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Ravens News 4/27: Draft thoughts and more

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2020 NFL Draft - Round 1 Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

Ravens Talk About the One Need Left Unchecked – Edge Rusher - Ryan Mink

“We did the best we could. We tried to draft the best players that checked off the most boxes that could help us right away and also long-term,” General Manager Eric DeCosta said.

“In most cases, you’re going to have a hole that stays open [after the draft]. We’ll continue to try to fil those holes. … Things always pop up, so you’re always going to have needs, they change daily in this business. You just have to try to adjust on the fly and we will do that to the best of our abilities.”

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DeCosta set the bar high a few weeks ago when he said the organization’s goal was to build an offense that couldn’t be defended. That mandated the addition of several new playmakers on top of what’s already on hand. Dobbins became the first new piece Friday night, but running back isn’t where there’s a need for more output. After the Ravens’ wideouts ranked last in the NFL in overall production in 2019, there’ll be scrutiny on Duvernay and James Proche, the new wide receivers. Each caught more than 100 passes in 2019 with minimal drops. Duvernay has exceptional speed and “there’s a lot we like” about Proche, DeCosta said. The reality is the Ravens have reinvented themselves at the position in the past two years with a first-round pick (Hollywood Brown), two thirds (Miles Boykin and Duvernay) and an intriguing Day 3 pick (Proche), who was the only draft pick the Ravens traded up to get this year. Nonetheless, DeCosta didn’t want to commit to being “undefendable” just yet. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re just going to keep adding players and tweaking things,” he said.

2020 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams - PFF


Day 2: After nailing the Queen selection, Dobbins at No. 55 isn’t a move that brings a whole lot of value to this offense for us. He has clearly been uber-productive at Ohio State over the course of his career, rushing for over 2,000 yards last season along with three consecutive seasons of 78.7-plus rushing grades. The issue is that they didn’t need to go running back here, especially with how much space is created by a Ravens rushing attack that is spearheaded by Lamar Jackson and what was one of the better offensive lines in the NFL just a season ago.

Madubuike at pick 71 provides a player with a strong history of stuffing the run (run-defense grades of 87.0 or higher each of the past two years) and solid production as a pass-rusher. Duvernay brings more speed, yards-after-the-catch ability and solid hands to this wide receiving corps, but just don’t ask him to win on routes downfield. Malik Harrison is much more of a downhill player at linebacker than Queen, but his proficiency as a blitzer at Ohio State (38 pressures over last two seasons) should play well on a defense that blitzed significantly more than any other defense in 2019. Lastly, Tyre Phillips is more likely than not to kick inside to guard at the NFL level. He has issues in pass protection, but the Ravens should be able to use his strength and body-moving ability in the run game.

Day 3: Stone is one of the most underrated safeties in the draft class. His processing and quicks are a fit for every defense in the NFL. You may not want him in the box, but he can easily rotate between deep and the slot.

Stone dominated in coverage throughout his career for the Hawkeyes. On his 883 coverage snaps over the last three years, Stone had put together one of the best coverage grades in the country at 91.8. He’s played a majority of his snaps deep, and that’s exactly where he belongs — he played over 600 snaps at free safety in his career and has been responsible for only 137 yards while intercepting three passes and forcing seven incompletions.

Proche’s ball skills are elite enough to see the field in the NFL. He may be pigeonholed to the slot, though, as he struggled to create for himself.

Draft Grade: B

2020 NFL Draft: Final quick-snap grades for all 32 teams - Chad Reuter

Baltimore Ravens

Day 1 grade: A

Day 2 grade: A

Day 3 grade: A

Overall grade: A

Draft analysis: Just another outstanding draft for GM Eric DeCosta, finding good value at every pick in the first three rounds and meeting most of the team’s top needs. It wasn’t surprising to see the Ravens pick Bredeson given how much they loved having another Big Ten guard for the past decade: Marshal Yanda from Iowa. Washington is an active nose tackle who will be effective in a rotation. Proche might be the steal of the draft, or it might be Stone. It’s criminal that DeCosta is this good at drafting players.



(Round 3, No. 71)

Per usual, the Ravens are putting together an exceptional draft class and landing Justin Madubuike in the third round is a big reason why. Madubuike is a wrecking ball on the interior defensive line and can serve as a penetration-style player that can attack gaps. In addition, Madubuike plays with terrific extension skills and can play in even fronts, defending multiple gaps and anchoring at the point of attack.

His versatility meshes perfectly with Wink Martindale’s diverse scheme that features aggressive pressure packages. A selection in the top 50 wouldn’t have surprised anybody; Madubuike at No. 71 overall is a bargain, and the rich get richer.

NFL Draft 2020 Grades: Analyzing All 32 Teams’ Picks - Andy Benoit


It’s not out of the question that Baltimore will trot out two rookie linebackers on base downs in Week 1. Malik Harrison plays with more physicality than fellow rookie Queen but might not quite be an NFL cover linebacker.

It’s a little surprising the Ravens did not address the wide receiver position earlier considering that their top target, Hollywood Brown, would be fantastic as a dynamic No. 2 option. As it stands, they don’t have a proven big-bodied X-receiver to align opposite Brown. Devin Duvernay will likely be lining up inside of Brown, as a slot weapon who possesses run-after-catch ability. It’s possible the plan is to let Willie Snead walk in free agency next year.

Grade: A-

2020 NFL Draft winners and losers: Cowboys, AFC North dominate while the Patriots, NFC North falter - Josh Edwards

Winner: Ravens

It felt as though Baltimore was picking from a different pool than other teams. The Ravens kept firing daggers left and right. Linebacker Patrick Queen, running back J.K. Dobbins, defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, wide receiver Devin Duvernay, linebacker Malik Harrison, offensive guard Ben Bredeson, wide receiver James Proche and safety Geno Stone were all great value.

Offensive lineman Tyre Phillips and defensive tackle Broderick Washington were either a reach or reasonable value. Any team would be happy with that. No team found better value on a more consistent basis than the Ravens. Stop me if you’ve heard that before about Baltimore’s drafting prowess.