identifying and reacting. (Credit to Hash, YouTube).
In DeCosta’s second draft, I thought he did a tremendous job of attacking current needs and soon to be needs. He mixed enough safe picks with boom-or-bust picks to make this class exciting. Their first seven picks have a chance to see meaningful playing time in 2020. The Ravens added depth to vital postions and have given coordinators Greg Roman and Wink Martindale a plethura of options and player types.
One complaint that I would raise attention to is the fact the Ravens did not draft an edge rusher. This must speak volume to what the Ravens expect from Jaylon Ferguson and Tyus Bowser. This also tells me that Baltimore will explore the free agent market (no, not Jadeveon Clowney) or find a low cost trade for a veteran (no, not Yannick Ngakoue). A signing like Clay Matthews or Pernell McPhee would probably make the most sense.
Find me on Twitter (@austinsherfy) or follow Downtown Ravens (@DowntownRavens) and let me know what you think about the draft class of 2020!