#55: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Despite a loaded running back room, the Ravens stayed true to their “best player available” mantra. Dobbins is reminiscent of fellow Buckeye Ezekiel Elliott, a tackle breaker with an efficient running style and some chunk play ability. Dobbins was the second best running back on my personal big board, but it is difficult to overlook the opportunity cost of this selection.
The selection of Patrick Queen was far from a surprise, but snagging J.K. Dobbins with the 55th overall selection is a bit of a head-scratcher. This isn’t to say Dobbins isn’t a good prospect, which is far from the truth. Dobbins has an awesome skill set and projects as a terrific scheme fit in Greg Roman’s offense. From a long-term perspective, this could end up being a great selection.
However, it’s surprising to see Eric DeCosta select a running back this early with Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill currently on the roster. Personally, I would have been content with the Ravens not addressing the halfback position at all in this draft - but I digress. I’ll have to talk myself into this pick a bit.
The Ravens build for the future. Mark Ingram is not getting any younger and Gus Edwards is a free agent next year. Eric DeCosta is building for the long run and picking Dobbins reinforces that philosophy. He Edwards, and Ingram will tire out defenses and keep everyone fresh. A very prudent pick by Eric DeCosta.
Defense and run game are the backbone of the Baltimore Ravens. Eric DeCosta’s first two picks in Patrick Queen and J.K. Dobbins remind us of this. With Denzel Mims unpicked by 55, it also underscores how much Eric DeCosta believes in the depth of this wide receiver class. We’ll see if Mims is still out there at pick 60. In terms of Dobbins, he will provide long term stability to a running back room led by 30-year-old Mark Ingram. Dobbins is in a great position to learn from Ingram, and the Ravens remain committed to taking the best players available.
Although I would have preferred to steer clear of drafting a running back in the second round, I love J.K. Dobbins as a player. Dobbins is an all-around back who should easily take over as a feature back in the most run-heavy offense in the league during the next year or two. Mark Ingram is on the wrong side of 30 and Gus Edwards will hit the market as a free agent in 2021. Dobbins was considered the best running back in the class by some. He has the ability to hit a homerun at any moment and will quickly become a three-down back to replace Ingram in the future.
J.K. Dobbins was perhaps the best player remaining on the board. The Ravens did not have to address the running back position this early, but the front office has the luxury of selecting the best player available with a stockpile of picks and a loaded roster. Dobbins, Ingram and Edwards will make up an incredible backfield. Somehow, the best rushing offense in the NFL just got even more dynamic.
#71: Justin Madubuike, DL, Texas A&M
The Ravens needed to add some youth to their aging defensive line corps.
Madubuike is undersized for an odd man front but he showed flashes of dominance against Georgia’s imposing offensive line last season. He is an upside pick with the quickness to disrupt the timing of quick passing attacks. With improved consistency, Justin should be an asset on the interior in substitution packages.
Fairly similar theme here to the selection of Dobbins: good player, solid value but doesn’t necessarily fill a short-term need. Justin Madubuike will add some much-needed youth and upside to a defensive front featuring three players on the wrong side of 30 years old: Derrick Wolfe, Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell.
Madubuike is undersized for a generic defensive tackle but seemingly compensates with explosiveness, length and technique. Once again side-stepping their needs at wide receiver, interior offensive line and edge rusher, Madubuike was seemingly the best player available on Eric DeCosta’s board.
Justin Madubuike was a surprising pick. Josh Jones went directly after him and could have addressed a need by sliding over to guard. Like Dobbins, the front office must have felt Madubuike was the best player available. Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, and Brandon Williams are all 30+ years old. Madubuike can develop behind those strong players and hopefully become a key player in the future.
An underrated need for the Ravens heading into the draft was to get younger along the defensive line. With Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell, and Derek Wolfe slated as the current starters, Baltimore lacked youth outside of second-year defensive tackle Daylon Mack. Mack will now be joined by his previous teammate, Justin Madubuike out of Texas A&M.
Madubuike was pegged as a second-round player by many scouts and analysts, so selecting him at 71 is a good value pick. Madubuike brings the ability to pressure the QB from the interior and should should work well as a rotational player as a rookie. Eric DeCosta has made the front seven of the defense his biggest priority this offseason.
Needs continue to take a back seat to the best player available. The middle of the Ravens defense gets younger and stronger when you pair Justin Madubuike with Patrick Queen. It stings immediately to know that there are still needs at wide receiver and interior offensive line, but this philosophy of picking the best player available is part of a strategy not predicated by a short term “win now” window, but rather a longer term strategy to be highly competitive every year. That said, the clock is ticking to fill out offensive line and wide receiver rooms...Three more picks tonight.
#92: Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
Baltimore finally adds a receiver to their arsenal. Duvernay profiles as a poor man’s Laviska Shenault. A former track athlete with deep speed, soft hands and the build of a running back, Devin is a run-after-the catch specialist. Duvernay’s development will be crucial in the Ravens quest to dethrone the Kansas City Chiefs.
At long last, the Ravens address their need for a wide receiver via Devin Duvernay out of Texas. There’s a lot to like about this player and his potential, and it starts with his enticing athletic profile. Duvernay is a track-like athlete with shiftiness and agility in space. He ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.39 seconds at the combine and it shows on tape.
He stands at only 5-foot-10 but can play inside and out. Perhaps most importantly is his reliability, as Duvernay had one of the strongest catch rates in college football last year.
