With the 71st selection of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens drafted Justin Madubuike from Texas A&M University.
Maduibuike is an interior defensive linemen who primarily played the three technique, he is also capable of stepping in at the five technique or nose guard.
He fits a much different size and athletic profile than Brandon Williams, Michael Pierce, Daylon Mack, Justin Ellis or any of the defensive interior players that the Ravens possessed last year.
Madubuike is an explosive penetrator, who has strong lateral quickness and plays with great leverage. He was rarely stonewalled in one on one situations as a pass rusher. His hands and feet are active and in sync often, showing quickness as rhythm.
Texas A&M DT Justin Madubuike— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) February 6, 2020
*Consistent, consistent, consistent
*QUICK, esp laterally
*Great hand placement
*Understands when & where he has leverage
*Sneaky upper body strength
*Reads run blocking concepts quickly
*GREAT run blitzer, makes plays/TFLs pic.twitter.com/Fm3rHAWRnP
Madubuike packs a punch with his hand strikes, often jolting blocker’s heads back and pushing them back into the run play.
Madubuike with really strong recognition here. Sees the pin and pull, laterally explodes, beats guard to his spot, snaps his head back into the play.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) April 28, 2020
Explosive, agile, smart, strong here. pic.twitter.com/Hi5c2QCPxl
TAMU often used Madubuike as a twist player and looped him on stunts. His lateral agility, explosiveness and speed made him a weapon on twists. The Ravens have definitely tried to increase their usage of stunts when rushing four to generate pressure for a lackluster four man pass rush success rate.
Justin Madubuike on the stunt.— Jay? (@11on11Scouting) April 29, 2020
-The Ravens would be wise to utilize him like this on stunts.
-He almost always gets in the backfield and in the QBs face. pic.twitter.com/bkT1KPrawA
A sampling of Justin Madubuike’s pass-rush potential — against the best offensive line in the country.— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) April 25, 2020
Ravens can get creative running twists with him, Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe. pic.twitter.com/H52EI0Wh1i
Twisting Madubuike puts him in space, where he’s more athletic and explosive than many of the interior offensive linemen he faced in college.
The former four star defensive end had consistently strong production over the past two years. In 2019 Madubuike notched six sacks, eight QB hits and 26 hurries, totaling 40 pressures in just 12 games. In 2018, his production was even stronger: eight sacks, 11 QB hits and 25 pressures, totaling 44 pressures.
In terms of elite play, sack and TFL production seems somewhat relative in terms of projecting to today’s NFL.
Most of the best iDL rushers in the NFL had elite college production, outside of Chris Jones.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) March 31, 2020
Just not many examples of poor college producers turning it around in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/TDB27WzIlw
Madubuike registered a 14.9% pass-rush win rate in 2019, which ranked ninth in the IDL class.
Removing screens, play-action passes and throws within 1.5 seconds of the snap, 2019 FBS leaders in PFF pass-rush win rate:— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) March 13, 2020
1. Jordan Elliott (26.1%)
4. Javon Kinlaw (22.8%)
5. Justin Madubuike (22.5%)
T-8. Derrick Brown (21%)
15. Neville Gallimore (18.9%)
Madubuike has showed off chops, swipes, clubs, rips, spins and long arm bull rush moves. He has a full toolbox headed into the NFL.
He also has good length for an interior player, with 33.5 inch arms.
At the NFL Combine Madubuike tore up the drills he participated in. His 4.83s 40-yard dash ranked in the 97th percentile of all defensive linemen in combine history. The 6-foot-3 DT also posted a 7.37s three-cone still (88th percentile) and 31 reps on the bench press (81st percentile).
These metrics match what his tape shows, an explosive, quick and nimble interior defensive stalwart.
Madubuike played the lion’s share of his snaps in the B-gap, projecting to be a three technique at the next level, who can also take snaps as a nose guard or five technique. He’s longer, quicker and more explosive than most guards.
Madubuike can be moved by double teams, which makes sense as he’s not the shortest or heaviest player for his position. He also failed to drop a knee or corkscrew against double teams. There aren’t many better players in the NFL at taking on double teams than Brandon Williams, who can certainly show Madubuike the technique.
He did have some impressive reps against two blockers, nonetheless.
VERY interesting rep here from Mad Dog Bookie— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) April 29, 2020
Bama doubles him on RPO from unbalanced line, then pulls RG into his hole.
Madubuike BEATS the double team, then puller rocks him. Awesome effort against double team. Took three blocks, with a puller coming in full speed to get him pic.twitter.com/0T4MEvZ6Em
Consistency wasn’t quite there from game to game with the flashy pass disruption. There were games where Madubuike looked like a first round player who could take over a game (Ole Miss, 7 pressures) as well as games where he could look like a rotational type player at the next level.
Regardless, he always brought a strong bull rush, good gap integrity as a run defender, and pushed the pocket consistently. Rarely does his rush stagnate in one-on-one situations, while he might not always disengage.
As a run defender, Madubuike has great eyes and pad level, and reacts to offensive linemen’s first step in a flash. He does a great job using his length inside to shock blockers with one arm, keeping an arm free to wrap up ball carriers and muddy the gap, often forcing them to hesitate or cut back.
Madubuike, as many of the Ravens 2020 rookies, was a team captain at TAMU, and a two-time Aggie Defensive MVP. He was also named to the AP All-SEC Second Team. Former defensive mates Otaro Alaka and Daylon Mack should make their fellow Aggie feel right at home.
Madubuike is yet another addition the the Ravens front who is more of a penetrator than a two-gap player. I firmly believe that the Ravens acquired players like Wolfe, Campbell and Madubuike to use more even-front type looks and attack upfield, looking to make plays in the backfield that force teams to throw into the teeth of their elite secondary. Brandon Williams and Daylon Mack are the only players who fit the traditional two-gap mold. This will lead to a more explosive pass rush in 2020 than in prior seasons.
With Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe all on the wrong side of 30, Madubuike has a real chance to become a mainstay of the Ravens defense by the end of his rookie contract.
The Ravens will have Madubuike in the rotation up front as a rookie, mainly learning behind Derek Wolfe as a versatile three technique. They would be wise to use him on twists, where he consistently causes chaos in the pocket.
Madubuike will take 250-350 snaps as a rookie and generate 10-13 pressures with 2.5 sacks. Madubuike, who blocked two kicks while at A&M, will get a paw on one for the Ravens in 2020, where his explosion and length can devastate on kick defense.
If Derek Wolfe misses time due to injury, Madubuike will step in and take on a much more significant role.
Madubuike will be a starter in 2021.
Wild athleticism from big No. 52 here...— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) April 29, 2020
Madubuike rushing through RG gets a push, Bama C looks for work and gives him a nice shove.
Watch the wild recovery Madubuike has from his knees... then tosses the RG aside. Center is like wtf... “I said STAY DOWN!” And finished him off pic.twitter.com/6wVQkKS5Wp
Justin Madubuike literally throws grown men for fun.— Nic Mason (@British_Raven19) April 25, 2020
He’s lights out. #RavensFlock pic.twitter.com/pOw3jk16ik
Ravens take Texas A&M DT Justin Madubuike in the third round (No. 71 overall pick)— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) April 25, 2020
- 2019 2nd team All-SEC (AP)
- Led team in sacks (5.5), pressures (34) and tackles for loss (18) in 2019
- 51 pressures in last 2 season when playing DT/NT, most in FBS at those positions