ESPN’s Todd McShay recently gave his biggest team improvements and best late-round finds for the 2020 NFL Draft. McShay included the Baltimore Ravens in both categories.
“The Ravens needed to upgrade at linebacker after their top inside guys, Patrick Onwuasor and Josh Bynes, headed out of town in free agency. And did they ever,” said McShay. “The stars aligned for Baltimore on Day 1, when LSU’s rangy and instinctive Patrick Queen fell to No. 28. He’s a plug-and-play starter who can be the quarterback of that defense. His recognition skills and high-end closing burst will immediately make him a threat both in coverage and as a blitzer. Baltimore also added Ohio State’s Malik Harrison at linebacker in Round 3 — he has some pop as a pass-rusher and could rotate at the Sam ‘backer spot.”
McShay continues with the team’s next three selections in the draft.
“The Ravens also grabbed J.K. Dobbins from Ohio State, even though they do not have an immediate need at the position with Mark Ingram II leading the charge. But Ingram has a potential out on his contract after this season and is set to be a free agent in 2022, and the Ravens will use Dobbins in balance with Ingram in 2020. Dobbins is a talented runner, but he’s also one of the better pass-protection backs in the class and can make things happen in the receiving game.”
“I also have to mention the Justin Madubuike and Devin Duvernay picks. These were pure steals. Madubuike has explosive quickness and should provide 15-20 snaps per game in Year 1. The Texas A&M defensive tackle can really stress interior offensive linemen, and let’s not forget he posted a 4.83 in the 40 at the combine at 293 pounds. Duvernay should be a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver as a rookie. The Texas slot receiver knows how to get open and has natural hands. Built like a running back, he adds much-needed depth to the receiver position and can be a reliable underneath target for Lamar Jackson.”
McShay then mentions both James Proche and Geno Stone as late-round selections that he likes. Both players have been mentioned as late-round steals by multiple analysts.
“The Ravens ended up making 10 picks and found value all over the board. I also liked the late-round grabs of wide receiver James Proche and safety Geno Stone. SMU’s Proche popped at the Senior Bowl in January. Sure, he’s a little undersized at 5-foot-11, but his quickness, terrific hands and ability to get open and create after the catch will provide Jackson with easy yards. Like Duvernay, he’s a real possession guy. In fact, they were two of only four FBS receivers to finish north of 100 catches last season.”
“As for Stone, the Iowa defensive back is a run-stuffer who will play a part in sub-packages and on special teams right away. But his instincts, interception production and decisiveness in the run game will make him an even bigger factor down the road. There’s just no denying that Baltimore, a 14-win team in 2019, got even better in April.”
Add McShay to the long list of people who loved what the Ravens accomplished in the draft. In just his second year as Baltimore’s general manager, Eric DeCosta has made quite the name for himself filling in the shoes of the legendary Ozzie Newsome.