The Ravens finally select a wide receiver at pick 92 in Devin Duvernay out of Texas. Duvernay is dangerous after the catch, which is a skillset that Baltimore’s offense sorely lacked. Duvernay also brings speed and strong hands to the offense. He has the chance to be a solid contributor immediately as a rookie. Duvernay could develop into the slot receiver of the future for the Ravens if he improves his route running.
Devin Duvernay is my favorite wide receiver in this draft class. In addition to his elite speed, he has excellent hands. According to PFF, he had the lowest dropped pass percentage of any Power 5 wide receiver during the last two seasons. He gives the Ravens offense a dynamic weapon in the slot. A receiver as complete as Duvernay is an absolute steal at this point in the draft.
Need and best player available converge at pick 92 for the Baltimore Ravens, and the result is wide receiver Devin Duvernay. In a deep receiver class, the Ravens hope this third round pick can make an immediate impact. He adds strength, physicality, and speed to a receiving corps that looks to become more dynamic. Hopefully, Hollywood Brown and Devin Duvernay will bring the Red River Rivalry competitiveness to the practice field to bring the best out of one another. For the Ravens to be “undefendable,” as is DeCosta’s explicit goal, they will need far better play at wide receiver. Duvernay is key to this.
#98 Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
My favorite pick of this Ravens draft so far, Harrison is a tremendous value at this point of the night. Patrick Queen filled an immediate need but the starting inside linebacker spot beside him was still one of the weakest positions on the roster. Malik is a bonafide 2-down “Mike” thumper with surprising athleticism. Baltimore will be prepared to deploy more base defense personnel if necessary in 2020.
Malik Harrison was projected to be off the board long before this pick. A projected second-round pick with the upside to be even better, landing Harrison here near the end of the night is tremendous value. From a value standpoint, this is easily Eric DeCosta’s best pick of the draft so far.
Was not expecting the Ravens to draft multiple inside linebackers but this draft has turned out to be unorthodox, anyways, and selecting Harrison here makes sense. Harrison and Patrick Queen will provide an instant and significant upgrade to the weakest position group on the roster, while giving Baltimore an extremely balanced defense on paper.
The Ravens double dip at what was their biggest position of need by selecting inside linebacker Malik Harrison out of Ohio State. Harrison was a player I liked in the second round if Baltimore had passed on the position in the first round, so getting him at 98 is great value. Harrison will pair with Queen for what should be a formidable duo in the middle of the defense. Harrison is a traditional, downhill, run-stopping linebacker who should be a two-down player. DeCosta continues to find great value by taking the best player available.
The Ravens add some depth at inside linebacker with Malik Harrison. L.J. Fort was the only proven option at the position entering the draft. Now with Harrison and Queen, they potentially have their starters of the future. In the short term, Harrison should be a strong run stopper with impressive athleticism.
After a Week 4 thumping in 2019, the Ravens signed Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort at linebacker to stabilize and ultimately turn an exposed defense into one of the league’s best. In 2020, the Ravens didn’t wait. They addressed linebacker in round 3 by selecting Malik Harrison after drafting Patrick Queen in first round. Harrison will add physicality, toughness, and immediate run stuffing ability, along with special teams capability. Should the Ravens meet the Titans again, the defense will be much better prepared to stop a run heavy offense.
#106 Tyre Phillips, OL, Mississippi State
After a questionable start to the evening, Eric DeCosta found his footing in the late third round by filling needs with a trio of capable prospects.
Phillips is a wide and long-armed, scheme versatile blocker who should kick inside at the next level and compete for the vacant right guard job. He is a masher in the run game with the ability to climb to the second level or deliver punishing down blocks. Phillips has the skills to thrive in Greg Roman's diverse blocking scheme.
Adding more receivers and pass rushers should be the focus on Day 3.
Admittedly, I didn’t watch too much tape of Tyre Phillips leading up to the draft. However, with few established offensive line prospects available, I like the idea of taking a flier on an athletic marvel here with the versatility to play both guard and tackle.
Phillips seemingly has high upside but needs coaching and refinement to make an impact in Year 1. I’d expect him to compete for the starting RG spot this summer and ultimately serve as a valuable swingman with the upside to develop into more.
Baltimore finally addresses the offensive line with the last pick in the third round by selecting Tyre Phillips of Mississippi State. Phillips is a massive human being who will at the very least provide depth along the interior offensive line and at tackle. Phillips fits better on the interior at the NFL level and brings tough running blocking to the most run-heavy team in the league. Phillips has the chance to win a starting job as a rookie.
The Ravens finally add a guard in Tyre Phillips. He is a strong run blocker, but he lacks quickness. However, moving from tackle to guard should help alleviate those concerns. Guards like Kevin Dotson and Netane Muti were available and appeared to be stronger options. Nevertheless, Phillips is a solid player and fills a need.
The Ravens entered Day 2 of the draft with a need on the offensive line, and they utilized the last pick of the third round to select lineman Tyre Phillips from Mississippi State. While Phillips technically played left tackle for the Bulldogs, he will add depth to the offensive line at guard, given the retirement of Marshall Yanda. He showed a ton of durability by playing 821 snaps last year, a team high. He was also the second highest ranked offensive tackle (on running plays) in the SEC last year — no small feat, and a clear reason why he will be a fit for the run-happy Ravens.