With uncertainty surrounding right tackle Rick Wagner’s future in Baltimore, the right tackle position is shaping up as a problem area for the 2017 Ravens. There is a dearth of capable right tackles expected to be available via either free agency or the draft. This means the Ravens will likely be priced out of the bidding for Wagner’s services and finding his potential replacement will be a real challenge.
Dion Dawkins may be the player to solve this quandary. Dawkins was a four year starter on the blindside for the Temple Owls. He earned All-ACC honors in each of the last two seasons. Dawkins is a tough prospect with experience in a zone and power scheme.
Dawkins will pass the eyeball test at the NFL combine next week. He measured in at 6’4” 312 pounds with relatively long arms at the Senior Bowl. Dion has a strong upper body and thick lower half. Equally adept as a pass and run blocker, excellent balance is his strongest trait.
In pass protection, Dawkins has decent quickness and the ability to mirror pass rushers, but his kick-slide can be inconsistent. He shows good footwork in the run game and looks to make blocks on the second level.
Dawkins is considered a second round prospect because he has some issues. His awareness is not great, a vulnerability the opposition could attack with stunts on the defensive line. He could also stand to improve his use of leverage. And his hand placement needs some work.
Opinions in the scouting community are mixed on Dawkins’ best position. Some believe he can play left tackle in the NFL, while others think he is more suited to play guard at the next level. Coincidentally for the Ravens, they already have another player with similar tackle/guard versatility in second year lineman Alex Lewis. Selecting Dawkins would allow them to experiement with different combinations in OTAs before settling on their starting alignment for training camp.
Success on offense begins up front. Dion Dawkins will be one of the most talented offensive lineman available to the Ravens this offseason.