There was a ton of preseason speculation surrounding the newest rookies on the roster for the Baltimore Ravens.
The decision to take the RB J.K. Dobbins in the second round has been a hotly-contested topic among Ravens fans since the virtual draft happened back in April. Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season brought us a decisive Ravens’ win over the Cleveland Browns by a score of 38-6, which was also our first good look at these rookies we’ve been thinking about for months.
LB Patrick Queen had a wonderful debut. Not only did he pick up eight combined tackles, the most on the team, but he also sacked Baker Mayfield and forced a fumble from Nick Chubb. Two of the biggest faces on the Browns surely won’t forget him by next time these two teams face off in December.
Queen is trying hard to show both management and fans that he can be a cornerstone player, something the Ravens desperately need at the position. It could be debated that he had the best debut of any rookie on Sunday, but regardless it was an impressive showing from the first-round pick.
J.K Dobbins, picked in the second round, also had a great opener — even if may have not been the most efficient running performance ever. Seven carries for 22 yards, just a little bit over three yards-per-carry, isn’t ideal for any running back, but Dobbins shined in the scoring category — sporting two touchdowns in his rookie debut.
Maybe the debut won’t necessarily quiet all the people who say they shouldn’t have used the No. 55 pick on him, but it does bring new evidence to support those who say it was a smart decision.
LB Malik Harrison was picked in the third round in this year’s draft. He got the start in Week 1 and was able to rack up four solo tackles and one pass defended in only 21 defensive snaps.
Like Queen and Dobbins, Harrison also had a strong first game, especially for a third-round pick with little hype around him coming into the season.
It can be difficult at times to evaluate offensive lineman due to the lack of basic stats that come out of the position, but we do know that third-round pick Tyre Phillips played well in his first game.
The decision to start him over D.J Fluker came as a surprise to me, but whether it was because they believe he is the better guard, or if they just wanted to get the rookie some reps, the decision clearly wasn’t a mistake by any means. He was on the field for 95% of Baltimore’s offensive snaps and wasn’t penalized once. Phillips made multiple good blocks throughout the game and can certainly walk away from his debut feeling good.
Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and Broderick Washington Jr.
These three I am grouping together due to their minimal impact on their respective sides of the ball.
Devin Duvernay, the third-round pick, was targeted once in the first quarter of the game for 12 yards, but wasn’t targeted again. Sixth-round pick James Proche was on the field for a few offensive snaps, but wasn’t targeted by Lamar Jackson once. The two of them had extremely limited offensive roles, but they both found homes in the special teams. Duvernay returned two kickoffs for an average of 32 yards, and Proche returned two punts for an average of 13 yards. Both of them showed acumen for special teams, and that is certainly a spot that has been lacking in the past few seasons.
DT Broderick Washington Jr. played 28 defensive snaps total but was only able to get one assisted tackle.