In my short 2 year career of scouting, I haven’t quite seen a better and more dominant draft class to an already stacked roster in Baltimore. The Ravens, coming off of a 14 win season in 2019, both filled out needs at linebacker, receiver and pass rush while finding great value and players that fit the scheme well. Going into 2020, theres no reason the Ravens shouldn’t be extremely competitive again, bringing back almost all offensive starters, most of which a year older and better, plus one of the leagues top secondaries, and adding a ton of talent to a front 7 that was serviceable enough to be a top 5 defense last season. With that being said let me get into grading our draft picks based on my analysis after watching countless hours of film on these prospects, and why I think this was such a great draft.
Round 1 pick 28, Patrick Queen: A+
Going into the offseason, the Ravens clearly needed to upgrade at linebacker. After incredibly poor play from Patrick Onwuasor and Chris Board, the Ravens brought in band aids in midseason free agency with Josh Bynes and LJ Fort. The Ravens didn’t do much to address the position in free agency, but in the 1st round, they stay put and snag my 3rd ranked linebacker and 24th player on my big board. Queen offers coverage flexibility on the second level that the Ravens haven’t had since Ray Lewis. Queen brings extremely fluid athleticism and play processing, as well as being able to matchup with “mismatch” players such as Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle, making him a perfect fit in the Modern NFL. Queens biggest weakness is his experience, as he’s not seen a ton of playing time behind some great linebackers at LSU, however there might not be a better place to develop and learn than in Baltimore.
Round 2 pick 55, JK Dobbins: A
The state of runningbacks in the NFL is very interesting in the modern NFL. Teams have been leaning away from investing high capital in running backs, as analytics have shown that they aren’t valuable, and I tend to agree with that. However, the Ravens scheme might just be an exception to that. The Ravens run the ball more than anyone in football, and often times, running backs have gained 5 yards before they are contacted downfield, making the yardage they pick up after that, what they are able to do in space, and weather or not they are able to break away and take it for a big gain matters more in the read option Lamar Jackson led offense. Adding JK Dobbins to this team is essentially adding Ezekiel Elliott, which if you as ESPN is absolutely absurd, but in reality Zeke is a top 15ish running back that does one thing. You see the hole, you hit it hard, fight for yardage, try to fall forward, and if you get into the open field, go and house it, and that is exactly what Dobbins is going to bring to the table. Dobbins was my RB2 and the 57th player overall on my big board. Ingram was very good last season but is now in his 30s with injury concerns. Dobbins can offer what Ingram did, plus the explosiveness and ability to take any run to the house. Good luck stopping this offense.
Round 3 pick 71, Justin Madubuike: A+
The Ravens didn’t even necessarily need this player, but the value was just too good to pass up at this pick. Justin is more than a luxury than a necessity but is absolutely a 2nd round talent and the 48th player on my big board. The Ravens have beefed up the interior of the defensive line, adding Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe. Brandon Williams will return but Michael Pierce and Wormley departed in free agency and through trade respectively. The Ravens interior D line totaled under 50 pressures last season between Williams Wormley and Pierce, but now have more pass rush versatility through the new additions, including Madubuike. Madubuike offers very good explosiveness and a low center of gravity as an undersized D lineman, which is becoming more valuable as these players are able to gain leverage easier. Madubuike should be a really nice rotational pass rusher right away and could develop into a solid all pro defensive lineman down the road. I really love the value of this pick and what Madubuike offers with his skillset.
Round 3 pick 92, Devin Duvernay: A+
I could not think of a more perfect fit for this Ravens offense than Devin Duvernay. Duvernay was one of “my guys”, the 42nd ranked player on my big board overall, and 9th ranked reveiver. With the way the Ravens offense opperates, there is much more value in slot receivers, which is exactly what Duvernay is. The Ravens passing game opperates mainley over the middle of the field, and Seth Roberts was not the scary slot prescence last year to opposing teams, Duvernay will be. Duvernay offers elite speed, running a 4.39 at the combine and displaying it on the field. He is a beast after the catch and you will be wasting your time trying to find dropped passes from him on film because he just does not drop the football. He is exceptional at adjusting to innacurate passes, which will help Lamars developement a lot and is an absolute beast after the catch. Imagining pounding the rock down teams throats, and then getting Duvernay the ball on the boundary creating more explosive plays is unbelievably exciting and adds another dimension to an already scary offense. The knock on Duvernay is his overall route running, but the Ravens don’t value the ability to scream open on double moves as much and will have him running a smaller route tree. This pick not only makes a ton of sense scheme wise, but is also terrific value and a position of need. I can’t believe the NFL let this happen and in my opinion this was one of the best picks in the entire draft.
Round 3 pick 98, Malik Harrison: A-
I am not as high on Malik Harrison as some people were, but I still like this pick a lot. I had Harrison as the 104th player on my board and my LB11. There was some 1st-2nd round hype behind this player but I think this is ultimately where he should’ve gone. In terms of fit this is another home run from Eric Decosta and the Ravens. If Queens weakness is his play strength and run defense, that is exactly what Harrison brings to the table and he’s a perfect compliment to Queen. Harrison moves pretty well for his size and is a great run defender. He’s your traditional thumper that plays with good physicality in the box and is a sure tackler. Even though I had other linebackers ahead of him at this pick such as Davion Taylor and Akeem Davis-Gaither, I personally would’ve gone with Harrison here due to the skillset he brings. He struggles in coverage and doesn’t have the cleanest processing skills, but that is where Queen excells. I like the floor Harrison brings and think him paired with Queen could quickly become one of the leagues best linebacking duos.
Round 3 pick 106, Tyre Phillips: C-
This pick was sort of a dart throw at the offensive line from Decosta. Phillips to me didn’t stand out a whole lot and was just a guy, as he was the 248th ranked player on my big board. Phillips however does bring raw power at the point of attack, which does fit well with what the Ravens look for in offensive lineman. He can play both tackle and guard, and if anything can be a swingman that can play in place of an injury on the offensive line. His technique and mobility is below average, and I didn’t love the value, but Decosta probably saw something I didn’t with him, and the Ravens needed to address the interior of the line with the departure of Yanda and I like the idea of throwing darts at the position.
I loved almost every pick that the Ravens made, addressing needs, finding value and finding scheme fits, which is exatcly what you want to be doing in the draft. This class is one of the best I’ve seen not only from the Ravens but the entire league, as Decosta did a great job in aquiring a lot of mid round picks and making great selections with them. After these aquisitions, I’m not sure how you couldn’t pick the Ravens to win the superbowl, after loading up in the front 7, which was a bit of a weakness last year, and making the offense even more dangerous after being one of the best units in the league last year, without losing many key pieces. The Ravens are in position to win now with the talent and scheme and I couldn’t be more excited to watch it this season.